Eye of the Hurricane

March 1, 2010

It’s March…Let the Madness Begin!

Filed under: Uncategorized — joeyheld @ 11:08 pm

It’s difficult to suppress my excitement for the start of the NCAA basketball conference tournaments and, in a few weeks, the NCAA tournament itself. While both Miami’s men’s and women’s teams look poised for NIT berths, there is still nothing quite like the excitement that comes with these next three weeks (counting, of course, the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, which, in my opinion, are the greatest four days in sports).

During conference tournaments, any team has a chance to clinch their spot in the postseason. Who could forget Georgia’s memorable run a few years ago, when they won four games in three nights to clinch a 14 seed (and prompty get beaten by Xavier in the first round, but still)? To see the excitement on these kids’ faces as they secure a spot in the big dance is unbelievable, even more so if it’s the school’s first bid in history. With that in mind, here are three storylines I’ll be paying attention to among the smaller schools:

1) Wofford is trying to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in its program’s history. They recently clinched first place in the Southern Conference after defeating Charleston (who beat UNC earlier in the year, but then again, so has everyone) 74-68.

2) Murray State had the longest win streak in the nation (17 games) before losing in their penultimate contest, at Morehead State, 70-65. The Racers are the heavy favorites to win the Ohio Valley, but who knows what could happen? Their path to the NCAAs begins Tuesday against Tennessee State.

3)  The Atlantic Sun conference tournament. Play begins on Wednesday, and the top four teams (Lipscomb, Campbell, Belmont, Jacksonville) are all tied at 14-6 in conference. The Lipscomb Bisons have never made the big dance, and the Campbell Fightin’ Camels (great name, by the way) have only been once, and never as a member of the A-Sun.

Good luck to everyone in their tournaments, and may the best (or the luckiest, or the one who catches fire) win.

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