A big SHOUTOUT to a few schools who made the NCAA tournament this year and who most likely are not getting any buzz.
CONGRATS to the Wofford Terriers and the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions on making their first ever appearances in the big dance. Arkansas-Pine Bluff made it to the play-in game against the Winthrop Eagles, with the winner to face (uh-oh) the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils in the South Bracket as the No. 16 seed. Wofford, on the other hand, are a very impressive No. 13 seed and they have a date with the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the East Bracket. No one expects either one to win but nonetheless they are getting their first taste of the post-season.
Congratulations also to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, the Morgan State Bears, the Sam Houston State Bearkats and the North Texas Mean Green. Oakland, Morgan State and Sam Houston State are making their second ever appearances in the tourney and North Texas is making its third ever appearance.
Oakland (No. 14 seed) will play the No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers in the West Bracket. The Golden Grizzlies made their tournament debut back in 2005 and actually won their first round game. So maybe they won't be a "walk in the park" for Pittsburgh and maybe (just maybe) pull off a stunner. We never know. As for North Texas, Morgan State and Sam Houston State, they are all winless in their combined 7 appearances.
A quick note:
Yesterday I mentioned that the most surprising thing about this years tournament (in my opinion) is the absence of UCLA, North Carolina, Indiana, Connecticut and Arizona-- which is truly a shocker. I wasn't sure if this phenomenon had ever happened before but today I can confirm that the last time these 5 juggernauts simultaneously did not make the tournament was in 1966-- 44 years ago.
And a quick comment to all the fans of the Virginia Tech Hokies:
ESPN guru, Dick Vitale, was 100% right when he said "you guys wuz robbed!". With the exception of Duke and Maryland, there is no way the tournament committee can justify inviting Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Clemson out of the ACC and NOT Virginia Tech. The Hokies had a better or just as good a conference (10-6) and overall (23-8) record as these four schools. I can fully understand why the folks down in Blacksburg are pissed off right now.
Anyway, the road ahead for the above little guys is not an easy one-- but nonetheless, they are in the dance and sometimes anything can happen.
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia
Logos courtesy of Wofford, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, North Texas and Oakland. They are trademarks of their respective universities and are being used for entertainment purposes only.