Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild west. ---------------------------------------------------- 2PAC FEATURING DR. DRE
STANFORD, Calif. After hearing the players and coaches speak today, and watching them (in limited minutes) in practice
Dont think this is Stanfords regional to lose.
All of the teams have the capability to win this regional (Well, duh, Dave. Thats what they pay you for?) Everybody has their own special thing going for them and I think its going to be an entertaining two days.
The top-seed Gamecocks are the new kids in town, the ones who fought their way to a magnificent regular season and earned that shiny 1 next to their name. Its a big honor and a bigger target, but the Gamecocks have been a team to handle that kind of pressure all year.
North Carolina is playing for coach Sylvia Hatchell, stricken with leukemia, and has played its best ball lately. Its familiarity with South Carolina could serve as an edge, and once its one step from the Final Four, watch out.
Penn State is the team nobodys looking at. Theres no pressure on them because if they lose, they were supposed to, still had a great year. Who knows if they dont slip in and take the title?
Stanfords at home, in a comfortable environment, and has been here and beyond several times before. Its a business to the Cardinal and theyve always succeeded.
Its so different in the womens bracket. The tournament hardly ever features big upsets (DePaul was one this year) and the competition really begins in the Sweet 16. Its why so many coaches were opposed to having the middle two rounds at campus sites all the coaches knew that the good teams would be in the 16, which created an unfair advantage. Play at home in the first two rounds, you should win because you were probably going to win anyway. Next two, though, those shouldnt be at home, which is why its going back to neutral sites next year.
Its why Stanford should probably be favored to win this regional. The Cardinal are 28-4 in NCAA tournament games at home and are used to advancing far into the postseason (outside of last years aberration, they had been to the Final Four five straight times).
But favoring doesnt mean anything. Personally, I dont see Stanford as unbeatable. It all flows through one player and the Cardinal dont really have another that can take over a game. Every team has a flaw, every team has a strength.
Talking season is over. Time to play ball.
And just when you thought youd seen it all
Youve heard the stories of the NCAAs ridiculous pettiness when it comes to selective enforcement of its rules you know, busting a coach because he bought a bagel for his player (so what if the players father died and the coach was sitting with the player until his plane arrived?) and turning a blind eye to a case like North Carolinas, which is a nasty scandal threatening the institutions academic backbone (Thats their deal, not ours). Ive certainly heard the tales and figured, like everything, some were embellished and some were completely made up.
Then Im sitting there watching practice today, which is closed to the public and open to the media for just the first 15 minutes, and an assistant coach comes over to rummage through the equipment bag. Asked what he was doing, he said he was looking for tape. I overheard and figured he strained a finger or something. Nope.
He had two Under Armour logos on his practice shirt, front and back. The NCAA says you can only have one logo showing. So the NCAA rep actually told him he couldnt be on the floor unless one was covered. He had to put tape over the one on his back.
Im not kidding. This happened right in front of me. I couldnt believe it. The coach couldnt believe it.
This is college sports governing body.
Baylor 90, Kentucky 72
Notre Dame 89, Oklahoma State 72
UConn 70, BYU 51
Texas A&M 84, DePaul 65
Maryland vs. Tennessee, noon
LSU at Louisville, 2:30 p.m.
Penn State at Stanford, 4:30 p.m.
South Carolina vs. North Carolina, 7 p.m.
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