Teams prepare for March Madness
Posted March 17, 2006

Darnell Gilbert
Staff Writer

With March Madness finally here sports fans across America are getting ready to cheer for their favorite college team or just this years underdog’s.

On Selection Sunday, the 2006 NCAA basketball brackets were announced. This year the four regional brackets will be held in Atlanta, Oakland, Washington and Minneapolis.

There appeared to be no shockers in No. 1 seeds with Duke, Memphis, Connecticut and Villanova receiving the honors. The committee surprised everyone with giving Tennessee and UCLA No. 2 seeds. Many analysts felt that these two teams weren’t worthy of the No.2 seed because of losses to small conference schools and there RPI rating.

“UCLA didn’t deserve the No.2 seed,” senior Roger Logan said. “They didn’t have any victories over good teams and this year the Pac 10 was a weak conference.”

In their place should have been Gonzaga (27-3) and North Carolina (22-7) who had jaws dropping with the individual performances of Adam Morrison and rebuilt of the Tar Heels who lost the entire starting line-up to the NBA draft last year.

California teams that made the tournament included UCLA, San Diego State, Cal, and Pacific. UCLA received the highest seed but many are picking them to get upset by No.15 Belmont.

“Its good to see more than two California schools in the tournament,” senior Shante Washington said. “It seems like California only has one or two teams in the tournament.”

The hardest bracket to win will be the Minneapolis region because there is not one team that has an advantage over another team. Every team has a run and gun offense and possesses shooters and slashers who can take over the game at any moment. The key to winning this region will be defense and limiting the turnovers.

Out of all the No. 1 seeds, Connecticut will have the most trouble getting out of the bracket. Connecticut could possibly face Kentucky, Illinois, Washington and University of Alabama-Birmingham. Illinois was a final four team last season that lost to North Carolina in the championship game last year. Kentucky and Washington have been previous No.1 seeds and UAB is no longer considered a cinderella team but a threat to be a Final Four team.

“I think Connecticut will take it all,” assistant track coach Will Darity said.
In the Final Four I predict that you will see Duke, Connecticut, Arizona and Kansas, with Connecticut beating Duke in the Championship.

On the women’s side North Carolina, Duke, Ohio State and LSU received No. 1 seeds. In the Final Four don’t be surprise to see three No. 1 seeds in Duke, North Carolina, LSU with Arizona State joining them. With Ivory Latta, North Carolina should defeat Duke in the championship.

Darnell Gilbert can be reached at flawlessgee@yahoo.com.

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