Monday, February 02, 2009

Bubble of Sanity

Well look what have we here in the newest edition of Bracketology:

While it might be borderline presumptuous to look ahead to a classic 9 vs 4 match-up in the 3rd round, the mere prospect of Dayton facing Syracuse in the first round intrigues me for a couple reasons.

The first reason is that aside from a huge neutral court win over 8th ranked Marquette and an impressive win vs St. Joe's yesterday, you could make an argument that UD is the most baffling 20-win team in the country. Consider the circumstances of some of these victories:
  • A 60-59 win over Auburn where Dayton sets an NCAA record by going 0-24 on 3-point attempts, getting the win thanks to Auburn making only 12 of 26 free throws.
  • Blowing a 6-point lead to a 2-13 Fordham team by allowing 8 points in the final 24 seconds of the game, only to win 72-71 on a Rob Lowery runner with 2 seconds left.
  • Trailing George Washington by a point with 20 seconds left, only to take the lead (and get the win) because GW picked up a technical for playing with SIX MEN ON THE COURT! This is simply amazing - watch the kid racing off the court here when he realizes there's an extra white jersey out there.
  • Defeating St. Louis 47-46 in a rough watch where the only Flyer points in the last seven minutes of the game were scored on the game-winning alley-oop! They also went 0-11 from long-range in this game.
So yes, the Flyers have been spotty, but are also an NCAA best 8-0 in games decided by 5 points or less. The second reason a Syracuse matchup intrigues me is the ESPN factor. It's easy for people to understand how my hatred of all east coast sports teams flourished during my time in Bristol based on the rooting interests of my colleagues. To this day, when the Yankees play the Sox, I root for brawls and that's about it. But like the proliferation of Patriots fans, the contingent of Syracuse alumni walking the corridors of ESPN (and virtually every other broadcast outlet in the country) is just too overwhelming to ignore, try as one might. As is often the case, the meathead pride swells with success. This was the case during Cuse's '03 title run, where seemingly every day of work revolved around an 18-year-old kid named Carmelo turning grown professionals into slackjawed fanboys, obsessed with his every move long past the point of awkwardness. The prospect of an entire newsroom full of Orange alumni being forced to watch Boeheim exit at the hands of UD is an image that would leave me babbling like Ned Beatty.

1 comment:

Ross McLochness said...

Bring on the 9-4! It's 2000 all over again.