Let's Get Mad
Let's Get Mad
March means madness and the opportunity for the best teams in college basketball to go dancing in this year's NCAA championship tournament, which is the most exciting time of the season for the college hoop's fan.
The tournament begins Tuesday when Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Coppin State, the first team to make the tournament with 20 losses, plays Mount St. Mary’s in an opening-round game.
The winner gets North Carolina, who captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship Sunday with an 86-81 victory over Clemson in the ACC championship game, which gave the Tar Heels a record 17th conference title.
The Tar Heel's 29-2 regular-season record is impressive, to say the least. Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough are two of the best players in the country. Watch out for the two Ty's. North Carolina is certainly capable of winning the national championship and NCAA odds agree.
Each year, a Cinderella wears the glass slippers and a team who may fit those shoes this season is Drake Bulldogs. The Missouri Valley Conference champions aren't a household name, but could be following the madness (check their ncaa odds, if you haven't done so already).
Drake is the first Missouri Valley Conference school to sweep the regular-season and tournament title since co-champ Creighton in 2002. They also are the first top seed to win the conference tournament in 11 seasons.
Drake will dance in college basketball's national tournament for the first time since 1971. The small Des Moines, Iowa-based club was picked to finish near the bottom of the conference, but have all the makings to wear this year's slippers.
But, if you’re filling out your brackets, don’t go over board with the Cinderellas. They rarely last past the second round. Only three times has a team seeded worse than No. 8 reached the Final Four (Penn in 1979, LSU in 1986 and George Mason in 2006) and only three times has someone worse than a No. 4 won the NCAA title (N.C. State in 1983, Villanova in 1985 and Kansas in 1988).
With eight teams, the Big East placed the most schools in the tournament. The Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC followed with six each, while the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten had four apiece. For the second straight year, only six of the 34 at-large bids went to teams from smaller conferences.