It's tournament time!
Don't know about you, but March Madness is without a doubt the most exciting period of the college sports season. Sure the bowl season is nice and even watching the College World Series on ESPN can be entertaining. But is there any doubt that the excitement, drama and storylines of the NCAA Tournament dwarfs the rest of the college sports world.
While football does rule the roost in Tiger town as it does throughout the rest of the SEC, the beauty of basketball is it owns something college football will probably never possess – a playoff system. It is a beautiful near flawless way of determining one overall champion for a season.
Notice I said "near" flawless.
While the field of 65 makes every college football purist drool, the selection process for the Big Dance is one that can be viewed with a certain amount of scrutiny. However it hardly compares to the blood boiling controversy that surrounds the BCS brouhaha each December.
In this season's NCAA Tournament field, six SEC teams got the nod on Selection Sunday. A year in which the SEC was predicted to struggle, the league sent more teams to the Big Dance than the ACC, Big 12, Missouri Valley and Pac-10, all of which were listed as stronger leagues than the Southeastern. Only the Big Ten, which sent six teams as well, and the Big East's eye-popping eight teams, sent more schools to the tournament.
As for the controversy, look no
further than the SEC to bring about some serious head-scratching.
Brady, who was elected SEC Coach of the Year over the Volunteer's flamboyant Bruce Pearl, led his team to a 4th seed after coaching the Tigers to an SEC title, a 14-2 league mark and a trip to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
LSU lost in that semifinal matchup
to eventual SEC Tournament champ
At any rate,
The other three SEC teams fell
considerably lower in the brackets than the league's top three teams.
Outside the SEC, other interesting
tidbits include all three
One of Sunday's biggest shockers
was that 26-2 George Washington, which was ranked in the top 10 most of the
season, was dropped to an eight seed after GWU was embarrassed by
The biggest gripe can possibly come
As for LSU, the Tigers look to get Tyrus Thomas back at full strength and are already picking up some votes of confidence in the early stages of the tournament buzz. Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel has LSU as his Final Four sleeper.
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.
At any rate, enjoy the tournament's first two rounds. Check out our full preview on pages 10-11.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org