DUCKFIGHTER ILLUSTRATED

<b>IN THIS ISSUE:</b><ul> <li>Dawgs continue climb to National Championship<br> <li>Experts confounded as UW upsets Montana and Pacific<br> <li>Coup De Ville up next for Huskies<br> <li>Oregon fails to qualify for league tourney or Big Dance or NIT<br> <li>Zero for the Zeros</li></ul>

Slick Rick stands in the way of Huskies march to St. Louis
Race Bannon

No, not that Slick Rick.

You have to get football out of your mind for the next couple of weeks. We are referring to the original Slick Rick, Rick Pitino, head basketball coach of the Louisville Cards, not to be confused with Bobby Petrino, the head football man at the ‘Ville.

Are all you grid heads with me now?

Rick Pitino took Providence to the Final Four, won a national championship at hated Kentucky (for our Louisville guests), and then drove the Boston Celtics into the ground while pocketing multi millions of dollars. Chastened by failure, Pitino returned to the college ranks in the Bluegrass state to revive the fading glory of Louisville basketball.

Old school types remember John Wooden's top assistant Denny Crum turning Louisville into a premiere program back in the 70's He won a national title with Dr. Dunkenstein over Larry Brown and UCLA and then did it again with Never Nervous Purvis Ellison. The Cards were a high flying bunch who played in perhaps the greatest game ever played – the national semi against Phi Slamma Jamma at Albuquerque in the mid 80's. The most remarkable thing about that era was that they did all that high flying in shorts that were crawling up their, uh, ducks.

A new era is under way thanks to Pitino. This is the best Louisville team in years and it is just their bad luck to run into a hungry band of rabid Dawgs who believed in themselves long before folks like your humble correspondent pushed our way onto the bandwagon.

If both teams are on when they meet this Thursday, we could see a match up for the ages once again at old Albuquerque.

PREDICTION: Washington - 112, Louisville – 110
64 to 16
Race Bannon

I was reminded once again just how tough it is to get to the Sweet 16. It just isn't as easy as a team like Duke makes it seem. Nor is it as hard as Kansas makes it. I thought they lost Roy Williams?

The Huskies qualified for only their third Sweet Sixteen since the 1953 Final Four squad. They did it the hard way, as the least respected #1 seed in America and against a backdrop of doubt and outright cheering for their failure. Once they upset Montana, the experts were convinced that the Euro Trash all-star team from Pacific would seal their doom.

Excuse me. Let me just interject here that "Euro Trash" is not a sensitive term. No offense is meant by that term.

But let's just say that their trash talking head coach made sure the Huskies wouldn't over-look the Big West champs.

Louisville turned their much anticipated match up with defending runner up Georgia Teach into a rout. North Carolina rolled. All the #1 seeds are alive, but the rest of the brackets took a beating.

U Conn is gone
Kansas is dust in the wind
The cute little Zags zigged, and are missing in action yet again
Wake Forest is at their own wake

And of course, no tourney would be complete without an early flameout by Syracuse, which will have KJR 950AM's Mitch in the Morning in mourning for the duration of the year.

Lorenzo Romar, with a fresh 8 year contract in hand, faces coaching legends Bobby Knight and Rick Pitino in his region. The aforementioned Roy Williams will be crying in Carolina Blue this year. Duke rode its 8 on 5 attack back to the Sweet 16. Illinois is much slower than the Huskies.

Folks, the road is wide open to the title. There are only four more games, one game at a time, culminating with a shocking victory over the Heels to bring home the hardware.

Turns out Marvin only needed to jump on a ferry from Bremerton, not a plane to Chapel Hill, to get that national championship.

That's our story and we're sticking to it. West coast bias rules!

Thanks for reading – Race

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