It's March Madness
NCAA-It was a short-lived run for the University of Vermont men's basketball team in the continuing NCAA Division I basketball tournament, after losing to Syracuse in the first round. Of course, when you are a No. 16 seed and going up against a No. 1 seed, chances are that you are not going to come out on top, as coming into this years' tournament, a sixteen-seed has never beaten a number-one. That's 0 wins in 100 chances... not very good odds.
Of course, UVM fans had memories still dancing in their heads (including yours truly) from 2005 when the Catamounts, as a No.13 seed, knocked off a No. 4 seeded Syracuse in an overtime thriller.
But that was when UVM had a couple guys by the names of Taylor Coppenrath and T.J. Sorentino.
This time around and although the Catamounts have another standout player named Marqus Blakely, but the 'Cuse simply had too much fire power and were able to neutralize Blakely rather easily.
The UVM defeat was expected, but there were also plenty of upsets too in the first weekend of March Madness, and none more shocking than No. 9 seeded Northern Iowa knocking off No. 1 overall seeded Kansas in the second round, 69-67.
The Panthers pulled off the upset with in-your-face defense and the 3-point shooting of Ali Farokhmanesh, who hit four threes on the night, but none bigger than the one he drained with under 30 seconds left in the game to give his team a four point lead and ultimately the win.
It was the first double-digit ranked team to beat a No. 1 seed in eight years, and it was the first time Northern Iowa had even played against a number-one seed.
In another stunning upset in the second round, the No. 10 seeded St. Mary's knocked of No. 2 Villanova, giving the Gaels just it's second trip to the Sweet Sixteen in over 50 years and it's first tournament victory since 1959.
With five Aussie-born players on their roster, the little-known Moraga, CA. school befuddled Villanova, especially Omar Samhan, the 6-foot-11-inch center who scored 32 points on 13-for-16 shooting and racked up double-figures and rebounds and several key blocked shots.
How about one more upset... let's try No. 12 seeded Cornell knocking of No. 4 seeded Temple in the first round, rather handily I might add, 78-65.
The little ole' Ivy League champs, used their senior experience and some outside sharp-shooting to capture the school's first-ever tournament win in its' sixth overall tournament appearance.
So what did the Big Red do for an encore? They went out in the second round and knocked off the No. 4 seeded Wisconsin Badgers. I'm rooting for Cornell, gotta love the underdog... go Big Red!
C's Finding Groove?
In the NBA, the Celtics look like they are finally trying to get their act together in time for the playoffs.
With under 20 games left in the regular season Boston needs to play well down the stretch and gain some confidence, and they will definitely get the chance as they face a lot of playoff-contending teams as the regular season winds down.
The Green got off to a good start over the weekend by beating a good Houston Rockets team on the road, before going into Dallas and beating perhaps the hottest team in the league in the Mavericks.
If the Celtics can somehow find not only their groove, but their health down the stretch, perhaps they can make some noise in the playoffs.
They certainly may be able to sneak up on some teams, as they have been off the "championship radar" for quite sometime now.
Of course, and as it has been notes for months now, it will all come down to health for the Celtics. If Kevin Garnett continues to return to form, stranger things have happened.