Monday, March 17, 2008
March Madness is upon us
March Madness is in full affect. The state of Wisconsin will be sending 2 teams to the big dance. The #3 Wisconsin Badgers (29-4) are tipping off on Thursday against #14 Cal State-Fullerton (24-8) in the Midwest Regional. Cal State tied for first in the Big West, then won its conference title as the third seed by beating UC Irvine in the title game. The Titans are making their first NCAA appearance in 30 years. If UW wins that game, it could face sixth-seeded Southern California (21-11) and heralded freshman O.J. Mayo in the second round.
The Badgers are fresh off their Big Ten Tournament Championship over Illinois on Sunday. Bucky won the Big Ten title and conference tourney title this year. Needless to say their are high hopes for the Badgers this year. Head Coach Bo Ryan is a defensive mastermind controlling the tempo of a game and taking opponents out of their gameplan. Run and gun type teams like top seeded Kansas, Vanderbilt, or Georgetown could give the Badgers the most trouble if they can't contain them.
Marquette (24-9) is a #6 seed playing against #11 Kentucky (18-12). The Golden Eagles find themselves in the South region which includes such schools as Memphis, Texas, Standford, Pittsburgh, and Michigan State. Marquette is a dangerous team when playing well. They have one of the nations best back courts with Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Wesley Matthews. When these guys are on and MU is rebounding, they can contend with any team in the Big Dance.
Last time Marquette faced the Wildcats was in the 2003 NCAA Championship when the Golden Eagles upset top-ranked Kentucky 83-69 to advance to the Final Four. They also had a player by the name of Dwayne Wade on that team. Marquette is 2-1 all-time as the No. 6 seed, last garnering the position in the 1994 tournament where they coincidentally knocked off a third-ranked Kentucky squad in the Second Round, 76-53.
Lets hope our hometown teams can make some noise in the Tourney. Best of luck to the Badgers and the Golden Eagles/Warriors/Hilltoppers