Sunday, March 14, 2004

Lehigh's Dancin' for the first time in 16 years, after winning a very hard-fought back-and-forth battle with American for the Patriot League championship this afternoon. Gotta feel a little sorry for American, though, who've lost three consecutive Patriot title games - and have never made it to the NCAAs. The final score was 59-57.

There should now be no question that Kentucky deserves a #1 seed, after the way they steamrolled through the SEC tournament. It culminated in a truly dominant 89-73 victory over Florida today - and it wasn't even really that close; at one point midway through the second half, the 'Kats led by 25. If Duke falls to Maryland in the ACC final (they're in OT in a thrilling game for the ages), KY will make a case for the overall #1 seed.

Stunning. Maryland beat, on successive days, the #3, #2, and #1 seeds to win their first ACC tourney title in 20 years, defeating Duke 95-87 in OT. One week ago, MD was probably in the field of 65; now, I think, they could end up as high as a #6 seed in the Dance. Just like yesterday (they were down 21 to NC State early in the second half), they had to come from behind to do it (Duke had them down 12 midway through the second half today). Is this a team of destiny? 'Cause right now, they don't look like a first-round out, they look like (at least) a Sweet 16 team. [Maryland, by the way, is the only team to get an automatic NCAA bid with a losing conference record.]

The last pair of automatic bids have been handed out: Oklahoma State and Wisconsin each had very convincing victories in the Big 12 and Big Ten, respectively, over Texas 65-49, and Illinois 70-53 (again, respectively).

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