Monday, March 16, 2009

Calling all underdogs

Here's a stat I don't like about the 2007 and '08 NCAA tournaments: the Final Fours were composed of six No.1 and two No.2 seeds altogether.

That includes a staggering 4-for-4 on No.1 seeds in 2008 -- the only time that has ever happened. And '07 wasn't much better, with two No.1s and two No.2s making the field. You have to go back to 2006 -- a 2, a 3, a 4 and wonderful No.11 George Mason -- to get some real flavor.

So you can see why folks like my esteemed colleague Tom Sorensen are playing it so dreadfully safe in their picks this season: Tom has chosen 3 No.1 picks and a No.2 (oooh, way to go out on a limb there, buddy) as his Final Four. Recent history suggests that this may be exactly the right way to go.

But I sure hope not. As I wrote in today's paper, this tournament is already short on the little guys, but if it can just produce a few big-time upsets (and NOT a Final Four filled with four No.1s) I'll forgive it.

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