Volume 94, Issue 94

Tuesday, March 20, 2001


Heartbreak in Halifax

X-men exterminate the Bobcats

No method to the madness of March - Upsets and surprises mark NCAA basketball

Western treating fans to a good ride

No method to the madness of March - Upsets and surprises mark NCAA basketball

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

The mayhem is alive and well at March Madness.

Spectators of the prestigious basketball tournament claim every year the action could not get any better. The 2001 edition of the Madness may live up to this billing. There have been last-second winning shots, highlight-film action and many of the Goliaths of the tournament have been slain by elusive Davids.

Never has there been a tournament in recent memory in which so many games were so hotly contested. Here are the main ingredients of this past weekend's results:

East Region:

The Duke Blue Devils looked extremely strong when they crushed Monmouth, and won a hard-fought victory over the Missouri Tigers. Kareem Rush, guard for the Tigers, was valiant in defeat, scoring 27 points.

The University of California at Los Angeles Bruins showed their better side in advancing to the Sweet 16. A usually inconsistent team, their pressing defence was too much for the University of Hofstra and Utah State. I'm absolutely stoked for the Duke-UCLA match-up, which will feature a battle between point guards Jason Williams of Duke and Earl Watson of UCLA.

I was expecting more of an effort by the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and was completely shocked the University of Southern California Trojans, who dusted off the Boston College Eagles. What was Eagles guard Kenny Harley thinking when he went in for a lay-up with the team down by three?

As expected, the Kentucky Wildcats cruised to victory after an early scare from Holy Cross.

West Region:

The Western conference was teeming with excitement. Fifteenth-seed Hampton surprised the Iowa State Cyclones, with forward Tarvis Williams dominating the match. Georgetown, Georgia State and Kent State also pulled off big upsets.

Cincinnati actually won for a change. But the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were not so fortunate, and I remain completely disappointed with the way centre Alvin Jones performed in the loss to St. Joseph's. He was a non-factor for much of the game, and missed a dunk in the closing seconds that would have tied the match. I'm waiting for my written apology from Alvin.

The Sweet 16 will feature the Stanford Cardinals against Cincinnati. Joining them will be the speedy Maryland Terrapins against the big and burly Georgetown Hoyas.

Midwest Region:

The Midwest was the one conference where absolutely nothing unexpected happened. Illinois and Arizona dominated all corners.

I refuse to accept that Kansas is a good basketball team. However, they were completely superior in there first two games, winning against California State Northridge and the Syracuse Orangemen.

The Mississippi Rebels squeaked into the Sweet 16 behind their behemoth centre Rahim Lockhart. The match-ups will be Illinois against Kansas and Arizona against Mississippi.

South Region:

Two words: Gonzaga Bulldogs. How many times do they have to torch the major conference teams in the tournament to receive a high seed? The Bulldogs were fuelled by forward Casey Calvary and guard Dan Dickau, beating Virginia and Indiana State. Dickau seemed reminiscent of a certain Canadian National Basketball Association superstar by the name of Steve Nash.

I knew the North Carolina Tar Heels would get ousted in the second round, I just picked the wrong team to do it.

The Temple Owls deserve a lot of credit. The match-up zone they play was impenetrable and they stupefied both the Texas Longhorns and the Florida Gators. The key to dismantling that zone is having a squad that can shoot consistently and draw their defence out (can anyone say Penn State?).

Therefore the final Sweet 16 match-ups will be Michigan State against Gonzaga and Penn State versus Temple.

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