The thrill of the unexpected – March Madness
The March Madness of 2014 has been the extreme parity of the field of teams. At the start, many were talking about how many teams had a real shot this year, unlike previous years when the “favorites” being talked about were limited to about 5 teams. Not this year. And the championship game coming up tonight pits two teams who were, according to the seeding, NOT in the “likely” category.
Kentucky and U. Conn, not exactly historical also-rans, with 6 of the last 18 championships between them (3 apiece). But both were not even in the field at all last year. And both were “seeded low” as in high-number seeds (7 and 8). As a Kentucky fan, a month ago I would have laughed at someone predicting a Kentucky championship this year. And here they are, a 3 point favorite to do just that.
What is the most unexpected (and possibly “thrilling”) “underdog winner” NCAA tourney in your experience (other than this year of that would be your choice)? For me it was probably Butler, who got to the championship (falling short each time, however) two consecutive years, 2010 and 2011, as if to say to all those people talking about how rare and “flukey” it was for them to have made it once, and made it as an even lower seed the second time (8). In 2011, my Kentucky team had made an unlikely run, knocking off favorites Ohio State and North Carolina in the second weekend to advance to the final four, after an “off year” (much like this year). But it was 2010 that Butler took Duke to the wire (a hated foe for Ky. fans) that captured everyone’s admiration and brought just about non-Duke fans to rally around the underdog Butler Bulldogs. They narrowly missed a half court heave, just to leave that hint of destiny bouncing off the backboard and rim. What a game! So how about you?