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Longshots and hopes

Just as a quick observation: since the NCAA Basketball Tournament went to 64 teams, no #16 seed has beaten a #1 seed.  For those of you that don't know, the tournament is in 4 regions, each seed out 1-16, so there is no #64 seed.

If there was one, though, it would be the winner of the "play-in" game that is played on the Tuesday of the first tournament week.  This game was created because, apparently, the NCAA promises every conference that 1 team from their conference gets in the tournament.  However, compared to the big conferences that pay people to take SATs for their athletes or write their papers for them, some of these smaller conferences just aren't athletically competitive.  The big names don't mind using them as early season cupcakes, but don't really like them taking the spotlight in March. 

So, enter the play-in game.  This way, 2 teams that no one wants to play, but the NCAA is stuck with, can play each other and get rid of one.  I honestly think, hidden deep in the books, is a rule that if the game ends in a tie, both are eliminated.  However, these 2 are considered the least of the teams in the tournament, as the winner has to immediately face the team considered the top team in the tournament.

This year, the two teams were Winthrop and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.  UAPB is actually the only of the 4 Division I teams in Arkansas to make the tournament.  No Hogs, no Trojans, no Angry Hippos/Red Wolves.  Just the Golden Lions.

And UAPB won.  They defeated, rather the soundly, the whatevers of Winthrop.  Now, they face Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils.  Given the Coach K has already roundly beaten all Arkansas attempts to pronounce his name properly, it's an uphill battle for the Golden Lions.  They are, in effect, the #64 team facing the #1 team in the tournament.

I submit to you, it's time for the people of Arkansas to jump on a Golden Lion bandwagon.  I admit it, last week, and after they're out of the NCAA Tournament, I won't give two hoots for UAPB athletics.  We're a state that is addicted to the Razorbacks, and that's true even for many alumni of the other schools!  However, for now, these men are the only representation Arkansas has in the tournament.

Even this morning at the Drew County Courthouse, the judge presiding over the case I was in the jury pool for remarked during a lull (there weren't many, but this was a time that the lawyers were 'thinking') that he would be rooting for UAPB—"I can't find Duke on the map, but I know where Pine Bluff is" was his quote.

Let's join together, Arkansans and underdog lovers alike, and root the UAPB Golden Lions to victory Friday night against the Duke Blue Devils.  Nothing personal, Coach K, but you're in the way of the Golden Lion Bandwagon!  Hop on, everybody, here we go!!

After all, what's life without a few remote hopes?

Doug

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