Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Monday morning hangover

Let's start with Villanova, and a gripe I'd like to air. Why exactly do people think this team is a Cinderella?

Monday morning hangover

Possibly illegal in the District of Columbia.
Possibly illegal in the District of Columbia.

I have a craving for scrambled eggs today. It was one of those weekends, no doubt. But since I'm at work, I'll have to settle for a roundup of today's top stories.

Let's start with Villanova, and a gripe I'd like to air. Why exactly do people think this team is a Cinderella? Yes, the Wildcats are a 12-seed, and were more than likely the last team in the field. But they come out of the Big East, which has three teams in this year's Sweet 16 -- tied with the Pac-10 at the top.

If 'Nova got lucky about anything, it was the path they got to Detroit. After rallying against a psychologically shaky Clemson team, the Wildcats got a Siena squad that was clearly out of mojo.

Nor did it hurt that Jay Wright knew Fran McCaffery's Saints pretty well coming into the day, because of the ties between the coaching staffs.

Come to think of it, Davidson is less of a surprise than you might think as well. The Wildcats came into Raleigh -- as close to a home-court advantage as they can get -- having played UCLA, Duke and North Carolina out of conference.

I thought Georgetown would win because of the Hoyas' discipline, but the Wildcats are genuinely that good.

You want a Cinderella? Go talk to Western Kentucky. Real March luck is a buzzer-beater in overtime with three people in your face.

What Villanova has done is great, but can't be that surprising. 

So, Wildcats fans, you can send a few Easter Monday prayers of thanksgiving to Kevin Stallings for not having his Vanderbilt squad ready to play. But you can put the fancy clothes back in the closet after today, because they won't be necessary after today.

And by the way, the difference in men's basketball budgets between Villanova and Siena was the fourth-largest of any second-round matchup.



A few stories to read today. First, Sally Jenkins' interesting profile of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl in yesterday's Washington Post. 

The New York Times' website -- for which ex-Penn forward Steve Danley is blogging -- has this AP story about some trouble the West Virginia mascot encountered.

The District of Columbia has some pretty strict gun laws, and the Mountaineer carries an antique rifle around with him at games. When the Verizon Center security guard gave costume-wearer Brady Campbell "more than a mere cursory inspection from security guards."

Campbell told the AP that "the first time I went to Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament, they didn’t even look at it."

I'm not sure that's a good thing or a bad thing.

The NCAA has ruled that Russell Westbrook's game-ending slam against Texas A&M did not count in the final score because it happened after the clock ran out. Which is actually pretty clear from the video. The disallowed basket did not affect the result of the game, nor did it affect the point spread (UCLA -10). I wonder which one of those would be more important.

And finally, my bracket is in shambles. I'm tied for 11th place in our group. Ouch.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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