Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Making a Splash NCAA Pool Sheets Seem All Wet, but It's Not Time to Toss in Towel

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Making a Splash NCAA Pool Sheets Seem All Wet, but It's Not Time to Toss in Towel

Article excerpt

Across America, NCAA Tournament pool brackets are in shambles. If you had North Carolina, Massachusetts, Kentucky or Oklahoma State, you're probably bummed out.

Don't be. This year's tournament well may be the most wide-open, least predictable on record.

What's just ahead, as sure as tax time, are four days that many consider the best of college basketball each season - the Sweet 16 regional semifinals and finals Thursday through Sunday.

If your sheet has Missouri, Arkansas or Purdue - the remaining No. 1 seeds - take heart. In 15 seasons since the NCAA began seeding its tournament in 1979, 25 top seeds have reached the Final Four.

If you have Connecticut, Duke or Arizona, rejoice. They're No. 2 seeds, and 13 No. 2 seeds have reached the Final Four since 1979.

If you have Florida, Louisville or Michigan, pat yourself on the back. You're still alive. They are No. 3 seeds. Through the years, six No. 3s have made it to the Final Four.

Indiana, meanwhile, could beat the odds. The Hoosiers are a No. 5 and no fifth seed has reached the Final Four.

The lowest seed to reach the Final Four is a No. 11 (Louisiana State in 1986). Tulsa is a No. 12. Maryland is a 10.

North Carolina, a No. 1 seed and the defending national champion, is gone, but Duke is still hanging around. The Dookies couldn't resist twitting the Tar Heels, their hated rivals from eight miles away on Tobacco Road.

Asked Sunday for a reaction to North Carolina's stunning loss to Boston College two hours earlier, Blue Devils star Grant Hill said (with a straight face): "Oh, did they lose?"

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski added: "We're sorry about that."

More of what Upset Weekend was about:

Disney World: Where UConn went. Unlike Nancy Kerrigan, the Huskies didn't find Mickey Mouse stupid.

From A Distance: It is becoming increasingly clear that the most significant factor in the tournament is 3-point shooting. …

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