TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19: Head coach Ben Howland of the UCLA Bruins and his players look on from the bench in the final minute of the game against the Florida Gators during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Florida won 73-65. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Last night's result was surely at least a little bittersweet for Bruin fans, watching Arizona, a team we had pasted and dismantled in the regular season, go on and beat Duke for an Elite Eight berth. But what's done is done. The matchups tonight put the madness in March Madness, and hopefully we'll at least get some entertaining games out of it.
Starting at 4:15 PM on CBS, is 11th seeded Marquette vs. 2nd seeded North Carolina. UNC isn't doing badly for themselves bouncing back from their "down year", and would appear to have a favorable matchup. UNC's lineup is full of big names while Marquette is making their stand behind an influx of JUCO transfers. Since we have Zeek on the roster for next year and De'End Parker coming in, I think that makes our rooting interest here a no brainer. We have to believe these guys are capable of helping a team make a deep tourney run.
The other early matchup starts at 4:27 on TBS pitting 12th seeded Richmond against 1st seed Kansas. I know nothing about Richmond, but they're a 12 seed in the Sweet 16, and that automatically earns a team my allegiance.
The late games start at 6:45 on CBS with the pedestrian matchup of Kentucky vs. Ohio State. Sure it'll be two relatively talented teams going up against one another, but that's nothing when you consider that the alternative is...
11th seeded VCU vs. 10th seeded Florida State at 6:57 on TBS. Yes, Florida State, as the 10 seed, will wear home whites in the Sweet 16. Awesome. FSU's defense is legit, let me tell you. And VCU might have beaten us this season, but they also kicked those pretenders across town to the curb in the play in game. The Play In Game. That first four garbage makes VCU a true Cinderella story for this tournament.
Four double digit seeds tonight. At least one will make it to the Elite Eight. That's March Madness, folks.
Have at it, Bruins.