Monday, March 24, 2008

WVU, Bracket, Losing

First, the good news. West Virginia defeated Duke and goes to the Sweet 16 for the 3rd time in 4 years. That is pretty remarkable. There aren’t many teams outside of the "blue bloods" that can boast 3 Sweet 16 visits in 4 years. We come to expect those things out of UNC, Texas, Louisville and even Duke but WVU isn’t supposed to be traveling this deep in the tournament on a regular basis. It’s pretty nice. Add in the football success, soccer success, women’s basketball, rifle, wrestling, etc. and you have a small sports dynasty occuring in Morgantown.

I’m really not sure that most younger fans appreciate how unusual this success has been. Prior to Beilein and Rodriguez, WVU fans were just happy to make it to a bowl game every other year. The occassional appearance in the NCAA tournament was something to celebrate and an NIT bid was just fine. To make the NCAA tourney and be eliminated in the first or second round was to be expected. Now, anything less than a BCS bowl bid or a Sweet 16 run is disappointing. The last 4-5 years have been unbelievable. The question is whether this run can continue for years to come or not. I hope so but the odds are long. West Virginia still is West Virginia. But it sure has been a sweet run.

Not so sweet is my bracket. Oh, Oklahoma and thou hath foresaken me. It’s definitely not a banner year for my predictions. I didn’t have WVU in the Sweet 16, I didn’t have Tennessee advancing. I guess a positive is that there is no way I’m coming in last place. But it looks just as unlikely that I will win our bracket. At least UNC is still out there dominating opponents. If they win the championship, I will gladly toss my bracket out the window and be happy. Ditto for West Virginia (and, given a choice, I would prefer WVU for the simple fact that it has never happened before...)

And, to close out today, a song that you probably forgot about (or tried to forget about), I bring you Inner Circle and Sweat:

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