Monday, March 31, 2008

Four No. 1 seeds. Enjoy while you can

A colleague who doesn’t cover much college basketball called a few weeks ago and said he thought the four No. 1 seeds this year were extremely strong.

He thought they would all make the Final Four.

I told him he was crazy. Because all four No. 1 seeds never make the Final Four. Until now.

Guess who got an e-mail Monday from his colleague. At least Memphis coach John Calipari agrees with me.

“This is going to be a crazy Final Four,” he said Monday during a teleconference with reporters.

Last year’s Final Four was almost as strong, with two No. 1 seeds and two No. 2 seeds. These high-powered fields come on the heels of a 2006 Final Four in which No. 11 seed George Mason enhanced the cause of underdogs and mid-majors eager to grab more NCAA tournament bids.

It’s tempting to call the last two years a smackdown that will put the mid-majors back in their places. But the reality is that No. 10 seed Davidson was one Jason Richards 3-pointer at the buzzer away from sending Kansas home.

So enjoy the star appeal of this Final Four. It’s not likely to be duplicated soon. – Ken Tysiac