While watching the Selection Show on CBS and being upset that since Chicago is not a site in the tournament it wont let me hear Greg Gumbel pronounce the name of the city in the only way it should be done, (Chi-CAW-goooooooooo). We get to watch teams celebrate their name being seen on Television, and what amazes me is how excited the 16 seeds that are shown get for finding out about the inevitable beat down a UNC or Louisville is about to hand them.
Here are where the underdogs of all underdogs will be going this March.
South- North Carolina vs. Radford (Greensboro, 2:50pm)
West- Connecticut vs. Chattanooga (Philadelphia, 3pm)
East- Pittsburgh vs. E. Tennessee St. (Dayton, 2:55pm)
Midwest- Louisville vs. Alabama St./Morehead St. (Dayton, 7:10pm)
Lets take a quick look at the 5 Teams that are trying to break a 0-100 streak of losses by a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. (Courtesy Mike Huguenin and David Fox- Yahoo! Sports)
East Tennessee State– RECORD: 23-10, RPI: 116, RECORD VS. NCAA FIELD: 1-2
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Won Atlantic Sun tourney, COACH: Murry Bartow (0-2 NCAA tournament record).
F Isiah Brown, 6-8/200, Fr.
F Greg Hamlin, 6-7/210, Sr.
F Kevin Tiggs, 6-4/210, Sr.
G Courtney Pigram, 6-1/195, Sr.
G Mike Smith, 6-6/225, Jr.
F Tommy Hubbard, 6-4/205, Soph.
G Jarvis Jones, 6-2/160, Fr.
F Adam Sollazzo, 6-6/185, Fr.
G Micah Williams, 6-4/215, Soph.
THE BUZZ: The Bucs – who didn’t play any team from a “Big Six” conference in the regular season – are athletic, love to run and can be pesky on defense. Pigram is quick, and if he’s on from 3-point range, ETSU can hang around for a while. Eventually, though, a lack of height is going to catch up to the Bucs, especially if their opponent prefers to grind it out in the paint.
Chattanooga- RECORD: 18-16, RPI: 174, RECORD VS. NCAA FIELD: 0-4
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Won Southern Conference COACH: John Shulman (0-1 NCAA tournament record)
F Nicchaeus Doaks, 6-7/239, Sr.
F Kevin Goffney, 6-5/202, Sr.
F Khalil Hartwell, 6-8/222, Sr.
G Stephen McDowell, 5-11/185, Sr.
G Keyron Sheard, 6-2/184, Sr.
G Ty Patterson, 6-6/182, Jr.
G Jasper Williams, 6-2/189, Fr.
THE BUZZ: The Mocs finished under .500 in the regular season, then got hot and won their conference tournament on their home floor. McDowell has good range and can get hot, but staying with a major conference foe for a half would have to be considered a victory for the Mocs. They are athletic, but they also turn it over, don’t play good defense and toss bricks from the line.
Radford- RECORD: 21-11, RPI: 132, RECORD VS. NCAA FIELD: 0-2
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Won Big South Tourney, COACH: Brad Greenberg (first NCAA tournament appearance)
C Artsiom Parakhouski, 6-11/260, Jr.
F Joey Lynch-Flohr, 6-8/221, Jr.
F Phillip Martin, 6-6/190, Jr.
G Kenny Thomas, 6-3/182, Sr.
G Amir Johnson, 5-9/193, Jr.
G Aaron Austin, 6-3/195, Fr.
F Eric Hall, 6-8/203, Sr.
G Chris McEachin, 6-5/181, Soph.
THE BUZZ: Radford was one of the quiet success stories of the season, reaching its first NCAA tournament in 11 years. The Highlanders have won 17 of their past 19 games, earning a tournament spot thanks to their solid defense. If a major-conference foe prefers to grind it out, Radford could make it interesting for a while because of its size.
Morehead State- RECORD: 19-15, RPI: 141, RECORD VS. NCAA FIELD: 0-1
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Won Ohio Valley tourney, COACH: Donnie Tyndall (first NCAA tourney appearance).
F Leon Buchanan, 6-5/210, Sr.
F Kenneth Faried, 6-8/215, Soph.
F/G Maze Stallworth, 6-4/205, Jr.
G Demonte Harper, 6-4/175, Soph.
G Brandon Shingles, 6-3/175, Jr.
G Terrance Hill, 6-1/170, Fr.
F Robert Murry, 5-10/185, Jr.
F Steve Peterson, 6-4/190, Fr.
THE BUZZ: Buchanan and Faried have some low-post ability. But given their penchant for turnovers and that they’re not an especially proficient team from long range, it could get ugly for the Eagles against a power-conference foe. That they’re in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1984 should ease any pain.
Alabama State- RECORD: 22-9, RPI: 179, RECORD VS. FIELD: 0-1.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Won SWAC, COACH: Lewis Jackson (first NCAA tournament appearance)
C Chief Kickingstallionsims, 7-1/265, Sr.
F Wesley Jones, 6-7/210, Jr.
F Rashad Provitt, 6-7/205, Sr.
G Brandon Brooks, 6-2/180, Sr.
G Andrew Hayles, 6-5/195, Sr.
G Tramaine Butler, 6-3/180, Fr.
F Roland Fitch, 6-7/240, Soph.
G Menji Mundaji, 6-3/195, Jr.
G Ivory White, 6-4/175, Fr.
THE BUZZ: The Hornets play good defense and have a nice backcourt for a team seeded here. But they have beaten just one non-conference Division I foe, and keeping it close for a half would be a huge positive in a first-round game – if they get to a first-round game.
Well folks there you have it, you have got the funny names (Chief Kickingstallionims!!!!!!) and teams that have no chance in hell of winning, but we here at Smoking with Hank still love the Underdog and hope beyond hope that one of them keep it within 40 points. Here is to you Number 16 seeds, your here to make sure Ty Lawson can get a game off before starting his real tournament.