Thursday, March 23, 2017

Xavier/Gonzaga. Tough call

See tiny little Xavier from Cincinnati continue to march on in the NCAA tournament. Quite amazing for a #11 seed. See them dispatch #6 Maryland of the Big 10 in the opening round by 11 points. See the mighty Musketeers trash #3 Florida State by 25. Now they just got by #2 Arizona by a deuce. Welcome to the Elite Eight. Wait a second.... Cincinnati? Didn't they give us that Larry Springer guy's trailer trash show too? Ah well, no matter.

At any rate, they now get a date with #1 Gonzaga for a place in the Final Four. After an opening round game against a #16 patsy that doesn't even warrant mentioning, see the Zags struggle to get past a game, but mediocre Northwestern squad. And they barely nosed out #4 West Virginia to get to the Elite Eight themselves. Yet one has to give credit to the Zags, a tiny school from the great northwest as well. They've established quite a reputation as being pretty good at men's hoops over the years, though they've never quite gotten over the hump at crunch time with the big boys.

Throw either of these teams in with the likes of perennial powerhouses like Kansas and North Carolina, and they wouldn't appear to have a chance. Or would they?

Hey, Gonzaga only lost one game all year. And Xavier is obviously heating up at the perfect time, beating down one so-called "superior" opponent after another. Both are capable of great things if they play up to their capabilities.

But the question for now is -- who to root for in a Gonzaga/Xavier match-up that will happen on Saturday? A tough call indeed.

Yet when in doubt, always go with the underdog -- right? Gonzaga is a #1 seed. Xavier a meager #11. Who but the Zags wouldn't love to see an 11 seed crash their way into the Final Four?

Better yet, who wouldn't love to see them win it all? But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

One thing yours truly has learned, and certainly fessed up to in this forum a few times is -- if I pick them -- they're going down. It's just a jinx I inherited from my late father. He had the kiss of death himself when it came to such matters.

So I'm going to officially abstain on this one.

Though I will say, go little guys. At least one of you is going to the Final Four, so I can't possibly doom you both and that's a good thing. We'll worry about the likes of the Jawhawks and Tarheels next week. And BTW, no, I won't dare root for equally tiny Butler from Indy to upset those brutes from Chapel Hill, though I want to so bad. Shhh.

Congrats on your showings to date and on with the show.......

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