The 2013 NCAA Tournament, more affectionately known as March Madness won’t be the same to Richmonders without the VCU Rams, but life goes on, and so does the Tournament, which continues tonight. Two of the top seeds remain in the hunt, only Louisville & Ohio State have made it safely through as Indiana and Gonzaga have stumbled along the way. Louisville had little trouble withOregon Friday night and moves into the Elite 8 to face the Duke/Michigan State winner. Kansas fell victim in overtime to the Michigan Wolverines, who also eliminated VCU last weekend.
The East Region’s No. 2 seed Miami went down on Thursday night, leaving Duke as the last ACC team standing in the tournament. The Blue Devils play the Spartans tonight. In the West Region, Ohio State moved on to the Elite 8 by defeating Arizona at Los Angeles. A second No. 1 seed, the Indiana Hoosiers, whom many picked to win it all, were defeated by the Orangemen of Syracuse in the East Region.
Despite the quality teams still in pursuit of the National Championship, the biggest story in this episode of March Madness is the rise of Florida Gulf Coast, a college who’s program has been in existence about as long as your latest cell phone, yet here are these surprising Eagles in the mix at the Sweet Sixteen. Not only were their wins over Georgetown and San Diego State impressive, but they were dominant, considering a week agao, the Eagles were unknown and just happy to be in the NCAA Tournament. Tonight, FGCU will face a major test with national & state implications when they battle the Florida Gators, considered the model basketball program in the Sunshine State.
UVA was a top seed in the NIT tournament, but Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes of Iowa put an end to the incredible season at JPJ Arena by defeating Virginia 75 – 64. The Wahoos finish up a strong 23 – 12 with a bright future ahead, so no reason for sadness in Charlottesville. Meanwhile, the Spiders of UR are done for the year. They were eliminated from the CBI (College Basketball Invitational) Tournament, concluding the season at 19 – 15.