March 14, 1995 in Sports

Take Your Pick In Ncaa

Steve Kelley Seattle Times

You could have picked the seeds out of a hat. You could have written the names on 64 Ping-Pong balls and plucked them, one at a time.

It wouldn’t have mattered. Not this season.

Welcome to the parity party.

You’ve never seen an NCAA men’s basketball tournament quite like this one.

Nobody’s a sure shot. Everybody a long shot. There are no No. 1 seeds, but plenty of twos, threes and fours.

We have teams on the rise - Wake Forest, Kentucky, UMass and Villanova. And teams on the slide - Connecticut, Oregon, BYU and Stanford.

We have the lower seeds you absolutely, positively don’t want to play - Indiana, Texas, Penn, Mississippi State, Georgetown.

We have Colgate - and we’re not talking fluoride. And we have the other newcomers - Florida International, Gonzaga, Mount St. Mary’s, Nicholls State.

We have great names who came to play: Colgate’s Adonal Foyle, Ball State’s Bonzi Wells, St. Louis’ H Waldman and Georgetown’s Boubacar Aw.

Manhattan, Miami (Ohio), Xavier (Ohio) and Santa Clara are in. George Washington, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Iowa are out.

We’ve got potentially tasty second-round matchups looming, such as UCLA vs. Indiana, Villanova vs. Tulsa, Texas vs. Maryland, Arizona vs. Virginia and Georgetown vs. Michigan State.

We have serious questions. Will Rasheed Wallace’s ankle sprain keep him out of North Carolina’s opening games? And, after alleged rule violations, will the NCAA allow Arizona’s Damon Stoudamire and Ben Davis to play?

We have literal Twin Towers, Missouri’s 7-foot Haley twins, Sammie and Simeon. And we have figurative Triple Towers, Kansas’ 7-1 Greg Ostertag, 6-11 Raef LaFrentz and 6-11 Scot Pollard.

Duke guard Jeff Capel didn’t make it, but his father, the other Jeff, is in coaching Old Dominion.

We have the Owls, a Phoenix, a Cardinal, two Cardinals, the Ducks and Peacocks. We have a quartet of Wildcats, the Bearcats, Cougars, Bruins, Broncos, Panthers, two Bulldogs and three Tigers.

We have the Monarchs, Minutemen, Deacons, Cavaliers, Muskateers, Hoosiers, Spartans, Colonels, Mountaineers and Quakers.

We have a pair of 49ers and neither is from San Francisco. We have Cowboys and Moccasins, Utes and Fighting Illini, Jayhawks and Dragons, Wolverines and Gators, Terrapins and Tar Heels.

We have the Orangemen, Green Wave, Crimson Tide, Golden Gophers, Golden Hurricane, Red Raiders, and the Miami (Ohio) Redskins.

We have Boilermakers and Hilltoppers, Sooners, Jaspers and Racers. We have Longhorns, Razorbacks, Sun Devils and Aggies. We even have Hoyas and Salukis.

We have the possibility of Seattle homecomings for Michigan State’s Jud Heathcote, Federal Way’s Donny Marshall, Newport’s Mark Pope or a cameo from UCLA’s omm’A Givens of Aberdeen.

And, as a long shot, former Washington State coach Kelvin Sampson could get here with Oklahoma.

Because Ball State is in the tournament and because it’s David Letterman’s alma mater, here are the Top 10 Reasons To Get Excited About The NCAA Tournament:

10. Judge Ito won’t officiate.

9. This is our last chance to see Heathcote’s Jud Thud.

8. The next event in the Kingdome will be replacement baseball.

7. Kentucky’s Rick Pitino and UMass’ John Calipari, twins separated at birth? You be the judge.

6. Chance to sit and wonder how good Michigan would have been if all the Fab Five had stayed.

5. No games will be played in the Tacoma Dome.

4. All those wacky promos reminding you, you’re watching Channel 11, not Channel 7.

3. Chance to count the times you hear announcers say, “Big Dance.”

2. Use office pool winnings to buy Thigh Master.

1. Studio co-host Rosa Lopez.

Is this going to be fun, or what?

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