Women’s Madness: Women’s Teams I’ll be Cheering For In the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament

Well. Today was rather unexpected in the Men’s Tournament selections. That’s something I’ll rage about tomorrow. Tonight is ladies night, when I pay attention to Women’s Basketball in an article. Hopefully this year it’ll be somebody other than Connecticut, Baylor, South Carolina and/or Notre Dame in the Final Four this year. Like for example…

1. State University of New York at Buffalo

Hey! I know these gals! This is the first time both the Men’s and Women’s teams are going dancing, as well as the first time the Women’s Basketball team is in March Madness. It’s exciting to be a Buffalo fan again with the Men’s Back to Back performances and the Women’s newfound dominance in the MAC. The next question is “Can they make it to the Sweet Sixteen? Elite Eight? Final Four?” Hopefully the answer is yes to all of those questions.

2. Hawaii

I barely… no I take that back. I don’t remember the last time Hawaii made the Tournament, because I wasn’t watching College Basketball when I was three in 1998. Yes, this is Hawaii’s first trip to the Big Dance in 18 years. People graduating this year probably weren’t alive when Hawaii last made the tournament. If you graduated from Hawaii in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree, you’re likely 40 years old or there about. So celebrate! You’re finally back! And, hopefully, Hawaii will be giving it’s students and alumni something to party about when the tournament ends.

3. Iona

If you remember the last time Iona’s Women’s Basketball Team made it to the NCAA Tournament, you’ll probably remember that time Santa Claus presented the Connecticut with the trophy and Steve Harvey’s grandfather accidentally telling Notre Dame that they won the Tournament when Michigan State actually won. Why? Because none of those things ever happened. Ever. This Iona’s first appearance, Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and Steve Harvey doesn’t have a grandfather, because Steve Harvey was formed in the belly of a far distant star and is immortal. So, yes, you can obviously expect me to be cheering for Iona.

4. Troy

Talk about teams that never get an opportunity: Troy has waited 19 years since their last postseason bid ended in flames to get back to the Dance. Yeah, they’ve been waiting longer than Hawaii to make it back. What’s worse is that 1997 was the only time previous to this one that Troy made it to the Tournament. It’s such a huge tease to their fans. Hopefully this year is an actual signal that this team is going to be a staying force in the Sun Belt, and that their players and fans don’t have to wait another twenty years or so to get another crack at it.

5. Army

One thing I absolutely despise about Women’s College Basketball, and College Basketball in general, is the amount of parity between the teams. This has been softened in Men’s College Ball in recent years, but in Women’s College Basketball the Connecticut Huskies just went undefeated. Again. Notre Dame is a powerhouse. Again. That’s why it’s good to see teams like Army come along and perform well. This is only their third tournament, and I hope that these guys can at least leave an impact on the bracket, if not knock off Notre Dame or Connecticut.

Tomorrow I will post my brackets and I will make my picks for the First Four and the First Round of the Men’s Tournament. See ya then.

Women’s Madness: Women’s Teams I’ll be Cheering For In the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament

March Madness: 5 Teams That I’ll Be Cheering for in the Tournament

While 99% of the students at Alabama scuttle away for the week to their homes and/or beaches, I’m stuck in a now desolate Tuscaloosa. The bad news is that it’s going to be rather lonely. The good news is that I have more time to post my opinions about sports online.  And oh would you look at that March Madness is just around the corner. Perfect. Well without further adieu, here’s a look at the teams that I will be cheering for this month on the Men’s side of things (I’ll be looking at the Women’s teams I’ll be cheering for on the morrow). Please Note: These are not the teams I think will necessarily do well in the tournament. I’ll post my 3 brackets (one serious, one not so serious, and one “Fuck it” bracket) soon after the selections are made.

1. Weber State

If you can’t cheer for the university from the place you were born and the one both your parents at least spent some time at, I don’t know if we can be friends. Not only did both of my parents spend time there, I have a plethora of friends (maybe 3 or 4) who go to school there. Not to mention that it’s a team from a smaller conference (Big Sky), and expected to not do well. That’s my favorite kind of team, just imagine the potential Cinderella Story. Here’s an interesting (probably useless) statistic: Weber State is undefeated on neutral courts this season.

2. State University of New York at Buffalo

Who? For those of you unaware that is the full name of the University at Buffalo. This is another team where I have friends attending university at, so naturally I have to cheer them on. For those of you who don’t have that kind of personal investment, this is only the second time the Bulls have made it to the Big Dance, and this is their second year in a row doing so. This team also has a higher ceiling of potential than Weber State, with a good ability to pass the ball around and get guys open.

3. State University of New York at Stony Brook Stony Brook

Another school from the New York Public University System, they’re on my cheer radar for the sole reason that this is their first March Madness berth. That’s right: since they joined Division I Men’s Basketball in 1999 they haven’t been to the Tournament. You gotta give it up for head coach Steve Pikiell for getting this far, and it’d be even more beautiful for this program to go deep into the Big Dance like how Florida Gulf Coast did a few years ago.

4. Holy Cross

You really can’t talk about underdogs this year without talking about Holy Cross. It’d been 9 years since they last made the trip to the NCAA Tournament, where they were bounced in the first round. This season, they finished at a dismal 10-19 record, with a 5-13 Conference record. Then they made a miracle run through the Patriot League Tournament, winning the Patriot League Championship and securing an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. Gutsy to say the least. It’ll be interesting to see if teams continue to underestimate this squad or if Holy Cross will be drubbed out of the first round. I, for one, would love to see them “shock the world”. It is known as “March Madness” for a good reason.

5. Hampton

To be honest, this team wasn’t on my radar at all. I didn’t particularly care about them until I saw Edward Joyner Jr., Hampton’s coach, just absolutely celebrate this win. It was arguably the best coaching celebration since Georgia State’s Head Coach fell out of his chair last season. Like it got me really excited for his team. They haven’t done well against good teams all year, but wouldn’t be something if they got this coach a win in the tournament?

BONUS- CSU Bakersfield

Was not expecting to put them on here, whatsoever. Just as I’m about to post this I hear this game in the background, I turn to look, and the buzzer-beater 3 point shot goes in. Wow. Not a bad way to secure your first tournament bid there eh Bakersfield? And remember how I said their coach had an amazing celebration? Bakersfield’s assistant coach literally joined the dogpile on the player who made the shot. Unlike Stony Brook, it only took Bakersfield less than 10 years to make the Division I tournament. If you’re looking for a team that could make an upset bid, I think you’ve found your squad.

 

Like I said, I’ll be back tomorrow with the Women’s teams I’ll be cheering for, and then I’ll probably post my brackets either Monday or Tuesday at the latest. Until then, take care.

 

March Madness: 5 Teams That I’ll Be Cheering for in the Tournament