Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

March 28, 2013

It is sweet 16 for March Madness

CROSSVILLE — March Madness has entered the round of 16 or Sweet 16 as many refer to it, and "how sweet it is" to have a couple of "Cinderella" teams on both sides of the ball.

The Florida Gulf Coast University Golden Eagles and the Delaware Blue Hens have moved into the "Sweet 16" round of both the men's and women's tournaments this weekend.

According to a story in Wednesday's Chattanooga Times Free Press, FGCU coach Andy Enfield was the seventh or eighth employee of contract management business TractManager, which has a presence in Chattanooga. TractManager is located on two floors of the Sun Trust building in downtown Chattanooga.

Enfield's wife, Amanda Marcum, is a former model and has appeared on several magazine covers, such as Elle and Maxim.

FGCU entered the men's field as a 15th seed and knocked off second seed Georgetown and then sent San Diego State home to earn a berth in the South region in Arlington, TX, Friday night against the Florida Gators, which has two national titles on their resume. The winner will meet the Kansas-Michigan winner for a spot in the Final Four in Atlanta.

The East Region is the only one where all four top seeds advanced — #2 Miami vs. #3 Marquette and #1 Indiana vs. #4 Syracuse.

In the West Region, #2 Ohio St. faces #6 Arizona and #9 Wichita State plays #13 LaSalle. Wichita State, who lost to Tennessee early in the season, eliminated #1 Gonzaga, while LaSalle put out SEC Tournament champion Ole Miss.

In the Midwest Region, it is #1 Louisville vs. #12 Oregan and #2 Duke vs. #3 Michigan State.

Getting back to the women's tournament, #6  Delaware and senior Elena Delle Donne upset #3 North Carolina to earn their first-ever trip to the "Sweet 16," and will face #2 Kentucky in the Bridgeport semi-finals. The winner will face the UConn-Maryland winner with a berth in the Final Four in New Orleans.

In the Norfolk region, top seed Notre Dame faces 12-seed Kansas, who uspet fifth-seed Colorado and fourth-seed South Carolina en route to the round of 16. Sixth-seed Nebraska plays second seed Duke in the other semi-final.

The second-seeded Tennessee Lady Vols face sixth-seed Oklahoma in the Oklahoma City region, with the winner facing the Baylor-Louisville winner for the region title.

In the Spokane region, it will be the Pac-12 vs. SEC, as #1 Stanford faces #4 Georgia and #6 LSU faces #2 California.

If the regions go as some predict, the final four match-ups will be Baylor vs. Stanford and Notre Dame vs. UConn.

As it is said, "Anyone can beat anyone else on any given day."  Beware there will be some upsets in both tournaments this weekend.

••••

I want to congratulate Chattanooga coach Wes Moore, senior Kayla Christopher and the rest of the Lady Mocs for their fine season, despite losing to Nebraska in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. They have enough talent returning in 2013-'14 to make another run at the Southern Conference championship and a berth in the "big dance" next year.

Chattanooga is looking for a new men's coach, as they relieved John Shulman of his coaching duties after the Mocs were eliminated from the SoCon Tournament a couple of weeks ago. The school is conducting a nationwide search for the new coach, and has restarted its search for an athletic director..

Chattanooga is not the only school looking for a new coach. Minnesota fired Tubby Smith after the Gophers were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament over the weekend, and UCLA fired  Coach Ben Howland.

Former Duke standout Bobby Hurley was hired at Buffalo.

North Carolina State fired Kellie Jolly Harper as head women's coach after four seasons. The former Lady Vol and White County player led the Wolfpack to two trips to the WNIT in the past three seasons.

(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)

 

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