By this time last year, I had multiple posts on the NCAA tournament. The main reason was that the Miami Hurricanes were involved. In any case, this year I am having my best Bracket selection ever. So far I am 37-8 with 15 of 16 Sweet 16 teams in it. Wake Forest busted my Midwest bracket with a first round loss. Missouri, Mich St, and Louisville are all in trouble right now, so my brackets are on the verge of falling apart like a $2.00 watch.
If they find a way to come out with wins, I am sitting pretty. Louisville particularly needs to win considering I have selected them to play Pitt in the championship. Siena is really putting it on them right now.
The season is over, and we Canes need not hang our heads in shame. After an incredible come back Miami had succumb to the superior talent and depth that Texas presented. I expected the final to be around a 15 to 20 point margin for the Longhorns, but Miami was brave. They even had a chance to send the game into OT if they could have made a 3 point bucket at the buzzer. Unfortunately, they were not able even to get the ball in position to take a shot, much less make it.
Texas 75 Miami 72
My alma mater, the Lee U Flames men’s basketball team of the NAIA (that’s not a typo, we really are the Flames) had their best regular season in school history going 31-1 with a solitary loss to Auburn-Montgomery. Included in those 31 wins was a stunning win against the NCAA Div 1 Pirates of East Carolina, possibly the biggest win in our school’s history. East Carolina beat North Carolina State. On January 19 of this year, NC State beat my favorite team, the Miami Hurricanes.
At 2:00 PM today, the Canes (20-9) square off for a rematch against the NC State Wolfpack. Miami’s loss to NC State was in the regular season and was in OT. With a win, the Canes will pretty much secure a bid in the NCAA Tourney with a good chance at a 9 or 8 seed; a loss puts them in a weaker position and maybe on the bubble.
How would Lee fair against the Miami Hurricanes? My guess is that if the ball bounced right and the Flames were on fire, they might only lose by about 20 points. Some people have speculated that Lee can no longer continue to expand and grow the program without switching to NCAA, perhaps a very low division. In time, some expect Lee to be the next ORU, a Christian university competing with the big boys in college basketball and baseball. While I was a student, Lee was good but certainly not as good as they are this year. The Flames have a real shot at their first NAIA national championship this year, entering the tournament as the #2 seeded team.
Update: The Hurricanes beat NCSU 63-50. This totally locks up the tournament invite for the Hurricanes. I am guessing that Miami is a 9 seed.