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The highs, lows through the NCAA tournament

March 25, 2013
Weirton Daily Times
The high, so far, in a landslide, is Florida Gulf Coast University. The NCAA infant has knocked off Georgetown and my hometown San Diego State Aztecs to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16. Here is to that run continuing. FGCU?is Phi Slamma Jamma 30 years later. The young men are college’s version of Lob City. Instead of CP3, Blake and Jordan it is a bunch of kids no one has heard of until they gave Georgetown the heave Ho-ya. Five No. 13 seeds and two No. 14 seeds have reached the Sweet 16. The first, Cleveland State, did so in 1986 as a No. 14 and the latest, Ohio, did so as a No. 13 last year. Each of the seven teams lost in the Sweet 16. FGCU was established in 1991, groundbreaking took place on Nov. 28, 1995, and classes were first held in 1997. According to the school’s Website about coach Andy Enfield: During his collegiate playing career at Johns Hopkins University, Enfield set the all-time NCAA career free throw percentage record with a mark of 92.5 percent (431-466). Enfield still holds nine career records at Johns Hopkins and was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 2001. He led the team in scoring in all four seasons en route to a program record 2,025 career points thanks to the top two single-season point totals in school history with 606 points in 1990 and 610 points in 1991. As good as he was on the court, he was just as sharp in the classroom, as the economics major earned GTE Academic All-America first team honors as a senior and second team honors as a junior. He was the first basketball player at Johns Hopkins to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was named the NABC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1991. The low is the West bracket and how it was terribly seeded by the committee. The Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 7 seeds lost in the first round and the No. 1 seed in the second. Not sure that has ever happened before. Good guess it may never happen again. In the Midwest, PAC 12 tournament winner Oregon was woefully underseeded. There are three double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16 and, sans a terrible charging call by a ref, Iowa State had a really good chance to send Ohio State packing. Instead, the guy who should have been called for that charge, Aaron Craft, buried a three-pointer with nanoseconds remaining to lift the Buckeyes over the Cyclones. ? Another low was the performance put on by UCLA. The Bruins quit on coach Ben Howland, who was promptly run out of Westwood and is now looking for a job. He brought UCLA?back to respectability, but it was time to go and the coach will land on his feet at a good university. If I am USC?athletic director Pat Haden, I give Howland a call. Howland is a really good basketball coach. According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the total buyout for Howland is $3.5 million. He gets $2.3 million and then $300,000 the next four years. He had five years left. This will be a really interesting coaching search. ? You really have to like Ohio State’s matchup with Arizona in the Sweet 16. Thad Matta vs. Sean Miller. Student vs. pupil. Matta and Miller were assistant coaches on Herb Sendek’s staff at Miami (Ohio) in the early 1990s. Miller later joined Matta on his staff at Xavier and when Matta moved east a few miles to take over in Columbus, Miller took his seat. The pupil then parlayed that success to a trip to Tuscon. Going to be a good one. ? The Oregon-Louisville contest should be a dandy. No one, including me, has Oregon any love and a ton of people expect the Cardinals in Atlanta. ? Zebras making too big a difference late in games and that’s not good. ? My Elite 8 — Louisville, Duke, Wichita State, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Indiana and Miami. (Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)
 
 

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