Saturday Sport: NCAA heats up!
Last Sunday, five and a half dozen teams were chosen to take part in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in the USA. Today, that field is narrowed to 32, already, as round two of the single elimination tournament is held throughout the country. Round one brought a lot of upsets, what will happen as Round two starts today? Friday brought the elimination of the number one top see overall, Virginia, as they fell to University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) by more than twenty points. This was the first time in the history of the modern tournament that a number sixteen seed has won, any game.
On Saturday, there will certainly be more surprises. The number 1 Villanova Wildcats play the number 9 Alabama Crimson Tide in Pittsburgh. The 'cats are in second place in the national ranking, so they should be hard to beat. Also in Pittsburgh, the number 2 Duke Blue Devils vs. the number 7 Rhode Island Rams play, and the Devils have been prone to turnovers recently, so they will have to control the ball. In Boise, the number 5 Kentucky Wildcats take on the number 13 Buffalo Bulls. Kentucky is always fun to watch, but the Bulls pulled off an upset of Arizona a few days ago. Feeling rather comfortable, as if at home, number one seed Kansas Jayhawks will meet the number 8 Seton Hall Pirates, far from their home of Newark, New Jersey. Again, ball control will be important, and Kansas seems to have the edge.
Six Nations Rugby plays their final games of this year's tournament today. Winless Italy maintains hopes of besting Scotland, and their home field advantage at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome may be their most impressive "player" in today's competition. Scotland has not had much in this year's tournament, despite early promise. Ireland has not lost a single game in this year's tournament, and although they are playing on English soil at Twickenham, they have well founded hopes of exiting this year's season undefeated. In the other competition today, Wales hosts France at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Both teams are considered to have similar chances of winning.
Other lovers of American sports might be excited to view the NCAA Division 1 Championships of wrestling this afternoon, with semifinals and medal rounds from Cleveland. Penn State has won six of the last seven years team finals. NIT Basketball also beckons, with the same Nittany Lions of Penn State traveling for a St. Patrick's Day game against the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame.