Stuff You Should Know about the Elite 8

  • The only 7 footer left in the tournament is Wichita State’s Ehimen Orukpe.  The shortest player is 5-10 Guard Nolan Hart from Syracuse.
  • Duke has three players 6-10 or taller.  Two are the Plumlee brothers, Mason and Marshall from Warsaw, Indiana.
  • After Cal, and UNC, Michigan is the most selective public university in the field of 64.  At a 14% acceptance rate, Duke is the most selective school of the private universities left in the tournament.
  • Wichita State has the most geographically diverse roster with three international players (Canada (2), Nigeria) and 8 from different States.
  • Two of the tallest players in the tournament are from Senegal – 6-10 Baye Keita of Syracuse and 6-11 Gorgui Dieng from Louisville.
  • Duke is the only team without an international player on its roster.
  • Florida has the most homegrown players with 7.  Duke has just two players from North Carolina.
  • Wichita State averages the fewest points per game:  69; Duke the most: 78
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The Artificially Sweet Elite 8 Brought To You By Coke Zero

So it’s down to the Elite 8.  Last year I wrote that the Elite 8 ain’t all that greight, but this year, that ain’t still true.  The Elite 8 could be called the Great 8.  And because the tournament is sponsored by Coke Zero, they technically could be called the artificially Sweet 8.

  • So who’s left?  Louisville, Duke, (As Falls Wichita, so Falls) Wichita State, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Syracuse and Marquette.  So we have a Cardinal, a Blue Devil, a Shocker, a Buckeye, a Wolverine, a Gator, an Orange and a Golden Eagle.  That would be two birds, a fruit, a nut, a grain, a cartoon character, a weasel and a reptile.  If I were a betting man, my “money” would be on the Alligator.  And they may just have the best team in the tournament, the Florida Gators, that is.
  • Florida would have the home court advantage in Atlanta and would be the only team left in the field that has played and won a game in Georgia this season – v. Georgia 64-47.  And Florida has held opponents to exactly 47 points five times all in wins.  Florida has held opponents to under 47 points 7 times.
  • We could have an all bordering states final four:  Louisville (Kentucky), Ohio State, Michigan, and Marquette (Wisconsin).
  • There are some interesting rematches in the Elite 8. Syracuse lost @Marquette earlier in the year 74-71.  In November, Duke beat Louisville @Louisville, 76-71.
  • The 3 and 4 seeds emerged from the South and the East Regions.  Florida (3) v. Michigan (4) and Marquette (3) v. Syracuse (4).
  • All of the teams have been to the Final Four at least once and all except Wichita State have won at least one National Championship.

Elite 8 and other Fun 2013 NCAA March Madness facts

March Madness 2

  • Syracuse has home court advantage in DC over Marquette in their Elite 8 match up on Saturday.  The driving distance between Syracuse and DC is only 375 miles;  from Milwaukee, the distance is 789 miles.  Plus, Syracuse has two players on its roster from nearby MD.
  • One of Syracuse’s 6 losses was to Marquette in February.
  • Versus the common opponent Louisville, Syracuse  is 1-2; Marquette 0-1.
  • As far as mascots go, Otto the Syracuse Orange may be the silliest least imposing mascot in the history of sports.  He’s a youthful orange who sports a Syracuse hat and looks more like a tangelo than an orange. Rumor has it, Otto is the great grandson of the Kool-Aid man.
  • There are five birds including two eagles left in the tournament – the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. If they win out, they could face off in the final four.
  • The nuts, fruits and grains all made it to the Elite 8.  Ohio State Buckeyes, Syracuse Orange and the Wichita State Shockers (stalk of wheat).
  • 9 teams have scored under 50 points in tournament games.  The lowest score was 34 by Montana in a second round loss to Syracuse.  Syracuse held a number 1 seed Indiana to 50 points. 5th seeded Wisconsin scored only 46 points in a loss to Ole Miss in the 2nd round.  And 6th seeded Memphis scored only 48 points in a third round loss to Michigan State.
  • Two birds will meet in a Sweet 16 match up:  a Cardinal from Louisville and a Duck from Oregon.
  • Two Florida teams will meet in the Sweet 16 – Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.
  • Three states still have two teams left in the tournament:  Michigan:  Michigan State and Michigan; Florida – Florida and Florida Gulf Coast; Kansas – Kansas and Wichita State.
  • It is possible that we could have a two state Final:  Michigan State and Michigan or Kansas and Wichita State.
  • The 1, 2, 3 and 4 seeds made it to the Regional Semis in the East – the 3 and 4 seeds, Marquette and Syracuse made it to the Regional Finals.
  • We could have a final four with a 12 seed – Oregon, a 9 seed – Wichita State, a 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast and a 4 seed – Syracuse.  Two Eagles, an Orange and a Duck. That would be a shocker – not likely, but possible.

NCAA Conference Oddities

How about a little conference weirdness:

  • The Big 12 has 10 teams – 4 made it to the tournament – 2 lost in the 2nd round.
  • The Big 10 has 12 teams – half of them made it to the round of 32.
  • The Atlantic 10 has 16 teams.  5 made it to the round of 32.
  • The Great West has only 5 teams; one from New Jersey, none to the tournament.
  • The Big East has 15 teams – 3 made it to the round of 32.
  • Two Big East teams are 1,267 miles apart:  Syracuse and University of South Florida.
  • Two ACC teams are 1,491 miles apart: Boston College and Miami University.
  • The Big South has a North divisiotrn.
  • The SEC has 16 teams.  Only three, Missouri, Ole Miss and Florida made it to the tournament; only two remain; the Rebels and Gators.

NCAA Tournament Teams Mascot Upgrades

So I was thinking that some of the NCAA teams in the tourney have the wrong nickname or mascot.  I mean Memphis Tigers.  There are no tigers in Memphis – maybe some stray cats and a few cool cats, and some fat cats, but no big cats.  I think they should  be the Memphis Ribs.  I have some other suggestions too for Mascot upgrades.  Here’s a sampling:

  • Arizona Wildcats.  No, that’s wrong.  Arizona is a wild place, so let’s call them Gunslingers or Tumbleweeds.  Arizona Tumbleweeds, yes, that’s better.
  • Gonzaga Bulldogs.  That’s just lame.  Gonzaga is in Washington, right.  What comes to mind? Certainly not dogs.  When I think of Washington, I think wine.  So let’s call ’em Vintners, no Winers.  Gonzaga Winers.
  • Wichita State Shockers.  What is a shocker anyway?  Well, it’s a stalk of wheat. A stalk of wheat for a mascot?  That’s ridiculous.  How about Wichita State Linemen, in honor of the men who brought modern communication to the state and the man who performed the great song, Wichita Lineman, who was an Arkansan, not a Kansan…but close enough.
  • I don’t associate Duke with the Blue Devil.  For me, it calls to mind the classic album Duke, by Genesis.  And when I think of North Carolina, a place I’ve never been, I think of Mayberry, Andy Griffith and Otis the town drunk, who was fond of moonshine.  So that’s it, Duke Moonshiners.  And you know, Winers and the Moonshiners could meet in the Final Four; they could.
  • The Michigan teams are totally misrepresented by their mascots. Michigan of Great Lakes fame should be associated with fishing, so why not the Anglers? No, better still, the mighty Sturgeon.  It’s settled, Michigan Sturgeon.  So to continue with the fishing theme, I pronounce Michigan State the Muskies.
  • Indiana Hoosiers.  Well, it’s good, but Granfalloons would be much better.  Indiana Granfalloons, and Kurt Vonnegut  fans, you know exactly what I am talking about.
  • Others – Harvard Elitists, Illinois Carp, (or Crappie – when they play badly), Butler Stewards or Majordomos, Miami Vice (I couldn’t resist), California Dreamers, Creigton Barrels, Oregon Vegans and Colorado State Stoners.

Round of 32 NCAA Team Mascot Facts & other Oddities

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For NCAA March Madness basketball enthusiasts, here are some odd facts about the 32 teams that remain in the tournament:

  • State with the Most Teams: Florida (3): Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami
  • Teams with Golden in the nicknames: (3) Cal Golden Bears, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Marquette Golden Eagles
  • Teams with a color as a mascot: (2) Syracuse Orange, Harvard Crimson
  • Teams from the same city: (2) Philadelphia – Temple, La Salle
  • Teams with the same mascot: (4) Bulldogs: Butler, Gonzaga; Rams: VCU, Colorado State
  • Teams with bird mascots: (7) Marquette Golden Eagles, Creighton Bluejays, Kansas Jayhawks, Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, Louisville Cardinals, Oregon Ducks, Temple Owls
  • Teams named after state residents: Indiana Hoosiers, Illinois Fighting Illini
  • Teams that are natural disasters: (2) Miami Hurricanes, Iowa State Cyclones
  • Weirdest Mascots: Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, Wichita State Shockers, Syracuse Orange, Harvard Crimson, Saint Louis Billikens
  • Strange Animal Mascots: (2) Minnesota Golden Gophers, Michigan Wolverines
  • Nuts, Grains and Fruits: Ohio State Buckeyes, Wichita State Shockers, Syracuse Orange