March 30, 2008

Davidson a Cinderella? Schedule strength hints no

Category: NCAA General — Patrick Stumpf @ 7:55 pm

As the Jordan commercial suggests, “There are no Cinderellas.” And they are exactly right. Despite their gut-wrenching loss to Kansas in the Midwest regional final, the Davidson Wildcats should have never been labeled as a surprise. The major networks acted as if this team had never experienced big games, calling their game versus Kansas a classic “David vs Goliath match-up.” Give me a break. As a #10 seed, Bob McKillop’s team was arguably the most battle-tested “mid major” in the country, squaring off (and playing very well) against some of the nation’s elite in North Carolina, Duke and UCLA. How many teams can say that? Not many at all. They were a highly under-rated and an obvious unknown heading into the tournament, but as they showed you these past few weeks, they were for real. So don’t give me this crap that they were a Cinderella, just because of that number slapped in front of their name. They were the ones who scheduled those tough games early on to prepare themselves for a serious run, and with the best pure shooter in the country (I think we can all agree on this one) in Stephen Curry, they were one tough out. Being a Badgers’ fan, I was baffled to see the dismantling of Wisconsin in front of a dominant UW-contingent in Detroit. The reason they lost? For one, they had no point-guard presence, as Trevon Hughes left early in the second half forcing an array of players to bring the ball up. And two, Bo Ryan made absolutely zero adjustments, and for that they were doomed to fail, and deservedly so. But please stop all this talk of how Davidson was never supposed to go this far because in truth, they were ready–with Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin all witnesses.  My only hope is everyone will return to read the title of my post next year, when the Wildcats return every key player from this year’s squad minus Jason Richards and Thomas Sander. 

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