ESPN's Joe Lunardi now says it's down to Maryland and Creighton as the final two in the NCAA Tournament, and Saint Mary's is out, as are Penn State, Arizona and San Diego State. This after Mississippi State's bizarre end-game victory over Tennessee to win the Southeastern Conference's automatic bid, knocking out a bubble team. Mississippi State had to win to get in. Tennessee and LSU were already locks for the NCAAs from the Southeastern Conference.
ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb calls this the worst group of bubble teams in the six years he's been analyzing the brackets at ESPN.Fellow analyst Tom Brennan chimes in that no team left out of this year's field has a gripe.
It has, frankly, been a very down year for men's college basketball. The NCAA Tournament, like last year's, could turn out terrific. But last year Derrick Rose was great in leading Memphis to the title game; Stephen Curry's one-man show and the near upset of Kansas by his Davidson team helped save the tournament that had all four top seeds reach the Final Four for the first time.
This season has no super freshman; it has Oklahoma super sophomore Blake Griffin, who could make this tournament his on his way to being the possible No. 1 in the 2009 NBA Draft.
-- Vince Langford