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TOURNEY WATCH: 3/27/2011 (NCAA Open Thread)

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Is anyone really surprised by this? To me, the only surprise is that he actually had to use scissors, and not his Jedi mind powers, to cut the a piece of the net off.
Is anyone really surprised by this? To me, the only surprise is that he actually had to use scissors, and not his Jedi mind powers, to cut the a piece of the net off.

First things first: Let this post serve as our unofficial gathering place today as we cheer the Rams of the Commonwealth of Virginia on to an upset win over the Mythical Birds.

A region as prone to upsets as the Southwest has been deserves better than sending a chalky No. 1 seed to Houston. I want to see a VCU-Butler winner in the national championship, dammit. Let the Lord of Chaos rule!

For previews of today's Elite Eight games, see my BRACKET BLOG from yesterday here.

As for Saturday, is anyone surprised at all that Butler found a way to win that game?

That Shelvin Mack hit big shots down the stretch? That the Bulldogs rallied to force overtime after being down as much as 11?

That Matt Howard was the headiest and most determined player on the court at the end of the game?

Of course not. We saw that in 5.99 games last March and April. As the AP story noted, it's the Butler Way.

Rather than tear down Billy Donovan and his team for what I thought were fairly poor choices in the final 15 minutes of that game, we instead should celebrate the great story that is Butler basketball — a Cinderella no more.

Associated Press Ranking = 21

ESPN/USA Today Ranking = 24

Overall Record = 23-11

Big 12 Record = 10-6

Top 50 Record = 4-7

Big 12 Seed = 4

NCAA Seed = 5

RPI = 23

SOS = 11

Region (Site) = Southeast (Tucson)

Signature Wins (RPI 1-30) = Kansas, Texas, Utah State

Quality Wins (RPI 31-100) = James Madison, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Washington State, Baylor, Nebraska (2), Missouri

Bad Losses (RPI 101 or greater) = none

  • James Madison (21-12, 10-8 CAA) | RPI = 88
  • Virginia Tech (22-12, 9-7 ACC) | RPI = 62
  • Presbyterian (13-18, 7-11 Big South) | RPI = 204
  • Gonzaga (24-10, 11-3 WCC) | RPI = 56
  • No. 3 Duke (32-5, 13-3 ACC) | RPI = 4
  • Texas Southern (19-13, 16-2 SWAC) | RPI = 192
  • Emporia State (16-14, 12-10 MIAA**)
  • No. 2* seed Washington State (22-12, 9-9 Pac-10) | RPI = 82
  • Alcorn State (4-24, 4-14 SWAC) | RPI = 337
  • Loyola-Chicago (16-15, 7-11 Horizon League) | RPI = 197
  • No. 2 seed Florida (29-8, 13-3 SEC) | RPI = 8: Loss to No. 8 seed Butler (71-74 in overtime in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight)
  • UNLV (24-9, 11-5 Mountain West) | RPI = 25
  • UMKC (16-14, 9-9 Summit League) | RPI = 212
  • North Florida (15-19, 10-10 Atlantic Sun) | RPI = 149
  • Savannah State (12-18) | RPI = 252
  • Oklahoma State (20-14, 6-10 Big 12) | RPI = 61
  • No. 1* seed Colorado (24-13, 8-8 Big 12) | RPI = 65
  • Texas Tech (13-19, 5-11 Big 12) | RPI = 165
  • Missouri (23-11, 8-8 Big 12) | RPI = 37
  • No. 24 Texas A&M (24-9, 10-6 Big 12) | RPI = 30
  • Baylor (18-13, 7-9 Big 12) | RPI = 94
  • No. 1 seed Kansas (35-2, 14-2 Big 12) | RPI = 1
  • Nebraska (19-13, 7-9 Big 12) | RPI = 89
  • Iowa State (16-16, 3-13 Big 12) | RPI = 138
  • Oklahoma (14-18, 5-11 Big 12) | RPI = 126
  • No. 8 Texas (28-8, 13-3 Big 12) | RPI = 11
  • No. 19 Utah State (30-4, 15-1 WAC) | RPI = 15
  • No. 16 Wisconsin (25-9, 13-5 Big Ten) | RPI = 16

*NIT
**Division II