Written for your enjoyment by: Ray Curren
I've always said that - in my lifetime - that a No. 16 seed will beat a No. 1 seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It's just numbers. Last year was the 25th season of the 64 (or 65) team field. So, do the math, the No. 16 seeds are currently 0-100. And I'm not getting any younger.
Which obviously brings us to Friday's game between Syracuse and Vermont. Any Orange fan remembers five years ago (it was five years ago already?) when the smaller but feistier Catamounts finally shot the Orange to death in overtime to the delight of the basketball nation. Except us.
As you can probably tell by my tone, I'm worried. Should I be? Well, consider that Vermont is no ordinary No. 16 seed. They have a 25-9 record and the inside-outside duo of Marqus Blakely and Maurice Joseph. You can look at some early-season losses, but of late, Vermont has been red-hot.
Granted, it's America East, barely even a mid-major conference, and Vermont didn't even win the regular season title (Stony Brook did).
Syracuse rolled through the toughest conference in America and won the Big East championship.
Even Vegas (who knows all) doesn't believe Vermont has much of a chance, as Syracuse opened as 20-point favorites.
But with Arinze Onuaku now out, something doesn't quite sit right about Friday's game. I'm not afraid of Gonzaga or Florida State, both mediocre teams. Butler doesn't scare me at all, while Vanderbilt is a modest threat, but not a terrible draw.
I'm worried about Vermont and the fact that nothing lasts forever. Of course, the streak doesn't have to lost forever.
It just has to last one more year.
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