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View Full Version : Only a matter of time before No. 16 seed beats No. 1 in NCAA tourney


Lzen
03-19-2008, 11:39 AM
I know some of you rival fans would love nothing more than to see KU get knocked off by the 16 seed. For the very reasons given in this article as to why it's possible, I think KU will be fine this year. That being said, I do agree that it will happen eventually.


http://www.pe.com/sports/breakout/stories/PE_Sports_Local_D_ncaa_feat_19.3fdd5e3.html

1:53 PM PDT on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

By JEFF EISENBERG
The Press-Enterprise If Thursday's first-round matchup with powerful UCLA seems unnerving to tiny Mississippi Valley State, perhaps the 16th-seeded Delta Devils can draw inspiration from one of assistant coach George Ivory's most cherished memories.
An unheralded Mississippi Valley State team making its tournament debut in 1986 led top-ranked Duke deep into the second half before All-American Johnny Dawkins rallied the Blue Devils to a narrow seven-point victory. The starry-eyed Delta Devils asked members of Duke's team to sign ticket stubs, basketballs and T-shirts after the game, still blissfully unaware of the historical significance of what they nearly achieved.
"I'll tell our guys there's a chance for us to do that again," said Ivory, who scored 14 points against Duke. "UCLA's a No. 1 seed for a reason, but it's a matter of time before a 16 seed wins a game. We just hope we can be the team that starts that trend."
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http://www.pe.com/imagesdaily/2008/03-19/georgetown_princeton_2_copy_363.jpg Princeton Athletic Communications
Alonzo Mourning (33) blocked two shots in the final eight seconds to keep No. 16 Princeton from upsetting No. 1 Georgetown in 1989. In 2006, Brent Wilson (below center) and Albany got up by as many as 12 points before running out of gas against a star-studded Connecticut team.



<!-- Image ends here --> At a time when George Mason can make the Final Four and mid-majors such as Gonzaga and Butler are perennial contenders, the 16 vs. 1 game is one aspect of college basketball parity has not infiltrated. No. 16 seeds are 0-92 since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the losses coming by an average of nearly 25 points per game.
When the NCAA tournament tips off Thursday, Mississippi Valley State, Texas-Arlington, Portland State and Mount St. Mary's will be the latest No. 16 seeds trying to make history by winning a first-round game. All four are overwhelming underdogs, yet UCLA coach Ben Howland has spent late nights studying game film of Mississippi Valley State.
"We just don't want to be the first team in the history of the tournament that loses to a 16 seed," Howland said. "It's going to happen. Let's just hope it doesn't happen Thursday in Anaheim."
Gotta Believe
It's difficult for players and coaches to agree on the elements necessary for an upset, but most suggest a giant-slaying 16th seed needs a combination of favorable matchups, veteran leadership and plenty of lucky bounces. Of course, none of those factors matter unless a coach can make his players believe they can accomplish what no other team has.
From inviting guest speakers to adopting motivational slogans, coaches get creative in their attempts to instill confidence in their teams.
When Western Carolina drew top-seeded Purdue in the opening round in 1996, Coach Phil Hopkins threatened to personally check every player's luggage to make sure they packed clothes to last through at least the second round. A decade later, Albany coach Will Brown handed out "Why not us?" T-shirts to his players after the Great Danes learned they would face top-ranked Connecticut in the first round.
"I told them, 'If any of you guys don't think we can win, I appreciate all you've done for us this season, but there's the exit," Brown said. "You have to play as many psychological games as you can to make sure they believe they can win."
Brown's tactics helped 16th-seeded Albany build a 12-point lead with less than nine minutes remaining before the talent disparity kicked in. A slumbering Connecticut team featuring four first-round draft picks went on a 20-4 run to escape with a 70-59 victory.
East Tennessee State came far closer to toppling juggernaut Oklahoma in 1989, maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the game until Mookie Blaylock's go-ahead layup with 1:21 remaining propelled the Sooners to a 72-71 victory. Former Buccaneers coach Les Robinson cites a pregame speech as the impetus for his team's inspired performance.
Midway through a sloppy scrimmage the day before the game, Robinson told players to count the scoreboards hanging in Vanderbilt's quirky Memorial Gym. Robinson identified 19 scoreboards, enough to ensure that at least one would be visible from every conceivable TV camera angle.
"Every cameraman in the arena just has to move their wrist a little to show a scoreboard, and your friends back home are going to see we're down 30 points," Robinson said. "Oklahoma's a No. 1 seed with two consensus All-Americans. This team beats people worse than any team in America. You better come out here and execute, or this team is going to kill you."
No. 16 Has Advantages
Because the history of the 16 vs. 1 game is so one-sided, each near-upset is a landmark moment for those involved. Officials at Mississippi Valley State credit the Duke loss as a factor in preventing the school from closing due to state budget cuts, while Murray State's Popeye Jones cites his 37-point performance in a 75-71 overtime loss to Michigan State in 1990 as the game that launched his NBA career.
Any debate over which near-upset came closest to fruition must include the 1989 Princeton-Georgetown game. Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning blocked two potential game-winning shots in the final eight seconds to preserve a 50-49 victory, the first a floater by Princeton captain Bob Scrabis and the second a baseline jumper by Kit Mueller.
"My name would have been an answer to a jeopardy question," Scrabis said. "As a kid, you take that shot in your driveway all the time and you don't go inside until you make it. Of course, you don't have a 6-foot-10 future NBA center in the bushes jumping out of nowhere."
Today's No. 16 seeds typically do have one advantage over the nation's top teams: Experience. In this one-and-done era of college basketball in which elite players rarely stay in school four years, the only programs with starting lineups dominated by upperclassmen are typically mid-majors.
Neither UCLA nor North Carolina starts a senior, while Memphis has one senior starter and Kansas has two. By contrast, Mississippi Valley State has five seniors and three juniors in its eight-man rotation.
"At the mid-major level, you've always got kids who have played together for 3-4 years," said Western Carolina assistant coach Anquell McCollum, a starter on the Catamounts team that nearly upset Purdue.
Mount St. Mary's overcame its first hurdle Tuesday night, defeating Coppin State in the play-in game. Before they face top-ranked North Carolina, the Mountaineers will get a pep talk from Coach Milan Brown's brother, Marseilles, the starting point guard for 15th-seeded Hampton that knocked out second-seeded Iowa State in 2001.
"Hopefully, that will show our players that anything is possible," Milan Brown said. "A 16 seed is going to beat a 1 seed eventually, but it's going to take a near-perfect game."
Reach Jeff Eisenberg at 951-368-9357 or jeisenberg@PE.com (jeisenberg@PE.com)

Nzoner
03-19-2008, 11:45 AM
Heh,I took Miss Valley State in our NCAA draft last night,an upset like that would destroy all my brackets but damn the smack I could talk to the other 7 owners in our NCAA draft pool would make it so worthwhile.

siberian khatru
03-19-2008, 11:55 AM
Back when MU was worth a shit (under Norm), I used to fear that they would be the ones to suffer that ignominy. They were the Carl Peterson Chiefs of college hoops -- always flaming out in the first round, often embarrassingly so (see: Xavier, Northern Iowa). Although I will say, the one year they were a No. 1 was one of their best tourney runs.

ROYC75
03-19-2008, 11:58 AM
One of these days, MU will be a 16th seed ..................:D

Nzoner
03-19-2008, 12:00 PM
Back when MU was worth a shit (under Norm),

I still get pissed when I think about Tyus on that final sprint down the court.

ROYC75
03-19-2008, 12:04 PM
I still get pissed when I think about Tyus on that final sprint down the court.

One of the biggest screw ups in NCAA basketball ever....... MU screwed themselves for that one.

chiefqueen
03-19-2008, 12:10 PM
I still get pissed when I think about Tyus on that final sprint down the court.


It's all in the eyes of the beholder...that play won me $80.00

kepp
03-19-2008, 12:15 PM
It's all in the eyes of the beholder...that play won me $80.00

I would've gladly given $160 to wipe it off the books.

SithCeNtZ
03-19-2008, 12:16 PM
Honestly as a KU fan, I thought the Holy Cross game was going to be it. Everything was going their way and Hinrich got hurt with a sprained ankle, further damaging the momentum of the game. I had always guessed that when a 16 seed beat a 1 seed it would take some sort of injury to deflate the 1 seed and here we were, on the wrong end of it. The feeling of dread was far more than in any other game I had watched in any sport. I think I will honestly feel bad for the fanbase who has to go through the first loss...it will probably be regarded as the most emberassing loss ever, far more than Stanford/USC or anything like that.

ROYC75
03-19-2008, 12:22 PM
One school will be elevated as a giant killer while the other school will be humiliated as a failure that year,It will stick out as an historical event.

It will always be remembered until it ( 16 beating a 1 )becomes a regular happening, which is highly unlikely.

Lzen
03-19-2008, 12:25 PM
Honestly as a KU fan, I thought the Holy Cross game was going to be it. Everything was going their way and Hinrich got hurt with a sprained ankle, further damaging the momentum of the game. I had always guessed that when a 16 seed beat a 1 seed it would take some sort of injury to deflate the 1 seed and here we were, on the wrong end of it. The feeling of dread was far more than in any other game I had watched in any sport. I think I will honestly feel bad for the fanbase who has to go through the first loss...it will probably be regarded as the most emberassing loss ever, far more than Stanford/USC or anything like that.

I recall that day. I was playing hoops. Turned on the game as I was driving home and Holy Cross was ahead shortly before halftime. I was dreading that, too. Luckily, the Jayhawks pulled it out. Iron Man Kirk came back to help the team blow out Stanford in the 2nd round on the way to a nice Final Four run. Perhaps that game was good for the team. A wakeup call?

CrazyPhuD
03-19-2008, 12:25 PM
Sure it's the tourney anything can happen. Hell if Micheal Jackson can have sex with someone older than 12 a 16 seed can beat a 1 seed.

Stewie
03-19-2008, 12:25 PM
I loved that Princeton/Georgetown game, except Georgetown won.

I don't see a 16 winning in the present tournament format unless, as Sith said, an injury takes a great player out or the 16 seed has someone bombing threes from 35 ft. all game. The dropoff in talent is too great when you get down to the lowest seeds. If it wasn't for automatic qualifiers from small leagues you'd have seen a 16 win by now.

CrazyPhuD
03-19-2008, 12:29 PM
Further evidence that anything can happen in BBall....

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_times_have_the_Washington_Generals_beat_the_harlem_Globetrotters

Nzoner
03-19-2008, 12:29 PM
It's all in the eyes of the beholder...that play won me $80.00

I know that feeling too,last year in Vegas I hit a double jackpot as I had $50 on UCLA to beat Kansas

Mr. Plow
03-19-2008, 12:52 PM
I'm sure it will happen eventually, I'm just praying that it's not KU as the #1.