Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Notes from ESPN's Forde Minutes

I just wanted to pass along a few references made by Pat Forde in his latest edition of Forde Minutes:

The mandatory Ashley Judd reference:

Welcome to Forde Minutes, Big Dance Edition. Sixty-five names, games, teams and minutiae making news in the NCAA tournament (Ashley Judd's (1) NIT tickets sold separately):

Herb Sendek gets Arizona State in the Dance:

"Raising Arizona State." Thanks to the restorative powers of coach Herb Sendek (18) and star James Harden (19), the Sun Devils are back in the Big Dance for the first time since 2003, and just the fourth time since 1981.

A couple of local coaches will be in the NCAA's for the first time:

"No Country for Old Men." Eight guys are taking their clipboards into the tournament for the first time as head coaches: Dino Gaudio of Wake Forest; Greenberg of Radford; Lewis Jackson of Alabama State; Ben Jacobson of Northern Iowa; Ken McDonald of Western Kentucky; Saul Phillips of North Dakota State; Donnie Tyndall of Morehead State; and Buzz Williams of Marquette

The slap to Kentucky's face:

"Intolerable Cruelty." It's bad enough for Kentucky fans to be on the outside looking in for the first time in 18 years. It's far worse to have bitter rival Louisville among the favorites to win it all under their former coach, Rick Pitino (25).

Some Louisville hype:

Louisville (29). Cardinals fans have been waiting for a team this good since Pitino became their coach in 2001 and shot expectations into the stratosphere. The 2005 team overachieved to reach the Final Four; the current Cards could win it. (Four Pitino teams have been No. 1 NCAA seeds and most lived up to the billing -- one national champion, one runner-up, another Final Four team and a regional finalist.)

The Slipper reference for Western Kentucky:

Western Kentucky (44). Not even a coaching change from Darrin Horn to McDonald could interrupt the winning in Bowling Green. The Hilltoppers make hay with veteran guards Orlando Mendez-Valdez and A.J. Slaughter and have the experience of a Sweet Sixteen run a year ago.

It's been a long time for Morehead State:

Morehead State (53). Last time the Eagles were in: 1984. Since then they've had six 20-loss seasons and been through four coaching changes before Tyndall arrived to work magic at his alma mater.

Earl Clark is ready to bust out for the Cardinals:

Earl Clark (57), Louisville. An occasionally maddening talent, the 6-foot-10 junior appears to be on the same flight plan as last season: blowing up in the postseason. If it weren't for Flynn's ironman performance, Clark would have been the MVP of the Big East tourney after averaging 18 points, nine rebounds and 4.7 assists in Madison Square Garden.

Louisville is one of the nine teams that can win it:

Louisville. Nobody plays better defense than the Cardinals, who disrupt dribblers with their quick hands and alter shots with their length. Nobody has a more versatile player than senior forward Terrence Williams. Nobody has the perfect player to match up with Clark. And nobody has a better tournament coach than Pitino.

The team that WILL win it is:

Louisville. Pitino becomes the first coach to win NCAA titles at two schools. And the intolerable cruelty only intensifies in Lexington.

My thoughts: Only if the Cardinals get past Morehead State! (Go Eagles!!!)

Pat Forde's Minutes

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