Tonight, the NCAA’s annual March Madness hoedown gets a little bit madder as the round of (Sweet) 16 kicks off. To tee the festivities up, today’s Boston Herald spotlights a handful of spitfire showcases in its Sports section.
The ACC seems to be fairing pretty well, eh? There are five teams remaining in the NCAA tournament — Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Notre Dame and N.C. State. The Wolfpack are the lowest ranked team at No. 8. It’s conceivable that half the field could be ACC teams in the Elite Eight this weekend. We all knew that the additions of teams like Notre Dame, Syracuse and most recently Louisville would make this a power conference, but this good? Maybe so.
Actually, the ACC is faring pretty well, but why get technical about it. Especially since there are much bigger issues to address, namely that the hoopy local tabloid omitted one of the best subplots of all in the Sweet 16: Xavier vs. Arizona.
Fortunately, today’s Boston Globe features this Associated Press piece.
Coaches reunited at Arizona vs. Xavier
LOS ANGELES — Six years are a blink when old friends like Sean Miller and Chris Mack get back together. When the coaches met up Wednesday in a Staples Center hallway, they jumped right back into their old relationship roles.
Miller is still the serious leader shouldering the responsibility of a major program at Arizona, still wistful about his decision to leave Xavier in 2009.
Mack is still the grateful, upbeat friend who replaced him — and who just can’t resist a good jab at his old boss before their schools face off for the first time Thursday night in the West Regional semifinal.
Full disclosure: Back in the Jurassic Era, the hardreading staff did seven years in Ohio, four-and-a-half of them at Xavier University. (We were “asked” to leave the Master’s program in English after one semester. Details upon request.)
So maybe we’re a bit biased about which subplots get highlighted. All we can say is, Go Muskies!
P.S. Take Xavier and the points tonight. Just a hunch.