Morgan State, American writers tell Cinderella stories

Campus sports editors had a front-row seat to the success that earned their team an invitation to the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

Morgan State, American University, North Dakota State, Butler, Xavier and Northern Iowa students will be among those posting on ESPN.com during March Madness.

Morgan State's 15 seed is a blessing
By Ryan H. Marshall, The Spokesman sports editor

For most of the latter part of the season, Morgan State clearly was the best team in the state of Maryland. However, for all of that talk, the Bears still must prove themselves in neutral territory. They must now deal with the man-beast they call Blake Griffin. The Oklahoma Forward averaged 21.9 points per game and 14.3 rebounds. No one on Morgan may be able to equal what Griffin does.

But if Forwards Kevin Thompson and Ameer Ali can at least limit what Griffin is able to do and slow down the tempo of the game, then Morgan State will have a shot at the end to pull the upset.
Read full post | The Spokesman, Morgan State's student newspaper

Game inside the game
By Justin Hall, The Eagle sports editor

2009 Record
AU: 24-7 (13-1 in Patriot League), PL Regular Season and Tournament Champs
Villanova: 26-7 (14-6 in Big East)
Advantage: AU. Anytime you earn your way into the tournament rather than have to sweat out an hour of CBS' Selection Show, you have to have the upper hand.

2009 Winning Streak
AU: 13 (second-longest in the nation behind University of Memphis' 25)
Villanova: None
Advantage: AU. Generally you need to win at least one game to have a "winning" streak.
Read full post | The Eagle, American University's student newspaper

AU: This year's Cinderella story?
By Andrew Tomlinson, The Eagle staff writer
There really couldn't be that much a difference between the quality of a No. 14 seed and a No. 11 seed could there? Well the AU Eagles are about to find out, as they are only three seeds away from the place in which George Mason University made their magical Cinderella run.

George Mason had made appearances in the NCAA tournament before but never like they did in 2006. The public was fixated on the team as they completed upset after upset. There is nothing the public likes more than an underdog and AU has the opportunity to be that team this year.

AU is heading to their second NCAA berth in two years and second only in school history Thursday. They will play Villanova University in Philadelphia, which is essentially a home game for the Wildcats. Even President Obama has picked Villanova over the Eagles. The only major difference between GMU and AU is how they reached the tournament -- AU with an automatic bid and George Mason with an at-large bid.
Read full post | The Eagle, American University's student newspaper

Bracketology: Tournament trends and issues with seeding
By Steven Peek, Dawgnet sports editor

No. 12 Arizona: Honestly, this is a team that probably shouldn't be dancing. Have some strong points, but I don't expect Utah to have trouble. Forward Chase Budinger is Arizona's only shot at getting to the second round.

No. 5 Purdue: The Boilermakers have done quite well this year considering their youth. JuJuan Johnson, Robbie Hummel and Chris Kramer have made a name for Purdue, BU, I just don't think the résumé granted them a No. 5 seed. In February, they lost at home to Northwestern, a team that always managed it seems to lose big leads against good teams. Purdue will probably get past N. Iowa, but don't count on them getting past Washington, especially while playing in the state of Oregon.

No. 7 California: This seed is probably where the Butler Bulldogs should have been seeded. The Bears went 11-7 in a weak Pac-10 conference. To the selection committee's credit, the Bears were seeded behind teams they lost to in the regular season (No. 3 Missouri, No. 5 Florida State and No. 6 UCLA). This seed is most likely a result of other schools not being given enough respect.

No. 4 Xavier: A-M-AZING. I do not understand this one. Xavier barely beat No. 8 seed LSU and lost to No. 9 seed Butler at home. Also, the Musketeers lost to Charlotte, No. 11 seed Dayton, Richmond, and then No. 11 seed Temple early in the A-10 conference tournament. I am perplexed; look for No. 5 seed Florida State to upset them in the second round.
Read full post | Dawgnet, Butler's student-produced news Web site

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