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Basketball: Everyone loves Cinderella — Which one is your favorite?

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 11:38 pm in Basketball, Gameday, NCAA Tournament.

Two questions:

Which underdog Cinderella team will you root for this weekend in the NCAA Tournament?

And which of the four do think has the best chance of reaching the Elite 8?

– No. 5 Butler vs. No. 1 Syracuse, Thursday at Salt Lake City.

No. 12 Cornell vs. No. 1 Kentucky, Thursday at Syracuse, N.Y.

No. 9 Northern Iowa vs. No. 5 Michigan State, Friday at St. Louis.

No. 10 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 3 Baylor, Friday at Houston.

Note: Even as a No. 11 seed, Washington of the Pac-10 cannot qualify as a Cinderella.

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  • K1W

    > Even as a No. 11 seed, Washington of the Pac-10 cannot qualify as a Cinderella.

    I didn’t know there was a official NCAA definition for “Cinderella” team. :)

    My favorite is Saint Mary’s. And I’d like to see Washington get as far as possible.

  • rollonubears

    a cinderella is a team nobody thought would be able to get to the sweet 16. cornell and northern iowa are probably the only ones. cornell, in the elite 8, would be about as big as davidson a few years back. if one of these guys could crack the top 4, that’d be awesome. my bracket is already toast. now i hope all the top seeds go down. i don’t get why the ncaa officials fight so hard to get the top teams into the final 4. it’s WAY more exciting, and more people tune in, when the underdogs are playing.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    So, if UW somehow wins it all, as an 11 seed, does “Cinderella” talk have to go away and die since they don’t qualify?

  • Mountain Jim

    Few people thought St. Mary’s would be here, and they all live in NoCal. Love those guys though.

    I think No. Iowa may have the best shot this next game, with Lucas out for MSU. Baylor isn’t a great matchup for the Gaels, since Samhan won’t command double teams in this one. Still, it wouldn’t be a shocker if St. Mary’s squeaked by. It’s all about shooting this time.

  • Sacramento Blue

    Of those chances I’d say St. Mary’s has the best chance. But why can’t Washington be considered a Cinderella? They seem to meet the criteria: a double digit seed that would not have made the tournament without winning their conference tournament? Plus, Mr. Wilner considers the 2010 Pac-10 to be a mid major conference.

  • BlueNGold

    At the risk of sounding stupid, can someone explain to me why Washington, Pac 10 champion and 11 seed, does not qualify as a Cinderella, while St. Mary’s, WCC champion and 10 seed, does? Is it because of some system of ranking of the various conferences, or am I just missing something altogether?

  • milo

    BnG, UW has been to the dance before and was probably seeded low consider their current play. OTOH, SMC hasn’t been in the NCAA is 50 (or is it 60) years and the media generally doesn’t know much about them. Conversely people in the Bay Area know SMC and know they’re good. No one in the Bay Area is surprised.

  • CruzinBears

    MIlo – SMC hasn’t been in the NCAA is 50 (or is it 60) years

    St. Mary’s hasn’t been to the elite 8 since 1959, but they do have 6 NCAA appearances, most recently 05 and 08, though Richmond was their first NCAA tourney win in 51 years…

    I’m hoping the Gaels and UW can stay alive for at least one more game…

  • CM

    A nitpick BlueNGold, UW is not the Pac 10 champion. They are the Pac 10 third place team. Cal is the Pac 10 champion; UW simply won the Pac 10 tournament. This is a real pet peeve of mine, and unfortunately the freaking CBS announcers are just perpetuating the factually incorrect and frankly a little bit absurd idea that Washington, not Cal is the real Pac 10 champion.

    And I am certainly not rooting for UW…I would never root for a team that beat Cal 2 of 3 times!

  • rollonubears

    apparently, for ncaa tourney purposes, they call the conference tourney champion, the conference champion

  • BlueNGold

    Yes, there is clearly a differentiation between the conference tournament champion and the regular season champion. Makes no sense to me, either.

  • SteveNTexas

    My cinderella teams all got raped and exposed early. No one is carrying around some old Nike looking to meet them either.