NCAA tournament 2011: For D.C. teams, same old song and dance
Big weekend for the locals, huh?
With all belief in regional men's college basketball lost over 48 hours, I ventured to American University early Sunday evening for two reasons: to see if the Eagles could further their cause of playing in the tournament for the third time in four years and also to hear cheesy '80s tunes.
The Bender Arena speakers indeed blared "Welcome to the Jungle" and the band pounded out "Eye of the Tiger," but AU lost a double-overtime thriller when a Lafayette kid named Jim Mower let fly a three-point rainbow from the left wing that swished through the net with a half-second left.
Ballgame. Season. For some, career.
On the night he scored his 1,000th point in just two seasons, Bucharest's own Vlad Moldoveanu could not lift the Eagles to play for another day. He and fellow senior Nick Hendra lost tears afterward, taking full responsibility for blowing a six-point lead with less than four minutes left in the second overtime.
Another Washington area school depressingly on the outside of the tournament looking in.
Oh, George Mason has had a phenomenal season. If the Patriots don't have to face a long, big, athletic team like North Carolina for a couple of rounds, they're polished and potent enough to somehow show in the Sweet 16 again, like 2006. But that's it.
The Hoyas were doomed the moment Wright broke his left hand.
Garyland suddenly has that crumbling feeling again, with Maryland about to embark on its fourth trip to the NIT in seven years. The Terrapins need to win the ACC tournament to earn their third straight NCAA bid.
AU is out. GW was never in; Karl Hobbs hasn't taken George Washington to the tournament since 2007 and the Colonials are a definite long shot in this week's Atlantic 10 tournament.
Geographically grasping for a local, Seth Greenberg's once lock of a Virginia Tech team now has to sweat it out, its two-loss hangover after dumping Duke a major concern for the Hokies.