lørdag 5. april 2008

Final Four

I am writing this blog as I am watching UCLA playing Memphis in the Semifinal of the National College Basketball tournament. (NCAA Tournament).

NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association and they organize all college sports. In USA, American Football and Basketball are the two biggest sport and they also generate the most money in terms of TV Broadcast rights, ticket sales and sale of jerseys.

What I am talking about here is basketball. Each school is placed in a division of 8 to 15 schools and they play each team in the conference twice a year plus about 10 games before conference games with teams from other conference. Based on the strength of teams you play, your win/loss record of the year and your performance in the conference tournament, a selection committee selects 65 teams to enter the final tournament at the end of the season, which is the NCAA tournament. Winner of their conference tournament gets an automatic entry. The rest is purely based on the committee.

The 2 lowest ranked team will play each other on Tuesday before the NCAA Tournament starts and winner will enter the main draw of 64 teams.

The 64 teams are arranged into 4 groups of 16 teams to play in 4 different regions in USA, South, West, East and Midwest. Each 16 teams in each region is given a seed number. The number 1 seed will play the number 16 seed in first round, the 2 seed will play the 15 seed in first round and so on.

The first and second round will be played in the first week and after the first 2 rounds, 16 teams (4 in each region) will remain and these 16 teams are refered to as the Sweet 16.

The winner in the Sweet 16 game will become the Elite 8 and the winner of the Elite 8 game will also mean they have won in their respective region, they get a mini celebration by cutting down the basketball net for souvenier. The last 4 team standing after the regional tournaments are referred to as the Final Four.

In 2008, the final four teams are University of North Carolina (UNC), Kansas University, Memphis and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Of course, I am cheering for my alma mater and this is also the third year in a row they are among the final four. (they lost in the championship game in 2006 and lost in the final four game in 2007, both to University of Florida)

A few fun facts,
- Because this tournament is always in March, it is also referred to as March Madness
- Another name is the big dance, and the weaker teams that beats the stronger teams are considered as "Cinderella"
- number 16 seed has never beaten a number 1 seed in the first round, ever, in 96 tries).
- this year is the first time ever, that all four number 1 seeds make it to the final four.
- in 2006, number 11 seed George Mason, made it to the final four. One of the most improbable achievement

Some of the highlights in this years big dance,
- Stanford (Seeded 3 in South) scored with 1.3 seconds left to beat Marquette 82-81 in the second round.
- Davidson (Seeded 10 in Midwest) made it to Elite 8, beating a 7 seed, 2 seed and a 3 seed in the process.
- UCLA beat Mississipi Valley State (Seeded 16 in West) 70 to 29 in the first round. 29 points scored was the lowest in a game since 1946.


Let's hope UCLA wins this one and the whole tournament.


below is a video of how UCLA beats Gonzaga and it's top scorer of the nation (Adam Morrison) after being behind the whole game. (Good to see UCLA win and sad to see Adam cried like a baby)

video



Sad news: UCLA lost to Memphis 78 to 63 in the Final Four game. (Kansas beat UNC 84 to 66 in the other game). Oh well, always next year.

4 kommentarer:

Angel Asura 天使阿修羅 sa...

seems like that HK guys are not keen on basketball?^_^

eric sa...

都有的香港人睇NBA既,NCAA就冇乜人睇囉。

laulong sa...

Fox:

年輕時我也喜歡籃球,我個子不高但也曾是校隊,想來也慚愧!

Desertfox sa...

Laulong,
Height isn't an issue, Earl Boykins is just 5ft 6 and he was a backup guard for denver nuggets capable of putting up 30 points a night.

I am actually not good at basketball, I can shoot the ball, but without dribbling, there isn't much I can do.