This morning I was asked by a friend and avid follower of 24-7phillysports when and if I was going to post about the NCAA Tournament. So as I do not want to disappoint a large following (LOL) I decided to make the first of many posts regarding the 2011 NCAA Tournament. It is early, but it is known as championship week This is one of my favorite weeks, this week usually results in the populating of the smaller, lesser known schools into the tournament. Every year I hear of a small school I have never heard of, so today I took the time and did some research on the schools that are already in. As of today, March 8, 2011 this is who is in so far and what little I know about them:
Gonzaga: Let's start with the most well known of the current teams. The Bulldogs are located in Spokane, WA and have an undergraduate population of 4,700. They finished the season 24-9 and won the West Coast conference. This is Gonzaga's 13th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, their best finish was in 1999 when they made it to the Elite 8 only to lose to #1 seeded UCONN 67-62.
Indiana State: The Sycamores have a long history, their first season was in 1896, which makes them the oldest basketball team in the NCAA. They finished this season 20-13. Located in Terre Haute, IN with an undergraduate population of around 11,500 students. Indiana State has 6 NCAA Tournament appearance's and their most famous basketball alum would be Larry Bird. Larry led the 1978-79 team to a 33-0 record and a championship appearance. Larry and the Sycamores lost that season to Magic Johnson and Michigan State.
Old Dominion: The Monarchs finished the season 27-6. Located in Norfolk, VA with an undergraduate population of 24,125. Old Dominion has 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and have gone a combined 3-10.
Saint Peter's: Located in Jersey City, NJ with an undergraduate population of 3,200. The Peacocks finished 20-13 and punched their third ticket to the tournament. They also went in 1991 and 1995.
Wofford: The Terriers (After the Boston Terrier), are located in Spartanburg, SC and have an undergraduate population of 1,500. Wofford finished the season 21-12 and are going to their second NCAA Tournament. They also were in last season where they almost upset #4 seeded Wisconsin.
Morehead State: The Eagles finished their season 24-9. Located in Morehead, KY and they have an undergraduate population of 7,900. This is their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament, also going in 1984 and 2009.
Belmont: The Bruins are located in Nashville, TN and have a population of 5,900 undergraduates. They finished the season 30-4 and this is their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament. They also went in 2006-2007-2008, where they lost in the opening round to UCLA, Georgetown and Duke respectively.
UNC-Asheville: Located in Asheville, NC the Bulldogs have an undergraduate population of 3,700. The Bulldogs finished the season 19-13 making their head coach, Eddie Biedenbach, in his 15th season, not only the longest tenured coach in the Big South, but now the winningest coach in both conference and overall games.
Will any of the above teams go anywhere when games begin next week, probably not, but you never know. Another preview of the new teams punching their tickets today will be posted tomorrow. In the meantime, I will allow my wife to watch what ever she wants so next Thursday there is no argument about what will be on the TV.