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Underdogs ruled the tournament

Published April 02. 2010 05:00PM

Who would have ever thought that the NCAA 2010 Final Four would have panned out the way it has?

I surely didn't.

It was no where near the way that I thought it would end up.

I often ride on the odds that the higher seeds at least the top-three seeds rule the roost throughout the tournament. I had to go with them again this year.

This year there was an upset city in every one of the four regions.

After the first round there were 10 lower seeds that advanced to the next round.

Who could have imagined that happening? Not me of course.

I had Wake Forest (a No. 9 seed) along with Georgia Tech, Missouri and Saint Mary's all No. 10 seeds as well as Murray State (a No. 13 seed) living on past the first day of action.

I gave No. 9 Northern Iowa a chance to get by UNLV, but I didn't have them knocking off the team that I had winning it all No. 1 seed Kansas.

Then there was Ohio (No. 14), Cornell (No. 12), Washington (No. 11) and Old Dominion (No. 11) playing the role of spoiler this year.

One must applaud Cornell, Washington and Saint Mary's for stepping up their play when things counted the most.

Saint Mary's, how dare you shock the state of Pennsylvania and upset Villanova tisk, tisk!

Who would have imagined two No. 5 seeds battling it out in Indianapolis for the right to play in this year's national championship game? Not me.

Yes, I may have given Michigan State a chance since they did make it to the Big Dance last year. I've got a feeling that the Spartans are vying for a chance of redemption this year after losing to UNC in last year's title game.

The Spartans not the only one playing in their backyard again like they did last year at Ford Field in Detroit. That happens to be the case for this year's Cinderella team Butler University.

The Bulldogs ran off a perfect conference record (18-0) in the regular season to capture the Horizon League Championship. They followed that by winning the league's tournament championship.

Instead of Butler traveling home after a season-ending loss, it will be going home to play for the national championship. The Bulldogs will play in the program's first ever Final Four. It won't be at BU's Hinkle Fieldhouse but in the mecca of Lucas Oil Stadium.

At least some of the expected front runners were able to come out on top in the East and the South.

Of course, I didn't pick them all the way through.

Kentucky spoiled Cornell's run, while West Virginia stopped Washington's wonderful ride. Meanwhile, Baylor manhandled Saint Mary's to squash the Gaels' two-game tourney win streak.

It was West Virginia and Duke, the lone No. 1 seeds going it the distance, that rose to the occasion and will make a trip to Indianapolis.

While I had Kansas and Kentucky taking center stage in my script, I'm going to have to go with Butler to win it all. Sure, most will go with the favorites in either the Mountaineers or Blue Devils, but I see the Bulldogs taking a bite out of the trophy this year. It may seem far fetched, but I'm going to root for the underdog here.

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