Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wait Just A Minute

Each year on Sports Illustrated's website, college basketball writer Grant Wahl lists eight schools out of which he guarantees the National Champion will come. He claims that in the last seven editions, only once in 2003 with Syracuse did the winner not come from his "Magic 8." As the article begins, he lists the names you expect to see (Arizona, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina), but then comes the shock. The fifth name he mentions is Tennessee.

Now keep in mind, he is talking about basketball here. Not only that, he is talking about men's basketball. He explains his choice this way:
In last year's Magic Eight we picked an under-heralded SEC team nobody thought had a chance to win it all, and look at what then-unranked LSU accomplished, taking down Duke and Texas and reaching the Final Four. Tennessee may not be big, but Chris "The Dagger" Lofton is the nation's most dangerous shooter and Bruce Pearl's Vols are relentless on defense. We love the swagger on this team, too, which has come through loud and clear in wins against Oklahoma State, Memphis and Texas.

If you would have said two years ago that Tennessee would be mentioned in that context, I would have I called you crazy. In fact, I am still in line to think Mr. Wahl might be a litte crazy now. Here's hoping I'm wrong and he's right. I would love to see "The Dagger" light up the final four.

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