Senior Night

Posted: Saturday, March 03, 2012 by Travis Cody in
13

This evening, North Carolina and Duke will renew what I believe is the greatest rivalry in college basketball.  It's on the short list of greatest rivalries in all of sport.

It is also Senior Night for Duke.

So I'd like to take a moment and honor the seniors from the four programs I follow closely.  Three are locks for the NCAA Tournament later this month, playing now for the best possible seed.  The fourth must win its conference tournament to go dancing.

Duke (26-4 overall, 13-2 in the ACC) is playing for the outright ACC regular season title and #1 seed in the ACC tournament.  They are in the conversation for a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. 

I haven't always liked the way this team has played, but they seem to have found their identity and are coming together here as the madness approaches.  If they can win at home tonight and then win the conference tournament, they have a claim to a coveted 1 seed.  At worst, I think they are a 2.

Congratulations to Miles Plumlee, the only senior on the roster.

It's been a rough road for Indiana (23-7 overall, 10-7 in the Big Ten) over the last few seasons.  But Coach Tom Crean has brought the Hoosiers back to national relevance.  They have wins over #1 Kentucky, Ohio State when it was ranked #2, and Michigan State when it was ranked #5.  I suspect they are in the 5 or 6 range for seeding in the tournament, but I won't rest easy until I hear them called on Selection Sunday.

Congratulations to seniors Kory Barnett, Verdell Jones III, Daniel Moore, and Tom Pritchard.

Notre Dame (20-10 overall, 12-5 in the Big East) got off to a horrendous start.  Returning 5th year senior Tim Abromaitis went down early with a season ending knee injury.   The young players were struggling.  They couldn't beat anyone of consequence.

But then something happened.  After yet another bad loss, the Irish handed then #1 Syracuse its first loss of the season.  That started a 9 game winning streak and helped stake ND to a double bye as the 4 seed in the Big East tournament.  Now I think anything is possible for this group.

Congratulations to seniors Abromaitis and Scott Martin.

After two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament final, narrowly missing the storybook finish in 2010 against Duke, Butler (19-13 overall, 11-7 in the Horizon) finds itself in the middle of the Horizon league pack.  The Bulldogs have scratched and clawed out a respectable season, with new leaders emerging late, but they need to win the conference tournament just to get the the Dance. 

I wouldn't count them out.  Coach Brad Stevens somehow finds a way to do the improbable.  If they do get to the NCAAs, I wouldn't want to be the 3 or 4 seed who has to play them in the opening rounds.

Congratulations to seniors Garrett Butcher, Rotnei Clarke, and Ronald Nored.

Well done and best wishes to all for your futures.

13 comments:

  1. Jamie says:

    Sorry my link on 5 On Friday was messed up. Please stop by for a visit http://jdurward.blogspot.com

  1. Cherie says:

    Congratulations to all the seniors!

  1. Cherie says:

    Congratulations to all the seniors!

  1. Cherie says:

    Congratulations to all the seniors!

  1. Cherie says:

    Congratulations to all the seniors!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    All that has gone right over my head! :0

    Happy Monday Trav. :)

  1. Carolina spanked them, but I presume they will play the third game this season next Sunday for the Championship

  1. I missed the game. What happened? Would daddy be happy?

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    If I had to pick, I'd say: Go Dukes! Don't tell hubby whom is a Buckeyes fan :;

  1. Jamie says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Jamie says:

    Travis, Did you see the "sneak Peak" at DWTS on ET?

    DWTS Preview

  1. So many of Duke's player head to the NBA early that I'm surprised that they are able to have a Senior night.

  1. You and I have traded comments regarding my Dawgs, so I'll refrain from more here, but I will say that it's good to see Hoosier hoops back in the national spotlight. If my Dawgs aren't dancin', you'd better believe I'll be watching the Crimson and Crean. :)