Holy Cross adds to the lower seed magic

First time since 2007 Holy Cross is going dancing

Four straight road wins and the Crusaders, along with former longtime Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody is finally in the NCAA Tournament.

Although the record of Holy Cross is one of the worst ever entering the Big Dance at 14-19 (and they are the 25th team in history with an under .500 record to make the tournament, in addition to losing all nine of their conference road games during the regular season), you have to give those kids a ton of credit for sticking together.

They could have easily folded in the hostile environment of Lehigh, as the Mountain Hawks dug themselves an early hole and came back thanks to nailing threes.   Lehigh scored 16 points in the first eight minutes of the second half to make the game close.   But an overall shooting clip of 32 percent simply will not get it done.   Holy Cross managed to pull it out by a 59-56 count.  Lehigh pulled to within a single point on two occasions in the final 70 seconds, but Holy Cross won it at the free throw line.  Similar to Austin Peay on Saturday, Holy Cross being a nine seed is the lowest ever to win in the Patriot League.

Wild quarterfinal day in the ACC Tournament

Three of the four games in Washington on Wednesday went down to the wire, with only one upset of note–Georgia Tech rallied from an 18 point deficit to stun Clemson 88-85 in overtime.  The afternoon session saw Pittsburgh send Syracuse home early (and more than likely the Orange will be NIT bound when the brackets are released on Sunday afternoon) 72-71 and Duke came back to upend upset minded North Carolina State 92-89.  The final game wasn’t even close as Virginia Tech hit a bunch of key shots in the second half to outdistance the alma mater of 2005 Playboy Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon in Florida State 96-85.

Thursday’s quarterfinal action will be just as hot as the top seed of North Carolina gets things rolling with Pittsburgh, while the defending ACC Tournament champions of Notre Dame take on the defending national champs of Duke.  The nightcap has Virginia taking on Georgia Tech, while the last game will have Miami (Florida) taking on the Hokies from Virginia Tech.

Will Texas Tech be an at-large team after losing to TCU?

Who knows after the shocking 77-72 loss in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.  The resume is there for the Red Raiders, but I think it will come largely to what the likes of Tulsa, UConn, Cincinnati, and Memphis do these next few days.

Please have a good night and I will preview briefly the final quartet of postseason tournaments that will begin on Thursday in the AAC, Big West, Sun Belt, and the WAC.
Take care, everybody.

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