Better than Christmas | Outside Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Better than Christmas 

After four-plus months of college basketball, it's finally here. The NCAA tournament: the last pure thing remaining in the world of sports; the reason we would rather have every day of our lives be the first day of the tourney and not Christmas.

But before the games get rolling, there is the obligatory bitchfest following Selection Sunday, with sports writers, commentators, coaches, and conference officials putting in their two cents as to who made the field of 65 (don't forget the Tuesday night play-in game) and who will stay home. This year's Selection Sunday was tamer than years past, but there were some teams like Arizona State (19-12 overall, tied for fourth place in the Pac-10) that didn't make the dance.The West Coast is touting its best tourney roster in recent memory with six Pac-10 teams and another three from the West Coast Conference. Does this mean the East Coast basketball bias, fueled by the likes of Dick Vitale (who should hang up the mic before he either goes mute or gets punched in the face) is over? No. It's not. But we'll take what we can get.

The University of Oregon slipped into the tourney (barely), earning a nine seed, but the Ducks aren't the only Oregon school strapping on its dancing shoes. We're talking about Portland State - who went 23-9 this year and won the Big Sky conference. The Vikings didn't have much time to celebrate before being slapped with a 16 seed and a date with top-seeded Kansas in the first round. OK, so this is PSU's first time to the dance, but a 16 seed? Those are usually reserved for "where the eff is that?" schools. A 16 has never slain a one seed, but it will eventually happen and Left Field thinks Thursday could be the day. But with that said, you might still want to write in Kansas in your office bracket.

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