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More On Friday's Games

There's no way to get around this: people expect a lot out of Duke and UNC, but other than Maryland, the rest of the conference has tanked in the tournament.

Team Conference
Dayton A-10
Xavier A-10
Villanova Big East
Texas A&M Big 12
Oklahoma State
Purdue Big Ten
Michigan State
Memphis C-USA
Siena MAAC
Washington PAC-10
Arizona State
Gonzaga WCC
Western Kentucky Sun Belt
Teams Conference
Clemson ACC
Wake Forest
Florida State
Boston College
Temple A-10
Portland State Big Sky
Radford Big South
Minnesota Big Ten
Ohio State
Northridge Big West
Butler Horizon
Cornell Ivy
Akron MAC
Morgan State MEAC
N. Iowa Missouri Valley
BYU Mountain West
Utah NEC
Robert Morris
Morehead State OVC
Cal PAC-10
American Patriot
Tennessee SEC
Miss. State
Stephen F. Austin Southland
Chattanooga Southern
N. Dakota State Summit
Utah State WAC

B.C. and Florida State get credit for at least trying, but Wake and Clemson just stunk the joint up.

On Thursday, Clemson was awful; on Friday, Wake wasn't much better. They fell behind early, 29-12, and while they came back and were in the game against Cleveland State, when the Vikings responded, Wake crumpled.

This is an extravagantly talented team. They have no business losing to Cleveland State. Or rather, they shouldn't have given up. But basically, that's what happened.

In the B.C. game, they fought hard, but USC had a better night. And Florida State took Wisconsin to overtime before losing by a bucket.

So in a nightmare scenario, Duke, UNC and Maryland could all lose tomorrow and the ACC is done. Not impressive.

Siena knocked off Ohio State in a dramatic, double overtime game that came down to the wire and established some nice Cinderella credentials. Siena is coached, incidentally, by Fran McCaffery, the one-time Wake player who came to Winston-Salem labeled as the White Magic and transferred as something less than that.

Dayton also knocked off West Virginia in another nice upset. And of course Cleveland State's win over Wake Forest was as impressive for them as it was pathetic for Wake.

One of the things that a lot of people tend to miss is that a lot of the so-called smaller schools like Dayton, East Tennessee State, Cleveland State, and Siena have their own traditions of success, and they come into the tournament with those expectations. Dayton, for instance, has been to the Final Four. Admittedly, it was in the 60s, but they've been. Siena has had some success, and ETSU beat Iowa and Arizona in the '80s. The kids now don't know, but the proof is on the walls in their lockerrooms and arenas.

On Saturday, UNC will get a tough matchup with LSU, a talented, quick and well-coached team. And Maryland gets Memphis, a team that felt they should be seeded #1 in their region. They've won 25 straight.

Jeff Capel's Oklahoma team gets Michigan, a challenging opponent but one the Sooners should be able to handle.

Herb Sendek's Arizona State squad gets Syracuse, which is an interesting matchup, and Western Kentucky will face off with Gonzaga.

UCLA takes on Villanova, which should be a pretty good game. Texas A&M gets UConn, and while UConn is favored, an upset here wouldn't completely shock us. Purdue and Washington should be a good, rugged game as well.

So far, the Big East, the Big 12, and the PAC-10 are doing better than the ACC.

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