- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

HE SAID WHAT?

“There’s never been a time when America needs and deserves the NCAA basketball tournament more than this year. People are waiting to jump out of their chairs and cheer for something.” — CBS Sports president Sean McManus

THE BEST OF THE WEEKEND IN SPORTS

NCAA selection show

Will the Terps hear their name called? Which ACC teams will get No. 1 seeds? And will the committee accidentally schedule BYU to play on a Sunday?

ACC tournament

North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest are all in the running for top seeds in the NCAA tournament. But Florida State and Virginia Tech are playing well enough to spoil someone’s weekend.

Big East tournament

Louisville won the conference’s regular-season title and could land a top seed. But that doesn’t guarantee anything in this tournament, which always bubbles over with drama.

Capitals vs. Hurricanes

The Caps are fighting to get back the Eastern Conference’s second seed, and Carolina is fighting just to make the playoffs. It’s always compelling when these teams face off.

TWT FIVE » REASONS AMERICAN COULD BE AN NCAA CINDERELLA (IF IT QUALIFIES)

1. If they beat Holy Cross on Friday, the Eagles will have won 13 straight games. Only Memphis has a longer winning streak.

2. After playing Tennessee tough in the first round last year, the Eagles will have the benefit of experience this time.

3. There’s precedent for Patriot League teams playing well against top programs in the first round. Bucknell beat Kansas in 2005, and Holy Cross gave scares to Kentucky in 2001, Kansas in 2002 and Marquette in 2003.

4. Four of the Eagles’ top five scorers are seniors. This is not a team that will be rattled by a more talented foe.

5.The Eagles shoot better than 46 percent, ranking them 56th in the nation — ahead of Michigan State, Illinois, Washington and Villanova.

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