Tuesday, March 13, 2018

2018 Tournament of Art

It has long been my custom this time of year to track all the colleges who have in common a team in the NCAA Basketball Tournament and being a place I have an artistic connection to.  That can be a place I took classes, a place I worked at, a place that I have exhibited at, or a place that has collected some of my artwork.  There are also schools that I have a rooting interest in, but I don't count those for the tournament. For a while it looked like I might have a bunch this year, but the field was announced this past weekend, and there are only two teams.

I have attended two Division I colleges and both were in possible position this season.  SIU had a decent team this year, a good seeding for their conference tournament, but lost in the semi-final.  The College of William and Mary also ended up with a very good record, a good seeding in the CAA tournament. Watched the game on tv and the announcers talked about how W&M led the nation in 3 point shooting percentage, and were top 5 in many categories, however, in the game that followed they missed almost every shot and were eliminated.  And while both schools had very respectable records, it was decided that certain power conferences had to have 8 or 9 teams in the tournament, so without the automatic bid, they had no luck.

Some things were close- Harvard and Florida Gulf Coast University lost their conference title games and will sit things out.  I have multiple connections to the University of Texas at Arlington, but it's the main campus in Austin that has the team that made it.

So in the end I have two teams.  Syracuse (exhibition 2005) just barely made it, we are told the last team in as an at-large pick.  With an #11 seed in their region, they aren't expected to go very far. In fact, they have a play-in round tonight just to continue, which is why I had to get this up now.   My other school is Villanova (exhibition 1997), which is a #1 seed in the East region, and had been a #1 team in the country for much of the season.  Seen a few games on tv this year, and when they play at their best they can beat any team in the country.  Winning the whole tournament means winning your next 6 games, but they are all against top teams in the nation, so not an easy task.  I'll provide updates on my schools each weekend.


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