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Bracket takes a hit

March 25, 2008 - Neil Rudel

My Final Four is 75 percent intact, having lost Duke.

I have/had Tenneseee, Duke, Texas and Kansas with Duke and Tennessee advancing to the final game.

I figured being a No. 2 seed, thus not being everybody's favorite, might help Duke. It turns out it would help more if this year's edition of Coach K had a post presence.

Duke was fortunate not to be taken out in the first round by a Belmont team that, with a one-point lead, the ball and 50 seconds left -- at a point where Duke may have had to foul -- decided to start overcoaching, caled timeout and stopped its own clock. Belmont never recovered.

Duke lived another day, but just one more day.

Tennessee was more fortunate, escaping a game Butler team but looking fragile in the process.

The upsets and the excitement generated by potential upsets make this the greatest event in sports.

Davidson. Siena. San Diego. Imagine being a spectator with no allegiance in Tampa last Friday and seeing two 13s (San Diego, Siena) and two 12s (Villanova, Western Kentucky) bust everybody's bracket.

A lot of the ESPN voices are now saying these upsets hurt the event going into this weekend, but you can't have it both ways: You can't love Cinderella until 11:59 p.m.

So go Davidson, Western Kentucky and 'Nova and, oh yeah, Tennessee.

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