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article imageOp-Ed: Why we root for the underdog

By Michael Bearak     Mar 31, 2010 in Sports
The NCAA tournament is left with just four horses, while the world is left with broken brackets everywhere. It is years like this one that make it so wonderful to root for the underdog.
Just about two weeks ago 64 teams entered the NCAA tournament, if you want to get technical it was 65 including the play-in game. Now we are down to just 4 teams. It is an amazing run as most people figured Kansas and Kentucky would be playing for the title. There is no representation from the west or southwest. Two of the teams have long pedigrees of play, a third is a bit of an up 'n comer, and then there is Butler, a 5th seeded. Actually there are two fifth seeds when you include Michigan State, but they tend to be a tournament staple making it to late rounds of play.
For Butler though they are playing in their own backyard in Indianapolis. Their fans don't have to travel and they can pack the stadium and the streets to pull for their Bulldogs. While Duke has become the favorite after getting in as the lowest number one seed, they have been the only to survive. People are talking about it being their tournament to lose, but they have to beat a good West Virginia team first.
If things workout fans will see Butler in the final, and hopefully giving hope to mid-majors, to the little guy and the under-dog they will win these two remaining games to become National Champions.
The irony is that the defending champions, the University of North Carolina will be playing in the NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday against Dayton. It would be the first time that a team one the NCAA Tournament and then the NIT (a.k.a. Not in-the Tournament-tournament) in back-to-back years. It would also stand to reason that should Duke continue their run that the state of North Carolina would have back-to-back NCAA titles as well as the NIT.
A Butler championship are things that movies will be made of, bedtime stories will be written and history will be redefined. So, it is hard not to want to pull for Butler. No one expects them to be here, no one expects them to get back Michigan State, but then again when no expects anything it is pretty easy to do everything.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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