- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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One of the great things about the big dance and March Madness is the little guy getting his chance against teams from the major power conferences.
My friends, it is not easy being the little guy. One of the attractions of the NCAA tourney is the David vs. Goliath mentality. Just look at what happened last year when Davidson advanced to the Elite Eight and took eventual champion Kansas to the wire. Beating the likes of Georgetown and Wisconsin along the way showed the Wildcats belonged.
This year, Davidson and Butler posted super records, each winning 26 games. Both dominated their respective leagues. Now they will sit and wait to hear if their names are called among the 34 at-large teams into the field of 65.
Both of these schools should be rewarded for their performances in the regular season. Each stumbled in conference tournament play, but one night should not dictate over an entire campaign.
Davidson was playing well until Stephen Curry was injured. The Wildcats slid a bit, but bounced back until losing to College of Charleston in the Southern Conference semifinals. Bob McKillop's team faced a tough schedule early, including games against Oklahoma, Purdue, Duke and West Virginia. Davidson beat the Mountaineers and lost to the other three, though the game vs. the Sooners was a close call.
Butler has victories over Xavier and Davidson on the resume.
I think Brad Stevens' squad will make it into the field thanks to a positive RPI, though I use the VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index) and had the same conclusion.
Davidson should get a break and an invite too. Stephen Curry deserves another chance to shine in the brightest spotlight of them all, March Madness.
Including these two teams is what the tourney is all about. It brings a majestic attitude to the sport's biggest event.
We will see what happens and learn which teams will have their bubbles burst on Sunday.
Life isn't easy for mid-majors when