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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013

2 minute warning: Top two seeds will have to claw out of early hole

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013
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March Madness has come early here at Fort Benning and an intramural basketball champion will be crowned Thursday.

The zaniness was abundant on Monday. Do you remember how in recent years the NCAA tournament has seen some monumental upsets in the opening round? Well, imagine a No. 1 seed losing to a No. 16 and a No. 2 losing to a No. 15 on the same day. That’s pretty much what happened on the opening night of the Commander’s Cup Basketball Postseason Tournament.

When 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, 194th Armored Brigade, played the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, late in the regular season, it looked like it would be a preview of Thursday’s championship game. Those two teams had separated themselves from the pack. 3-81 was undefeated, while the 203rd had just one loss.

The game came right down to the wire, but 203rd earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a close win over 3-81, who looked to have control of the game until the 203rd rallied in the last five minutes. But even at that, 3-81 missed a tip-in that would have tied the game as time expired.

No surprise, I expected those teams to meet again for the championship. But after Round 1, we know that at least one will not get there.

Both teams were upset Monday by the No. 7 and 8 seeds and, consequently, fell into the losers’ bracket. The 203rd lost to the 192nd Infantry Brigade, 65-63, while 3-81 was upset by 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 37-33.

That’s the beauty of any basketball tournament. It just goes to show that any team can pull off a stunner on any given night.

And guess who is in prime position to make a run at another basketball title. Yep, MEDDAC. Coach James Johnson always has his guys playing their best ball around tournament time. And don’t sleep on the 75th Ranger Regiment, who won the title in 2011, either.

But then again, there could be much more parity between teams than I had noticed during the regular season. Both the 192nd and 3-1 CAV have to believe they can beat anybody.

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