Tyson leads after first tournament weekend; lace up your running shoes

Published 4:58 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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I haven’t filled out an NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket for a few years now and I’m really glad I didn’t this year.

It doesn’t have anything to do with professional objectivity, it’s just too stressful.

It’s been so much fun to just enjoy the upsets as they happen instead of wondering why I didn’t pick that particular team.

As a proud Duke fan, I am not surprised at all by their early exit. They were red hot down the stretch, which excited a lot of folks, but the ACC is mediocre at best and they are too inexperienced in big games to win against legit teams.

My highlights of the first weekend were watching perennial chokers Arizona and Purdue live up to their reputations. Another was watching Arkansas send Kansas home. I’m good the rest of the way no matter who wins since the Jayhawks and the Tar Heels won’t be around.

I was proud that my alma mater, the University of Missouri won a game before being sent packing and it’s nice to see Princeton, Creighton and Xavier advance.

Despite the high profile upsets, there really isn’t a Cinderella other than #15 Princeton. It’s the first time in a while that only one double-digit seed advanced to the Sweet 16.

Here’s another fun fact: no defending champion has advanced past the round of 16 since 2007. It’s not happening this year either, since Kansas is out.

Only nine of the top 16 seeds advanced, which will make for an interesting round Thursday and Friday. However, Alabama and Houston are on track to meet for the title. We’ll see.

Washington High School girls coach Will Tyson leads the area coaches after the first weekend. Alabama, Xavier and UCLA are still in the hunt from his Final Four, while Purdue is out. Tyson picked the Tide to go all the way.

Southside girls coach Milton Ruffin is second. UVA and Duke are gone, but Miami and his national champ, Gonzaga remain.

Northside girls coach Michelle Leathers has Alabama and Texas still dancing, but she went with her alma mater, Kansas, as the champ.

The boys coaches struggled.

Defending champion Jared Adams of Northside only has Houston left, but he did pick them to win it all. Baylor, Kansas and Purdue are done.

Washington’s David Allewalt has Texas still in it, but Arizona, Duke and Kansas checked out.

Which brings us to the most entertaining pick by Pungo Christian Academy’s Logan Van Staalduinen. He chose his former school, N.C. St. to beat Houston in Houston on a last-second rebound and put back honoring State’s 1983 title. Too bad it’s not gonna happen. The Cougars are still in it, but Kansas and Duke join the Wolfpack in planning for next year.

On to other business.

I’m not a runner, but I’ve done it twice a week since the first of February. I’m in training for the 5K Exodus Run April 8 that starts and ends at Mac Hodges Festival Park in Washington.

F3, the local men’s workout group is the sponsor, and being a Saturday morning group member, I’d like to do my best. It’s the first time we’ve tried this and hopefully it will be a successful fundraiser for Dare Challenge, a men’s program, which has helped many men in our area recover from addiction.

Go to runtheeast.com and click on race calendar to register.

I ran in the Washington Rotary St. Patrick’s Day race Saturday just to see how things would go. I had fun and set a personal record, still slow by most standards, but much better than when I started.

If I can, you can. Hopefully, we’ll see you on April 8.