What Colors Will Cinderella's Dress Be This Year?

Francis ParkmanContributor IMarch 17, 2009

Well, the NCAA tournament is finally upon us. Sorry Duke,UNC, Louisville and UConn fans, but Cinderella got an invitation as well. No one can forget the magical run that Stephen Curry and the Davidson Wildcats went on last year. Nor can we forget about George Mason's Final Four appearance in 2006.

It's only a matter of time before Cinderella she arrives to the "Big Dance" in her carriage. But who is this year's tournament sweetheart? The possibilities are endless.

First, we are going to look at the 14 seed in the Midwest Region, the North Dakota State University Bison. Their first round game happens to be against the No. 3 seed and the defending national champion Kansas Jayhawks.

Easy win for KU, right? Wrong. The Bison as a team rank fifth in the nation in three-point shooting (41.2 percent) and rank third in the nation in field goal shooting (48.9 percent), and also shoot 73.8 percent from the foul line. That's good for 34th in the nation.

They don't rebound particularly well, but their great shooting makes up for that. If Kansas thinks that they can play half-heartedly and still win, they will be sorely mistaken.

The West Region's 11 seed is the Utah State Aggies. They are another interesting team in this year's tournament. The Aggies are the best field goal shooting team in the nation at 49.8 percent. Their 39.8 percent three-point field goal percentage is 15th best in the nation.

They also have the 32nd best free throw shooting team in the nation. They don't score a lot of points, but when they have their crosshairs locked in on the basket, Connecticut, Memphis and Missouri could see their national title hopes dashed.

The West Region has another possible Cinderella. The 12 seed Northern Iowa Panthers shoot 45.5 percent from the field and 75.2 percent from the foul line, good for 83rd and 19th in the nation.

They don't shoot very well from beyond the three-point line, a mere 34.7 percent. They don't turn the ball over very much, 11.6 turnovers per game. That stat would be good for second in the Big East and first in the ACC. If they can play to their strengths and control the clock, Cinderella's dress might be purple with gold accents.

So, who do you think is this year's cinderella story? I've given you my picks for tournament story of the year.

Now I want to hear what teams you think will take on the proverbial role of "David" and take down college basketball's goliaths. Whether it's a 16 seed or one of the teams that I mentioned, please let me know.