Will the Real Cinderella Team Please Stand Up

Jennifer TaglioneCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2010

It’s not an NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament without a little madness! And this year, the first rounds have been filled with shockers. First off, the usual tournament suspects aren’t even in the big dance. Teams like UNC, UConn, UCLA, and Michigan are all MIA this year. And now, this Big Dance has a whole lot of princesses…er, princes….going to the Sweet 16 Dance.

I’m a sucker for a good Cinderella story. I love the come from behind, little unknown teams that make a run for the championship. Don’t we all? I mean isn’t that why we all tune in every year with our brackets clutched in our sweaty palms as we hold our breaths during the last second shots?

It’s certainly not to see teams like Kentucky or Syracuse dominate the opposition by 20 points, even if we did pick them in the brackets and have them in the Final Four.

No, we watch for the underdogs. We wait to see who will be the Cinderella team of the year that will shock everyone. Typically in March Madness, a team is a Cinderella if they are seeded 10-16 and they somehow advance to the Sweet 16.  And there will always be one. There is always some team that wins when all odds were against them and takes down one of the best, most powerful teams in the country.

And we all gasp in stunned disbelief, even though it’s what we were secretly hoping for all along.

But what happens when there are four teams?

When the dust settled after the first two maddening rounds of the 2010 NCAA Tourney, it became clear that there was going to be a big problem: Too many Cinderellas in this Big Dance. In fact, a quarter of the Sweet 16 can be considered Cinderellas.

So I gotta ask: Will the real Cinderella Team please stand up? Or I suppose, which Cinderella will the glass slipper fit….

Is it…Cinderella-Cornell : The No. 12 seed who beat No. 4 Wisconsin by almost 20 points in the second round when before this year, they had never won a single NCAA tournament game, ever.

Or maybe it’s Cinderella-Washington , the No. 11 seed that knocked off No. 3 New Mexico to the shock of, well, everyone.

Is it Cinderella- St. Mary ’s?  They would make a great Cinderella. After all, they are the No. 10 seed virtual unknown who took down No. 2 NCAA tourney powerhouse team Villanova.

Or, perhaps it’s Cinderella-Northern Iowa ? The little No. 9 seed that came out of nowhere and took down not just a No. 1 seed, but the No. 1 seed of the entire tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks.

I’m sure the real Cinderella won’t be crowned until after the Sweet 16 dance is over, but I’m casting my ballot for Northern Iowa. Yes, they are the highest seed of the four but like I said, they took down the No. 1 seed.

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