March Madness 2011 Bracket: 5 Teams Worth Rooting for in the Sweet 16
The Sweet 16 games kick off tonight, and for most college basketball fans, their team's season is already over.
While some fans can still find a rooting interest based on the brackets they filled out, for most of us even that has been busted and there is no point in paying attention to our picks anymore.
With all of this in mind, fans are looking for a team to grab on to and cheer for all the way to the national championship.
While some of these teams are obvious underdogs that everyone will be rooting for, others are teams that give us a reason other than their records to want them to win the Big Dance.
Feel free to comment below with what teams you will be rooting for.
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The Richmond Spiders are the highest seed remaining in the tournament and are a team that no one expected to be in the Sweet 16.
The Spiders have taken down Vanderbilt and Morehead State and now take on a No. 1 seed in Kansas.
Besides the fans of Kansas, everyone will be cheering for Richmond because not only would it be an upset based on seeds, but it would also be a small school knocking out a big-time basketball program.
Another reason to cheer for the Spiders—it will bust a lot of brackets across the country and give anyone who picked Pittsburgh or Louisville another chance.
Although Richmond has an uphill battle to make it to the Elite Eight, the Spiders should have most of the United States behind them when they take on the Jayhawks and if they move on to later rounds.
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It is hard to not cheer for the most exciting player in the country in Jimmer Fredette and his BYU squad.
Most experts gave BYU little chance after the loss of Brandon Davies, but so far the Cougars have cruised past Wofford and Gonzaga.
Jimmer-mania is the real deal, and watching him take over games makes it impossible to not cheer for him.
Throw in the fact that BYU is playing a Florida team that has won two national championships in the past few years and you could almost consider BYU the little guy, even though it has been highly ranked all season.
Every year a player captivates the country's attention with his amazing performance, but Jimmer has done it in a different and better way than past years and has fans around the country cheering for him.
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Most people were initially angry when VCU was put into the field, as they felt it stole a spot from another deserving team like Colorado or Harvard.
The Rams have proven all those people wrong with three NCAA tournament wins and a very real chance of making it to the Elite Eight.
It is hard to not cheer for the Rams, especially when you look at how they absolutely killed Georgetown and Purdue, winning both games by 18 points.To put a smacking on big-name college basketball programs like that really deserves the respect of the rest of the teams in the field.
What is great about the Rams is that their matchup in the Sweet 16 is against another double-digit seed in Florida State. Not only does this give VCU a very good chance, but it also means that whoever wins will continue in the underdog role moving forward.
San Diego State Aztecs
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Most college basketball fans had not even heard of San Diego State going into this season, but it has gone from a no-name to a household name in a very short time.
The Aztecs are a No. 2 seed in this year's tournament and have made believers in every team they have humbled.
As the photo to the left shows, Aztecs coach Steve Fisher can be quite the character, and it is hard to not cheer for his team.
San Diego State takes on Connecticut in the Sweet 16, which gives the Aztecs a great opportunity to knock out one of the two remaining Big East teams. This will bring a lot of happiness to fans across the country who feel the Big East is overrated.
If you don't like the Big East, then the Aztecs are the team for you to cheer for from now on.
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Besides all the front runners who consider themselves Duke fans, everyone else in the nation was cheering for the Butler Bulldogs in last year's national championship.
The Bulldogs were inches away from being the most memorable champion in NCAA history and are back again this year trying to top last year's performance.
Butler may not have as high a seed as last year, but it proved it should be taken for real when it knocked off the first No. 1 seed to go in Pittsburgh.
The Bulldogs may have won their two games by a combined three points, but they have been this far before and won't be intimidated by the bright lights.
Even if the Bulldogs are to fall to Wisconsin, this won't be the end of the world because Wisconsin has a very lovable team too.