2011 NCAA Tournament: With VCU vs. Butler, Is It One Too Many Cinderellas?

Jarred KiddContributor IIIMarch 28, 2011

Everybody loves to root for an underdog. 

Whether it's David vs. Goliath or Rocky vs. Apollo Creed, people find the triumph of the underdog to inspire hope.

The NCAA Tournament often captures the attention of the casual sports fan for that exact reason.

While George Mason's run to the Final Four in 2006 is the most recent example of this, there have been numerous examples of great underdog stories going back to Villanova in 1985 or even Texas Western in 1966.

So, you would think that it's a great thing that VCU and Butler find themselves in a Final Four matchup with a spot in the national championship on the line.

Well, I don't.

It's like Rocky fighting Rudy. David vs. David just doesn't have the same entertaining dynamic that comes with rooting for the scrappy group of underdogs to defeat the traditional powerhouses like, say, a Duke or North Carolina.

Now, some people would argue that Butler isn't really a Cinderella team when you consider the fact that they were in the national championship game last year. While I understand that line of thinking, this is a different Butler team—without last year's star, Gordon Hayward and with a much harder path this year as an No. 8 seed.  

However, there is no question that VCU is the bigger underdog of the two teams.

Shaka Smart, the 33-year-old head coach, is one of the youngest coaches to ever take a team to the Final Four. This is a team that finished fourth in the CAA Conference and lost games to Georgia State, James Madison and Northeastern.

Clearly, they were lucky to even make the tournament, given the fact that they had to play in one of the play-in games.

In the end, all will be well, as only one of the two teams will advance to the national championship and receive the opportunity to complete their magical runs. Even better, they will be matched up with either Kentucky or UConn, two of college basketball's premier programs.

One of these Cinderella stories will have a chance at the fairy tale ending, it's just a shame that they'll have to fight each other for it to happen.

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