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Men's Elite Eight at the Ralph

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When Metro State was playing South Dakota in the North Central Regional Championship game, the Grand Forks Visitors Bureau probably had its clear favorite. If South Dakota would have made it, they would have brought thousands of fans, especially if they won a game or two. Metro State, with its poor fan following, is the worst-case North Central representative. Not having a team from the MIAA also hurts attendance, as Pittsburg State or a Missouri team would probably have brought a lot more fans then Tarleton State of Texas, who beat out the MIAA schools. Findlay will probably be the team with the most fans. With next Saturday's championship game on CBS, the Ralph has got to be hoping for a decent turnout.

Here is the full field:

Bryant Bullodogs (Smithfield, RI) vs

Mount Olive Trojans (Mount Olive, NC)

Lynn Knights (Miami FL area) vs

Findlay Oilers (OH)

Cal Poly-Pomona Broncos (LA area) vs

Tartleton State Texans

Virginia Union Panthers (Richmond) vs

Metro State (Denver)

Metro State probably should be favored to win it, but they probably have the toughest draw.

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Here's some select articles on the Elite Eight teams from different sources:

Something special about March Madness, at any level

Toledo Blade -No. 1 Findlay in Elite Eight after thrashing Ferris State

Baltimore Sun - Bowie State loses regional final despite big rally

Boston Herald - Bryant clocks Bentley

Rocky Mountain News - Metro's Dunlap has no interest in Loyola Marymount

Reviewing some of the press, seems like some sportswriters are not exactly enamored by the ideal of going to Grand Forks. Perhaps they'll be a little surprised by the little arena on the prairie.

Miami Herald - Knights reach Elite Eight

The Lynn Fighting Knights will be trading shorts pants for winter coats next week, and won't be complaining a bit. They're heading to the Elite Eight in Grand Forks, N.D.
Goldsboro (NC) News - Mount Olive to Elite Eight

As spring approaches in eastern North Carolina, the Mount Olive College men's basketball team won't be packing up its winter clothes just yet.

The Trojans are headed to frigid, Grand Forks, North Dakota and the Division II Elite Eight next week.

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Not to bash you guys or anything, but when you're from the area around Miami and go head off to North Dakota in the middle of March, not a lot of them are overly happy about that. I'm sure they're more than happy to be in the Elite Eight, but its not like ND is a popular destination for millions of Co-eds on Spring Break. ??????

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Not to bash you guys or anything, but when you're from the area around Miami and go head off to North Dakota in the middle of March, not a lot of them are overly happy about that.  I'm sure they're more than happy to be in the Elite Eight, but its not like ND is a popular destination for millions of Co-eds on Spring Break.  ???  ???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

and Michigan is much better???

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From the Herald Article:

Last year's championship game drew 2,378 fans in Lakeland, Fla. The three-day tournament attracted 50,912 fans.

Two years ago, 5,119 fans watched Kentucky Wesleyan - another traditional Division II power - play in the championship game in Evansville, Ind. Kentucky Wesleyan's proximity to Evansville, however, helped attendance as more than 60,000 fans attended the four sessions spread over three days.

These numbers make no sense. I went back and the 2002 tourney (where Metro beat Kentucky Wesleyan in Evansville) drew 13,700 for the 4 sessions. I think the Herald numbers are referring to the entire championship, including the regionals. Even without a local team, I would think that 3,000 a session is an attainable goal for the tourney.

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From the Herald Article:

Last year's championship game drew 2,378 fans in Lakeland, Fla. The three-day tournament attracted 50,912 fans.

...

These numbers make no sense.

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Findlay had a very good following of intense fans.  It's too bad they lost last night because they added a lot to the atmosphere.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, they got one of the better fan followings for BB in the GLIAC, no surprize that they didn't represent up there in GF. Pity they lost. :sad:

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Metro State, with its poor fan following, is the worst-case North Central representative.

FYI. Metro is a non-traditional college located right smack dab downtown Denver. There is no on-campus living and the average student age is much older than traditional colleges/universities. Last statistic I heard was 26 years old. I don't follow their BB program. They do have a very good record of success given the fact their primay focus is education and they don't use athletics as a draw card for enrollment.

Just wanted to point that out.

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Have they release any official numbers on attendance for the first day? I am going to see if I can't find a few friends to go watch the games with tonight since student tickets are pretty dang cheap. I certainly hope that people show up on saturday though, that's when it really matters.

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I would hope so, but chances are they will not. GF just doesn't support b-ball. Too caught up in hockey. I for one don't mind hockey but think b-ball is much better!

I think the REA made a big mistake bringing this tourney in though. They try to show off that arena so much but people are just not interested. Sure it's a great place but people around the country don't care. It's a college hockey arena and most of the country probably doesn't know, or care, that there is such a thing as college hockey. I think they need to concentrate on bringing in events like the curling championship they just announced and other events that will relate to those people who live in the area or are close enough to travel there.

I just hope some people will go to the game so it doesn't look totally empty, although people tuning in probably don't really expect too many people to be there.

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CSTV interviewed one of the NCAA selection people (mike Hall?). He is out of South Carolina Upstate or something like that.

Said it took them less than five minutes to pick The Ralph to be host.

Also said that some publications have the The Ralph as #3 in all sports venues behind Staples Center (nothing special) and Madison Square Garden. I have never heard any of this.

They did a few shots just from the baseline cam. Looked like the lower bowl sides were filled for the night game.

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CSTV interviewed one of the NCAA selection people (mike Hall?).  He is out of South Carolina Upstate or something like that.

Said it took them less than five minutes to pick The Ralph to be host.

Also said that some publications have the The Ralph as #3 in all sports venues behind Staples Center (nothing special) and Madison Square Garden.  I have never heard any of this.

They did a few shots just from the baseline cam.  Looked like the lower bowl sides were filled for the night game.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This was out of a paper from Norway. The thing was junk! It had the Ralph up there with Wrigley and Fenway! MSG?? are you kidding me? Staples Center? Your joking right? NOPE thats how they ranked them. It was in the Heraldo last summer I believe and I laughed pretty hard when I read it.

Don't get me wrong the place is beautiful, but IT'S NO WRIGLEY OR FENWAY!!

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Was to busy watching hockey to remember that the championship was on TV and I just missed it.    :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For some reason they ain't playing any Hockey here in Michigan. Stupid!!! :D Anyways, I did catch the game today. Looked and sounded like there was a fairly decent size crowd there in Grand Forks. CBS really impressed me with their coverage of the game. A whole lot better than what ESPN ever did with the D2 Football championship game. Wasn't as much shameless self promotion going on, but then again, who doesn't know that March Madness was going on? It was a pretty good game, Bryant staying close with Virginia Union all day. I do think I saw a few green shirts in the crowd cheering for Bryant, so lets hope they keep up their end of the bargain right?? :blink::lol:

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I was flipping back and forth between the DII championship on CBS and the Bemidji-DU game on FSN. I was a little pissed when I flipped back to FSN and they had cut away from the BU-DU game as it was going into overtime to the Minney game. I don't understand how you can show a whole game and then cut away as it is going into overtime! They could handle missing the first few minutes of the Gopher game to show the end of the game I had just sat for hours watching and then not even letting me watch the overtime :)

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