LEWISBURG, Pa. - Notes and the latest media buzz surrounding the Bison's NCAA Tournament bid:
President Brian C. and Maryjane Mitchell will host two receptions in Dallas for alumni, parents, and friends leading up to Friday's game. The first will be Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (CST) at The Westin City Center in the Somerset Room. A pre-game breakfast buffet will be held Friday 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. (CST) in Plaza C of The Westin City Center.
Among the national stories highlighting Bucknell Tuesday was the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida's study on graduation rates among the NCAA men's basketball tournament teams. Bloomberg led with Bucknell and said: "Every basketball player who entered the Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, school from 1995-98 graduated within six years, according to National Collegiate Athletic Association statistics compiled by the University of Central Florida in a study released last night. Bucknell is the only school of the 65 in the tournament to have a perfect record."
Inside Higher Education, the online publication, played up the graduation rate story as well under the headline "A Bracket You Won't See Elsewhere" and a graphic that showed Bucknell the big winner - in terms of graduation success rates.
Says New York Newsday: "Bucknell isn't Bucknell any more. Oh, the Bison are in the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year but they're not the same charming underdog that wrecked office pools throughout the country last spring. They've become the establishment."
Reminders of last year's No. 3-seeded Jayhawks' loss to the No. 14-rated Bison seemingly are everywhere, writes the Lawrence (Kan.) World-Journal. "You have to think about it. CBS plays that commercial every day," KU senior guard Stephen Vinson said Tuesday, referring to a tourney promo that shows Wayne Simien's last-second shot missing and the Bison rejoicing after a 64-63 decision March 18, 2005, in Oklahoma City. " I keep trying to get excited about the tournament, but every time I start watching something about it, that's on there."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an NCAA Tournament preview today. A link couldn't be found, but the headline blurb read: "Dookies, beware. You too, Big East. Bucknell and the boys have made it to March. And they're ready to bust some brackets…Look out for the LITTLE GUYS." And the cover picture showed three small boys - each wearing a basketball jersey: one for Wichita State, one for Gonzaga, and one for Bucknell.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa. quoted coach Pat Flannery about opponents being ready for the Bison. "As far as sneaking, there's nobody in the tournament who's going to be asleep against us," said Flannery. "It's going to have to happen with our play. They're going to be ready and that's the way it'll be this year."
Everyone wants to know about Kansas and Bucknell's upset of the No. 3 seed last year, noted The Morning News/Razorback Central. But as Bison co-captain Charles Lee explained: "It is something obviously like we've said all year, we are proud of. But when we're done playing and don't have another game to look forward to, we'll reflect back on it a little bit more. But it will be nice to play Arkansas and worry about them. They're enough to worry about. Kansas is a long, long time ago."
Speaking of Kansas, The Lawrence-Journal World wrote: "So we're set for the 2006 tournament. KU got a relatively high seed, considering that in January we weren't even sure if they'd make the field. All should be well and exciting in Jayhawk land. Yet something seems to be nagging at the back of my mind — (Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer. Bucknell Bummer.) — and I'm not sure what it is."
Says The Miami Herald: "Bucknell over Arkansas: Bucknell beat two top-50 teams and was 12-3 away from home."
Posted March 15, 2006