The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 2, 2013

Louisville the ‘sure thing’ in a season of parity

NORMAN — The word of the season: Parity.

The team of the moment: Louisville.

For a college basketball season in which it seemed anybody could beat anybody, and the No. 1 ranking was never secure, Rick Pitino’s Cardinals have certainly cemented themselves as a prohibitive front-runner now that there are only four teams left. They head to Atlanta listed as 3-5 favorites in Las Vegas, after dispatching everyone from Duke to North Carolina A&T with equal ease on their way to the Final Four.

Trying to stop them will be Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State — a pair of No. 4 seeds and a No. 9, all serving as great examples of how difficult it was to sort out the contenders from the pretenders heading into the 2013 version of March Madness.

“Cinderella found one glass skipper,” said Gregg Marshall, coach of Wichita State, which beat No. 1-seeded Gonzaga and No. 2 Ohio State on its way to adding some mid-major mojo to the Final Four. “We won four games. I don’t think she found four glass slippers. When you get to this point, you’re good enough to win it all.”

Pitino said he does, in fact, believe in parity during this, a season in which the team at the top of The Associated Press poll changed five times in five straight weeks at one point.

He called the Midwest Region, where the Cardinals were seeded first and won their games by an average of nearly 22 points, “the death bracket.”

“I’ve experienced quite a few NCAAs,” said Pitino, who is coaching his seventh Final Four team. “I’ve never played the likes of a Colorado State in the second round. They’re a team that was very much capable of getting to a Final Four. Then Oregon was just absolutely terrific. Then certainly Coach K and Duke ... To play Duke in an Elite Eight, never mind a Final Four, it was a death bracket.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Furyk take three shot lead at the Canadian Open

    Associated Press MONTREAL — Jim Furyk moved into position for his third Canadian Open victory, shooting a 5-under 65 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead at Royal Montreal....

    July 27, 2014

  • Pair from U.S. will play for Junior title

    THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Davis Riley outlasted Sam Horsfield on the 21st hole Friday in the U.S. Junior Amateur to set up an all-American final against William Zalatoris....

    July 27, 2014

  • Dillon races to first career Nationwide win

    INDIANAPOLIS — For a first time winner, Ty Dillon had the Brickyard’s winning tradition down as cold as the celebratory beer he chugged outside his car. “We get to kiss the bricks, baby!” he radioed as he crossed the finish line....

    July 27, 2014

  • Gordon an Indy threat in 20 years at the Brickyard

    INDIANAPOLIS — The reminders that Jeff Gordon won here 20 years ago plaster Indianapolis Motor Speedway....

    July 27, 2014

  • Garagiola among those feted by baseball Hall of Fame

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Joe Garagiola couldn’t make the festivities in person. He wasn’t about to miss being part of a special moment....

    July 27, 2014

  • Adams leads Cards in win

    CHICAGO — Once again, the Cardinals relied on Matt Adams’ clutch bat. Adams drove in four runs, A.J. Pierzynski had three hits in his St. Louis debut and the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Saturday to stop a four-game skid....

    July 27, 2014

  • Giants acquire righty Peavy from Red Sox

    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants boosted their rotation for the stretch run by acquiring right-hander Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday for a pair of minor league pitchers....

    July 27, 2014

  • Italian in command heading into Tour’s final stage

    BERGERAC, France — Ramunas Navardauskas gave Lithuania and his American team a stage victory Friday at the Tour de France. Now cycling’s great showcase is reduced to this — the race for second place behind Vincenzo Nibali....

    July 26, 2014

  • U.S. team takes two from Spain on second day

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A switch in pairings led to a change in fortune for the United States in the International Crown....

    July 26, 2014

  • Johnny Football address’ rookie mistake’s during mini camp

    BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel acknowledged he has “made some rookie mistakes” during the off-season, but doesn’t think his partying has hurt his chances of winning a starting job....

    July 26, 2014