Can't Root For Charmin
CultureMap makes its first endorsement: We're going for the Gaels
Being somewhat of an underdog ourselves, CultureMap would like to take this opportunity to make our first official endorsement.
We're hereby pulling for Saint Mary's in the NCAA Tournament South Regional being held at Reliant Stadium Friday and Sunday. (Sorry Baylor, a true Cinderella with a coach who speaks in an Australian accent beats out your supposed quasi local status and coach that everyone else in the Big 12 hates).
If you're one of those sad sacks that doesn't enjoy filling out brackets, gambling and drinking — here's a newsflash: This is a big deal. The four teams in Houston (Duke, Baylor, Purdue and Saint Mary's) are playing for a spot in the Final Four. Only one group of players will be jumping up and down on the Reliant floor on Sunday evening. Only one team will be climbing up some borrowed ladders to cut down the nets.
Wouldn't it be great if that team was little Saint Mary's, a 10th seed, a program that hadn't won an NCAA Tournament game in 51 years until last Thursday, the guys who look up to Gonzaga as a superpower?
Could there be a better script than Saint Mary's beating Baylor on Friday night (those teams play in the first game with Duke and Purdue meeting in game two) and then turning around and wiping the smirk off all those Dukies on Sunday?
While both St. Mary's and Baylor haven't been to the Elite Eight, let alone a Final Four in more than 50 years, we can't help but hope the tiny Catholic school (they've got about 3,000 students) 10 miles east of Oakland wins out over our Texas brethren.
Kenneth Starr's school is even getting some competition on the religious front.
"God," Saint Mary's star Omar Samhan says, "is a Gael." Samhan — who's know for his oversized personality as much as his oversized T-shirts — was joking. Which makes the Gaels even more adorable.
It's the mascot that sold us though. Saint Mary's Gaels recall Braveheart and big-kilted Scottish men with swords.
The Baylor Bears? All I can think of is that Charmin commercial.