Friday, March 23, 2007
March Madness - Ready for the Final Four?
No, not that Final Four. I'm talking about the Final Four of the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament.
I love cheering for the underdog so it's no surprise that this story caught my eye. Apparently, Miami Dade Community College has beaten out a number of schools to reach this point, including Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Northwestern.
Here's a quote from the story.
"They're formidable players," said Jim Stallings, University of Texas-Dallas' director for chess and education. "You can't just take anybody for granted in this tournament, because they are the top four U.S. teams."
They accomplished this even with setbacks like having one of their players bolt for University of Maryland, Baltimore County, lured by the promise of a scholarship. Aren't there rules against this kind of tampering?
Beating out Ivy Leaguers has to be somewhat equivalent to George Mason beating out powerhouses UConn, UNC and Michigan State in last year's NCAA tournament. (As a GMU grad, I had to find a way to work last year's Final Four run into this post).
Like I said, I love cheering for the underdog, even if the "sport" is intercollegiate chess. Do you think it'll be on ESPN?