Tom Sorensen

Short takes, NCAAs edition: Thoughts on Davidson, Charlotte 49ers, Gregg Marshall

The Davidson Wildcats have played four seasons in the Atlantic 10. They went 14-4 in the conference the first season, 8-10 the second, 10-8 the third and 14-4 this season, when they won the conference tournament.

Davidson’s jump from the Southern Conference to the A-10 was a huge leap of faith. The Wildcats had dominated the Southern Conference. Now they were going up against better teams with better athletes. It was as if they had been promoted. Now, let’s see what you can do.

We have, and will continue to…

▪  A coach who should be a candidate for the job at North Carolina-Charlotte is LeVelle Moton of N.C. Central. Ask Mike Krzyzewski, who coaches the other school in Durham, or North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Moton, 43, wins, and he leads. He is 163-113 going into the NCAA tournament...

▪  Should Syracuse have made the NCAA tournament? I don’t think so. But Syracuse always gets in. There are the top seeds, there are the good teams are seeded lower and there’s Syracuse. It’s as if the Orange has a pass. It’s like Marriott’s Lifetime Platinum card…

I don’t like my NCAA brackets but I rarely do. I want that long shot to which I can commit. A No. 4 seed is not a long shot, but there are three I very much like -- Arizona, Gonzaga and Wichita State. But I have Arizona losing to Virginia, Gonzaga losing to Xavier and Wichita State losing to Villanova. Arizona and Gonzaga are tempting picks, especially Arizona. I think Virginia prevails…

▪  I spent time with Gregg Marshall, the Wichita State coach, when he was at Winthrop. It’s odd, or maybe it’s not, but many of the coaches that like every sportswriter in the Carolinas don’t like me, and many of the coaches that don’t like any of the sportswriters in the Carolinas like me. Thus, Marshall.

His long-ago dream jobs were the Charlotte 49ers and South Carolina Gamecocks. Marshall is from Greenwood, S.C., as are former Carolina Panthers’ Armani Edwards and Josh Norman. Edwards now plays for the Toronto Argonauts and Norman plays for the Washington Redskins. There must be some great pick-up football and basketball games in Greenwood.

After Marshall, 55, attained success at Wichita State, Alabama flung money at him. He appeared to be heading to Tuscaloosa. To keep him happy, Wichita State flung more money at him. He’s one of the highest paid coaches in the sport. Some major college is going to fling money at again when his run in the tournament ends. One of these years, he might take it….

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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