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Who deserves your ACM vote?

Mike Sudhalter  |  March 16, 2009

I can't believe the Academy of Country Music awards are less than a month away.

The 44th annual awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 5 - sandwiched inbetween the NCAA Final Four on April 4 and the NCAA Championship Game on April 6.

So, it will be a good week for college basketball fans who also happen to like country music.

To combine ACMs and March Madness, I'm going to look into who each of the entertainer of the year nominees has a rooting interest with this fall.

Kenny Chesney graduated from East Tennessee State, and the Buccaneers earned No. 16 seed and a meeting with No. 1 Pittsburgh. ETSU has pulled off some upsets in the past and has come close other teams, but this is a new day. It's a well-known fact that Chesney is a fan of the larger university in east Tennessee - the University of Tennessee. They'll play Oklahoma State (Garth Brooks' alma mater) in the first round with the winner playing Pittsburgh. If ETSU makes tournament history and shocks Pittsburgh, they could meet UT in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday. Would Chesney root for his beloved Vols or his alma mater?

Brad Paisley is a well-known West Virginia Mountaineers fan. They'll face Dayton in the first round of the tournament with a potential second round match-up against Kansas.

George Strait will pull for the ninth-seeded Aggies of Texas A&M, who snuck into the tournament and will face No. 8 Brigham Young. Strait's alma mater, Texas State, lost to Nicholls (La.) State in the opening round of the Southland Conference Tournament. But his son, Bubba, graduated from A&M. Good thing that Strait's more of an NBA fan (often spotted courtside at San Antonio Spurs home games), because the Aggies probably won't go far in this year's bracket.

Keith Urban will probably be disappointed with the brackets and want to follow the NIT instead. Nicholls (La.) State has a roster with a half-dozen Aussie players, and Saint Mary's (Calif.) is led by standout point guard and Aussie native Patrick Mills. Neither squad made the tournament.

Carrie Underwood graduated from Northeastern (Okla.) State, and I'd never heard her announce her support for either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. I hope she's an OU fan because the Sooners have a better chance of advancing in this tournament. They'll open with Morgan (Md.) State on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.

As for my vote for Entertainer of the Year.....well, Texans have to stick together and I'm pulling for the only Lone Star native on the ballad, George Strait. And his music ain't too bad either.

:: Posted at 2:05 PM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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