NCAA Tournament Favorites (Country-Style)
Mike Sudhalter | March 16, 2011
Everybody's got their Final Four teams picked out, and "Houston" means that we're 2.5 weeks away from the Final Four. Most people are picking the likes of Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida.
But what if we picked some teams based solely on Country Music:
The 30-4 Bears are country music's best pick. Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack and Trisha Yearwood are all alums of the Nashville-based school that came within a point of upsetting Duke four years ago. Now, they have a great chance to earn that elusive NCAA Tournament victory - this time against the Badgers of Wisconsin.
Everyone loves a good underdog story in country music, and there's no better underdog story than the Bulldogs coming from within seconds of a National Championship.
Las Vegas isn't necessarily known for country music, but Garth Brooks is playing there on a regular basis, Faith Hill sings about eloping there and Alan Jackson references a lounge singer who ditches the glitz for the twang.
It's not on Lower Broadway or Music Row, but it's close enough. Vanderbilt is Nashville's team, and as a No. 5 seed, they have a great chance to shine in the tournament.
It's difficult to think that there are many more college towns where country music is more popular than in College Station. If you disagree, check out Granger Smith's "We Bleed Maroon."
UT-SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS AND TENNESSEE
How can you not include these three on the list?
KANSAS STATE AND WEST VIRGINIA
Kansas State (Roy Acuff's "Wabash Cannonball") and West Virginia (John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads) each have country songs as their school songs. It doesn't get any countrier than that. And West Virginia coach Bob Huggins coached both programs - even though he only spent one season in Manhattan, Kan. - which probably wasn't enough time to enjoy a Country Stampede festival.