Monday, March 24, 2008


Sneak peek at the Sweet 16
By Andy Katz

• No. 3 WISCONSIN vs. No. 10 DAVIDSON, Friday, 7:10 ET

Was this expected? It's probably a safe assumption that outside of the Davidson locker room and its devoted fan base, few had the Wildcats in the Sweet 16. Projecting a win over Gonzaga wasn't a reach, but duplicating that with a comeback win over Georgetown wasn't the mainstream projection. Davidson isn't the most unlikely Sweet 16 team (that might go to Western Kentucky) because of its unblemished mark in the Southern Conference this season, but getting through this portion of the bracket makes it a close second to the Hilltoppers.

How did they get here? Two words: Stephen Curry. Curry went for 40 against Gonzaga and 30 against Georgetown. But look deeper at this team and you'll see Andrew Lovedale grabbing 13 key boards in the win over the Zags and Jason Richards scoring 20 against the Hoyas. Timely buckets and outworking opponents in key situations led to the Sweet 16 appearance.

What does this mean for the program? It certainly puts Davidson and Curry on the national scene. Those who follow the game closely knew about the job Bob McKillop has done over the years and how special a player Curry was at this small, private school in the Charlotte area. But the mainstream public probably didn't have a clue as to how good both were, and a Sweet 16 appearance validates all the hard work they -- and everyone else associated with the program -- have put into making Davidson relevant.

Drama factor so far? It's off the charts. The win over Gonzaga and the comeback over Georgetown put the Wildcats probably at No. 1 for overall drama so far through two rounds.

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