March Madness Miracles

Bolt wants to get some votes from YOU!

Dash fans, you have a chance to make a difference in this year’s March Madness. Well, not really “March” Madness. More like Mascot Madness.

Everyone’s favorite mascot Bolt is in a 16-team tournament created by 1290 AM Radio in Arizona. However, Bolt received a very challenging draw.

His opponent is Wilbur, the mascot of the University of Arizona. This complicates Bolt’s championship hopes for a number of reasons. This website represents a radio station in Arizona. If you take a look at the site’s banner, it says “Home of the Wildcats,” so they air ‘Zona games.

And, of course, Arizona fans are feeling good because their team is a win away from punching a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats play Colorado in the Pac-12 final this evening.

Each matchup features a 24-hour voting window, and Bolt’s clash with Wilbur comes up this Tuesday. We will remind you about the vote as we get closer so that Bolt can pull off another March miracle, most of which have come on the basketball floor.

One of the most recognizable upsets was the 1983 National Championship, when NC State stunned Houston 54-52. The coach of that team was the legendary Jim Valvano, who would have turned 66 today. Valvano passed away from cancer in 1993, a few months after his “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” speech at the ’93 ESPYs.

Virginia Commonwealth University made some magic in 2007 against Duke. Nikki Caldwell, one of the Dash’s marketing stars, went to VCU for grad school. This clip has some meaning for me, too. A very good friend of mine was so happy about the Rams’ upset of Duke that he instantly became a VCU fan. He cheered on last year as Shaka Smart and the Rams made it to the Final Four, and our group of friends supported him all the way. Maybe the same can happen for Bolt over the next few weeks.

There have been other memorable upsets with late baskets. Northwestern State, a 14 seed, stunned Iowa in 2006. By the way, the best part of this clip is the two Northwestern State players hugging at midcourt, which sets up Iowa for a very good look to try to win the game. That would have been the mistake of the year in sports had the Hawkeyes made the last shot.

Even last year, a 13-over-4 upset happened when Morehead State took down Louisville (even though the last play was the definition of a foul).

These upsets are great, and we hope that Bolt can add another one to the list. Once again, you can check out the matchups here. Bolt’s day of reckoning is Tuesday.

Stay tuned for the Dash Board tomorrow for another post, including news on a former Dash hurler who is trying to make it to the big leagues after being taken in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason.

For now, I need to put on some green and gear up for my Ohio Bobcats’ chance to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. MACtion is on tonight at 8 on ESPN2 for Ohio and Akron. Go ‘Cats! Have a good one.

- Brian

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