Saturday, March 21, 2009

The RailCats Meet the NCAA Tournament

The annual passage from winter to spring - the NCAA Tournament - is underway now, and for us here at The (Rail)Cats Meow that means we've got one more chance to talk about something other than baseball.

The lives of baseball players - lots of time together on buses, in hotels and in the locker room - mean there's plenty of time for playful competition, and almost nothing gets the juices flowing like when college alma mater's are in action. The College World Series and early-season football get everyone fired up, so with that in mind The (Rail)Cats Meow presents a look at the RailCats (only those signed for 2009) rooting interests in March Madness.

The results, well, let's say just about everyone is ready for baseball:


Aaron Cook (University of Tampa) - The Division II Spartans have now had 10 straight winning seasons, but a 16-12 record kept Tampa out of the NCAAs this year.

Zach Groh (Binghamton) - Here's a man who's dancing. The Bearcats made the field of 65 for the first time in program history by winning the America East. A first round date with Duke, however, ended Binghamton's NCAA run early.

Brian Halford (Louisville) - The man with the highest postseason expectations is Halford, whose Cardinals are the number one overall seed in the tournament. Louisville's terrible first half was a little scary, but Halford's alma mater is still sitting prettier than any of the other RailCats.

Garret Holleran (Wright State) - The good news? Two teams from the mid-major Horizon League made the NCAAs. The bad news? Wright State wasn't one of them, despite a 20-win season.

Anthony Esquer (Cal Poly Ponoma) - Forget Halford and the Cardinals, Esquer's Broncos are going to the Elite Eight after upsetting West Region top-seed BYU-Hawaii Thursday.

Brett Wallace (West Chester) - Another Division II grad, Wallace's Rams did not make the NCAA Tournament but were on the right side of .500, finishing 18-10.

Paul Bartolucci (Nevada) - The Wolfpack have a proud basketball tradition, but the only postseason for Nevada this year was something called the CBI where they lost to UTEP.

Jeff Beachum & Eric McNamee (Middle Tennessee State) - The RailCats have a pipeline through Murfreesboro, but it might be a good thing the 'Cats don't play basketball. The Blue Raiders lost early in the Sun Belt Tournament.

Isaac Omura (Hawaii) - Another pretty proud WAC basketball school (see Nevada), the former Rainbows (now Warriors) were just 13-17.

Jay Pecci (Stanford) - The Cardinal have a new head coach (!), they are going back to the postseason (!) and they won their first tournament game (!). The tournament? The dreaded CBI Invitational (ouch).

Mike Rohde (Illinois) - Ugh. The Illini sure looked like a dangerous team, but without their point guard a pretty lackluster loss to 12-seed Western Kentucky ended the season for Rohde's alma mater.

Rob Marconi (Northern Illinois) - Oh boy, an 11-seed in the MAC Tournament is not a good place to be, and the Huskies endured a 20-loss season.


  1. At least Illinois made the tournament...

  2. T-O-P-S Tops! Tops! Tops!!!