SPORTS

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March 5, 2004

I.M. ballers fight for glory

In the first few rounds, upsets rule. After that, the big boys take over and the tournament gets serious. The mantra that regulates virtually all NCAA postseason basketball play held true in the first week of the intramural basketball tournament in Henry Crown.

On the men's side of the bracket, four teams remain: the Revolution, Hustle, Vincent Large Roosters, and Atropine. All four were ranked in the top 10 at the end of the season. When the Coulter Cougars barely eked out a win over house league-favorites the Plumbers, a stronger and better-prepared Vincent Large Roosters knocked them back to earth with an easy win in the house championship.

Despite their win in the house league, the Roosters are seriously overmatched in their final four game against independent champions, the Revolution. In the marquis matchup of the week, The Revolution upset top-seed AKs 72-66 on Wednesday.

The game between the AKs and the Revolution featured a fast-paced, up-tempo style of play, with both teams going on long, unanswered scoring runs. In the end, the Revolution's outside shooting, combined with questionable refereeing, gave the underdogs the victory. Emotions ran high, and a post-game brawl between the two teams very nearly broke out.

The Revolution has now beaten 2 of the top 10 teams in the school and look like the favorites to take the overall championship. In case you didn't catch their epic Monday 46-45 victory over the Soccer Ballers, it was immediately shipped to ESPN Classic and is now showing every other hour. That's how good the game was.

On the graduate side of the final four, Atropine gained its spot by upsetting the previously undefeated Flying Isenbergs II, as predicted. Hustle looked strong in defeating a solid Geriatrics team, and I think they will be able to withstand Atropine for the graduate championship.

In the University championship, to be played next Tuesday in Ratner (or the Rats' Nest as affectionate fans call it), I really don't see the Revolution losing. Hustle is a good team, but the athleticism and power of the Revolution will be too much for them. In addition, the Revolution is hot; it's beaten the first and fifth-ranked teams in the school in consecutive games.

In the co-ed portion of the tournament, no one stopped juggernaut Malpractice's now inevitable march to the championship. The Kings and Queens will play Breckinridge in the undergraduate finals, a game which I see the Ks and Qs taking. In fact, they are the only team with a chance to beat Malpractice, and those two unbeatens should meet Wednesday at 8:30, at Ratner in the co-ed finals.

Perhaps the best co-ed game of the week took place Tuesday between undefeated Flint House and scrappy Gang-Green. In a contest that came down to the final seconds, favorites Flint dug their own grave, missing easy shots and eventually losing 35-34 on their last possession.

In the women's finals, Stony Island can't stop the Chicago Soccer team; they're too good. That game takes place Tuesday, 9:30 in the Ratner Auxiliary Gym.