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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Illinois

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March 17, 2012 at 6:26 AM

If Lehigh and Norfolk State can do it in the NCAA tournament, can Rick Santorum upend the Republican presidential contest?

For sports fans, this time of the year is known as March Madness. That’s the popular name ascribed to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, in which small schools, serious underdogs, sometimes defeat bigger, far wealthier, steeped-in-tradition programs.

March Madness is the official name of the NCAA basketball tournament (logo by NCAA).

It happened four times yesterday.

Two teams that are #15 seeds (among the lowest in the tournament), Norfolk State and Lehigh, upset #2 seeds and hoop icons Missouri and Duke, respectively. In the history of the NCAA men’s tourney, only four #15 seeds had beaten #2 seeds. It happened twice yesterday.

Further, a #13 seed, Ohio University, upset one of the legendary sports programs in the nation, University of Michigan.  And a #12 seed, University of South Florida, knocked off a #5, Temple.

It was quite a day. Personally, I’m a huge Michigan fan — but I found myself caught up in rooting for the underdog Ohio U. Watching David knock off Goliath is something special.

There are favorites and underdogs in politics, too. And right now, the underdog has got a shot in the Republican Party presidential primary. It’s a long, long, long shot — but it’s still a chance. And when there is a chance, sometimes things happen. Like in 2008.

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