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What can NCAA tournament Cinderellas do for an encore?

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,John Keim

One is the darling of the tournament; another probably doesn't belong in this group if it had been seeded right in the beginning. But all four of these teams are considered underdogs in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

How do they measure against one another? Here's how we rank the remaining underdogs:

Oregon » It's clear by now that the tournament committee woefully under-seeded the Ducks. They did not deserve a No. 12 seed, which suggests they were in danger of not making the tournament without winning the Pac-12. The Ducks are an athletic team, but they're also facing arguably the best team remaining in Louisville.

Wichita State »

The ninth-seeded Shockers showed a lot of toughness in getting ahead against Gonzaga, losing the lead and then reclaiming it. They're a terrific rebounding team with a balanced scoring attack. They're also trying to become the fourth No. 9 seed to ever advance to the Elite Eight.

Florida Gulf Coast » Even a Georgetown fan has to appreciate what 15th-seeded FGCU has accomplished. And how much fun they have doing it, looking at times like Globetrotters-in-training. Florida is better than Georgetown (in the tourney at least) and San Diego State. So FGCU's magic ride could be over. If it is, they should take a bow at the end.

La Salle » It's almost the silent Cinderella squad, lost amid the hype to Florida Gulf Coast and the attention on Oregon and Wichita State. But the 13th-seeded Explorers already have won three games in the tourney (including a First Four game) and they're ultra-quick, which will give Wichita State trouble.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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