NCAA Midwest Regional: The showdown in Motown

They're using the NCAA Tournament's Midwest regional as a dress rehearsal for the 2009 Final Four, planting it in the home of the NFL Lions in downtown Detroit.

Aside from all the lame jokes about the good folks of the Motor City finally being able to see good teams play at Ford Field, the regional offers top seed Kansas the best possible chance at shedding its underachiever label.

However, that's not the best story. The Jayhawks were supposed to be here. Davidson and Villanova, two double digit-seeded breeds of Wildcats, were not.

Even as it won 22 in a row and ran the Southern Conference table, Davidson garnered a fair share of skepticism. Sure, it had tested big boys (UCLA, North Carolina, Duke) early in the season, but hadn't won any of those times, and a big deficit to Gonzaga in the first round in Raleigh only added to the questions.

Enter Stephen Curry, in the role of the tournament's biggest breakout star. All he did in the second half against the Zags was put up 30 points, 40 overall. And the son of Dell was far from done.

With no. 2 seed Georgetown seemingly safe on Sunday afternoon, up by 17 with less than 10 minutes left, Curry went off again. His 25-point second-half eruption (30 overall) provided for an improbable comeback, a 74-70 shocker over the Hoyas, and instant national celebrity.

Many high schools have a larger enrollment than Davidson, who claims just 1,700 (really good) students on its modest campus near Charlotte. Now, with able Bob McKillop at the helm, Curry unconscious and point guard Jason Richards leading the nation in assists, the Wildcats are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since Lefty Driesell was coaching them in 1969.

To do a full George Mason imitation, though, Davidson might have to beat the top three seeds in the Midwest, with the second step being Friday's regional semifinal against no. 3 Wisconsin.

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