HIGHLAND, UTAH — The Highland 28th Ward Golden Calves received an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, commonly known as “March Madness,” in an announcement made yesterday by the NCAA Selection Committee.
The 14-seeded Golden Calves will play the No. 3-seeded Syracuse Orange Thursday, March 20th, at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. It will be the first time the two teams have meet in their respective 114-year histories.
The Golden Calves (31-1, 14-0 Highland Utah Central Stake) are coming off one of their best seasons to date, going perfect in conference play and having just one blemish on the road against the New Maryland Baptist Church early in the season.
Regardless of their success, Highland 28th Ward was considered an at-large bubble team going into the selection process because of the lack of RPI top 50 wins and a merely average strength of schedule.
When the announcement came out, many team members realized that success in the tournament could put them on the road through the end of the month, causing them to scramble to get their home teaching done early.
“That’s one of the reasons why we’ve made it this far; our guys think ahead,” Bishop Spencer, ward bishop and Golden Calves coach said. “I’m proud of their hard work and accomplishments. I’m also really glad we beat the heck out of the 8th Ward. Those clowns always leave papers and Cheerios all over the chapel.”
The bid caused a small controversy in the online forums, possibly due to the fact that the average age of the team is 31-years-old. The objectors worried that, since the players were older and more mature than their upcoming competition, the Golden Calves would have an unfair advantage of their more youthful opposition. The team don’t seem to be affected by the grumbling.
“We’re going dancing!” Forward Dennis Buckstead said to his wife, Brenda. “We’ve been asked to chaperone the youth stake dance in April.”