Break Up the ACC

Before we get to today's big match, featuring the style, grace and skill of The Incredible Hotties of America's U20 WNT vs. the fierce, physical and ferocious Please Let Us Win So Our Families Won't Be Beaten By The Dear Leader's Thugs brigade from North Korea, let's find some journalistically suave and urbane phrase that sums up yesterday's NCAA Men's Div 1 quaterfinals.

I'm going with: Holy Crap.

Wake Forest 5 - 0 University of South Florida

South Florida's game plan was going so well. They looked appropriately pugnacious and feisty, and came out hustling, secure in the knowledge that Wake Forest "puts on their pants one leg at a time" and "soccer is a funny game" and "on any given day anything can happen out there".

All of which lasted about 14 minutes, when the first of four first half goals by four different Wake Forest seniors, all of whom are heading into their third straight national finals, went whizzing by suddenly friendless USF GK Jeff Attinella

And when a second one hit the same net about a minute later, it was pretty much over. Except of course for the three other unanswered goals, handing Wake Forest a 5-0 walkover and a trip to Pizza Hut Park next weekend.

Maryland 1-0 Creighton

Meanwhile, over in College Park, the Maryland Terrapins (21-3-0) were saying "Not so fast there, Sparky" to all of us snotty internet know-it-alls who are suggesting that the Demon Deacons are a sure-thing bet to hoist the trophy next Sunday.

Riding a 14 game winning streak, the Terps are making their fifth final four appearance in the last seven years and carry the consensus #1 recruiting class in the country, partly making up for the incredible stream of top-notch talent they've sent to MLS recently.

Maryland's midfield quality showed from the opening whistle, and their rock-solid defense never looked truly threatened. The 1-0 score belies the true story of a match about which Creighton Head Coach Bob Warming said "That's probably the most we have been outplayed in any match the last decade"

St. John's 3-2 Indiana

A funny thing happened to Indiana on the way to cashing in their 2-0 80th minute lead over St. John's.

In a game which will likely haunt the players and coaches forever, Indiana looked to be solidly in control after a 72nd minute goal from Eric Alexander, and as the 80th minute ticked by, every parnt in the stands was likely on the celly making reservations for Dallas.

Even after St. John's scored an 82nd minute goal to pull back within one, what could possibly go wrong? Just put seven or eight guys behind the ball and ride it out, right?

Only problem was they couldn't pull it off and just two minutes from time a sophomore midfielder with the NAIA-ready name of Sverre Wegge Gundhus, who had hit the game winner in the Red Storm's last three games, nailed the tying goal, sending the match into OT where four minutes later a desperate Oforie Sarkodie, who's been turning down GenA offers since he was about 12, stopped a rebounding shot with his hand, giving the red Storm a PK for the win which even sensational Hoosiers GK Chay Cain wasn't going to stop.

Still, it needs to be noted that the NCAA clearly jury-rigged the final four by making this the only bracket without an ACC team. Maybe including conference tourney champion Virgina here could have given us an All-ACC Final Four, thus making their fans even more insufferable than they already re over this whole deal.

North Carolina 1-0 Northwestern

Proving that Chapel Hill isn't entirely about the Women, thirteenth seed NC, carrying a decidedly ungaudy 13-7-1 overall record and an even less gaudy 3-5-0 record in the ACC, the boys in blue managed a 61st minute strike to eliminate the other remaining Big TeLeven pretender and give their conference three of the four spots in Dallas.

The good news for the Heels is that Freshman Kirk Urso opened and closed the scoring when he pounced on a cripple in the box and banged it home, sending Northwestern back to the snowbelt.

The bad news is that they will face off against Wake Forest on Friday.

Good luck with that.

As for the ladies, who will be trying to avenge the U17 WNT's shocking loss to North Korea a few weeks back, this match will be on FSC and, besides helping boost the viewing numbers and keeping you out of the malls will also give most of you your first look at Cal sophomore Alex Morgan.

Remember where you heard it first.