Survive and Advance

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And so the Madness has begun… One day in and we’ve already got upsets, tears, heartbreak, and elation.  I can’t tell you how much I love this time of year.  David Vs Goliath match ups, the big power conference vs the little guy next door, but one thing always in common…. MADNESS!  This tournament I feel will go down as one of the craziest ever.  With no clear cut favorite, I have a feeling we will see a lot of upsets and surprises… I’m talking to you New Mexico!  As always, the brackets have been filled out… and the games have begun.  So, let’s take a look at some predictions.

First off let me get one thing off my chest… the NCAA absolutely places teams in situations to create ratings, so please stop telling people it is all computer generated.  Oklahoma State would back me on this… as should the entire ACC (minus Duke) for their seedings.  Moving on, let’s talk some pretenders and contenders.

Pretenders:

Gonzaga: I’m sorry for all of those loving the ‘Zags, but this team will be the first 1 seed to bow out early.  They almost became the first ever 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed last night… to the national powerhouse, Southern University.  A potential match up with Wisconsin does not bode well for Gonzaga.

New Mexico State:  I know, it already happened, but had I written this yesterday I would have told you the same.  Overrated with a weak conference schedule… and it showed.

UNLV: See New Mexico State.

The entire SEC:  Sorry, but after Florida, there are no SEC teams with a chance to make any noise in the dance.

Duke: Up and down end to the season, but a team that struggles against teams that can match up well inside and have speed to guard the three.

Contenders:

Indiana: Fairly consistent team with some hiccups along the way this season.  But as far as all around talent, if this team can get hot and play good team basketball they will be tough to beat.  however they have struggled at times this year to put it all together consistently.

Ohio State: Finished strong with a Big 10 tourney championship, could be getting hot at the right time.

Louisville: I don’t have a lot of faith in Rick’s boys here, they seem to disappear at times.  But just like Ohio State, they are playing their best basketball of the season right now.

Kansas: See Louisville and Ohio State.

Miami: Somewhat of a sleeper here, but they have played well in the last half of the season minus their last couple of regular season games.  Solid all around team with a good inside/outside game.

Sleepers:

North Carolina: After a rough start to the season, Roy’s boys have played well with the small ball.  Unfortunately, they will live and die by the “3 ball” and one off game could send them packing.  And, no thanks to the NCAA selection committee they will have a rough road to the sweet 16. UNC vs Kansas 2nd round?  Computer selected, okay NCAA…

Michigan: Probably boasts the best backcourt in the tournament… but will have to play better on defense to make a deep run.  Speed and talent can carry them a long way, but they have a tough draw as well.

Wisconsin: Had some signature wins against good Big 10 opponents this season.  They play a style that can be frustrating and can slow down faster more athletic teams.  Plus, they have a very favorable draw being in Gonazaga’s bracket.

Saint Louis: A stretch here, but have to give the A-10 champ some respect.  They are an athletic team that can put points on the board, if they get hot, watch out.

Final Four:

Kansas, Ohio State, Indiana, and Michigan State (Izzo always seem to find a way)

Winner: Kansas

Weigh in folks, let’s hear how you think this madness is going to go down!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

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Well, it’s that time again…  my favorite time of year has arrived.  The sound of shoes squeaking, crowds screaming, and hearts breaking will resonate for the next month.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you March Madness!  Which begs the questions, is the NCAA Basketball tournament the most exciting of all championships Pro or College?  I say yes…

Where else can you have Cinderella stories like VCU and Butler University?  College powerhouse teams such as Kansas and Louisville going home early to teams you’ve never heard of and couldn’t tell me what state they play in if I gave you 47 guesses.  Players who have flown under the radar only to break out, have a big showing in “The Dance”, earn a multi million dollar NBA contract… and never produce anything at the pro level.  Nobody does it like college basketball.

For the next month I will be watching teams play that i could care less about, but at the end of the day I will have a vested interest.  Because as we all know there is no greater feeling that filling out the perfect NCAA Championship Bracket.  Have i ever actually filled out perfect bracket?  Well, no technically not… but.. I feel this may be there year. Here are a few ground rules I have when filling out my bracket:

1.  UNC always makes it to at least the Final Four.  Even in 2010 when they were playing in the NIT, I wrote them in to the Final Four.

2.  Duke never makes it past the sweet 16.  Even if they are 32-0, won every game by 30 points, they aren’t going to the elite 8.

3. Kentucky always gets to the elite 8… but never further. (This usually holds true)

4. At least one 12 seed makes it to the elite 8, usually some small podunk school that looks like they should be in the Final Four of the Math Olympics.

5.  And Finally, the final score of the final game is always 77-72.

 

What are your bracket tendencies?  Lets hear them.  Goodluck to you in your bracket, if you want to see the perfect bracket.. please check back soon when I post mine!  Haha, happy madness!