March 13, 2012

Looking into the Madness of March

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

It has taken me a while to sift through this year’s NCAA bracket and I’m still as confused as I was when I started to stare at it for an hour straight. In honesty, it has also been fairly easy to get sidetracked by the Redskins’ megatrade for RG3, Peyton’s free agent cross-country tour and Mass Effect 3 – one of the best video games in recent history.

So what do I know about this year’s March Madness? Well I have a few things up my sleeves.

-Kentucky is the best bet, but they’re very hard to trust. Two years in a row you could have made a solid case for the Cats to win it all, but failed both times. This year they have the consensus No. 1 player in the nation again, but are a very young squad. It won’t be surprising to see them cut down the mesh or bow out in the Sweet 16 this year, either way.

-Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, the aforementioned best player, doesn’t look like your conventional star. Seriously, search Google images for him and you’ll find a face that only a mother can love. Come on, he has a uni-brow! Many casual hoops fans will be shocked when they first lay eyes on him – for his talent and his looks.

-It’s always fun to pick Michigan State to go on a run, but this year not so much. Having the Spartans as a No. 1 seed kind of defeats that purpose. In fact, I’d be more inclined to say that they don’t make the Final Four this year.

-If you’re looking for a Cinderella team, look no further than the 14-seeds. With the three-seeds a step below the twos, you can make a case that any of the 14s has a shot at winning at least their opener. Even St. Bonaventure, who made it in on the last day, has a great player in Andrew Nicholson who can give the solid Florida State Seminoles a good run.

-In March Madness, defence trumps offence, so be wary of Missouri and possibly Duke. Both teams won’t lose their first games, but I’d be very hesitant to have them go further than the Sweet 16.

-Where are the western powerhouses? Granted, I don’t pay much attention to regular season college ball, but what happened to the likes of USC, UCLA and Washington? There are three teams that you can usually rely on to see pop up in your bracket.

-UConn is an eight-seed and has to face Kentucky in the second round? Has any defending champion ever been stuck in that position before?

-Harvard is having one hell of a year. After Lin-sanity swept the nation, the Ivy League school made their way into the tournament for the first time since the 1940s. It’s also their second time every making it to the Big Dance. It will be hard for them to advance past Vandy, but you never know.

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