Bracketology Is It NowA College Course And Elective ? Other Such Idiosyncrasies Of The Sporting Weekend …………..

Bracketology Is It Now A College Course And Elective ? Other Such Idiosyncrasies Of The Sporting Weekend …………..

Well the stage has been set for the commencement of College Basketballs men’s national championship. And I believe it is the one time of the year when we can all be in agreement as to how things have worked out . Or can we ? We have the ’31 teams’ that have made their way in by winning their respective conference championships and ’34 at large’ invitees to the ‘big dance’ . Never let it be said that the system is perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better than the asinine system that’s prescribed to figure out who the national champion is determined to be within the BCS FBS Division One college football. So many bowls and not one of them really based on merit , other than the popularity and the fact that a bunch of number crunchers make it appear to be all equitable. The fact that there’s a great deal of connivance with the networks also plays a part in it all. But at the end of the day we’re led to believe that this the best that the major conferences who preside over the BCS has to offer.

With a play in game to be decided as to who the 64th and final team will be , to played on the Thursday. The tournament kicks off good and proper as of then. The four number one seeds for the various regions Midwest , South , East and West , are Kansas , Duke , Kentucky and Syracuse . Though some aren’t entirely with the fact that Duke is a number one seed and question that fact. But it is, what it is. And for the four coaches in question this is when their programs will come under intense scrutiny and the spotlight of the fans nationwide. For Bill Self of Kansas, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke , Jon Calipari of Kentucky and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse , this will be the pressure which they and their teams will be judged by as to how they’ll fare. Each of the four are highly respected coaches within college basketball and have groomed players at the college level that’ve gone on to become stars within the NBA . But for now it’s not about what the players aspire to at the next level but creating a legacy here at the college level which will leave and indelible mark for them and their programs.

Now far be it for me to suggest that I fully comprehend the idiosyncrasies of ‘bracketology’. But to my mind the teams that are in , are there on their own merits. If they can’t play, then they will be found out. It’s as plain and simple as that ! There are no do-overs and you can’t cry over spilled milk, should you fall at the first hurdle. You came to play and by damn it , you had better play. Or you’ll end up completely embarrassing yourself .

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 13: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks instructs Xavier Henry #1 during the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship agaisnt the Kansas State Wildcats on March 13, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Mo, Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks instructs Xavier Henry (1) during the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship agaisnt the Kansas State Wildcats on March 13, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jamie Squires ..............

The four regional competitions will be a one and done knockout competition . And there are those who view Kansas’ region as being the most difficult of them all. And there’s every reason to believe that will be the case because of the number of top tiered teams assigned to the region. And Kansas will kick off its march on Thursday (9:30 pm EST) against Lehigh (22-10) . And in that Midwest Regional there are the stalwarts such as Michigan State (24-8) , Maryland (23-8), Tennessee (25-8) , Ohio State (27-7) and Georgetown (23-10) . If you don’t consider any of those teams capable of upsetting the applecart , then please feel free to lay all of your money on Kansas.

In the West , Jim Boeheim’s Orangemen have the privilege of taking on Vermont (25-9) . The sixteenth seed within the region and perhaps hoping to create the tournament’s first major upset by taking down Syracuse. It could well happen but I think that the Orangemen should overpower their opponent and come away with an easy victory. As to the other teams within the region that are of importance by way of their basketball tradition and pedigree. We will see the two time national champions, Florida (21-12) , Kansas State (26-7) , Pittsburgh (24-8) , Minnesota (21-13) , Vanderbilt (24-8) , Gonzaga (26-6) and Butler (28-4) . But if there’s a team to be feared within the region . Then ‘my pick’ would be Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Tubby can flat out coach, his team is playing with a great deal of confidence at present and they seem to be on a mission. The scary thought is, that they’ve not really got to raise the level of their game all that much to be on an equal footing with some of the teams though to be the favorites within the region.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim ponders a question during a news conference about the NCAA college basketball tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., Sunday, March 14, 2010. Syracuse faces Vermont on Friday
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim ponders a question during a news conference about the NCAA college basketball tournament in Syracuse, N.Y., Sunday, March 14, 2010. Syracuse faces Vermont on Friday. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Kevin Rivoli .............

In the East, it’s all about Kentucky and John Calipari’s team. Will this be the team that earns the coach his first national title ? Or will he come up short once again ? If they play up to their full potential , then I fully expect them to make the ‘Final Four’ . And then from thereon in , it’s let the chips fall where they may. However, they will have to go through the likes of Texas (24-9) , Wofford (26-8) , Marquette (22-11) , Temple (29-5) and W Virgina (27-6). No mean feat but they (Wildcats) are capable of doing it and making their way through. But if there’s a team that could derail their ambitions , then it could well be Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers. Playing on emotion alone and with Huggins’ guile , anything is possible.

University of Kentucky basketball coach coach John Calipari watches the NCAA tournament selection show with the team at his home Sunday, March 14, 2010 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky was named the top seed in the East region of the NCAA tournament and will face E. Tennessee State Thursday in New Orleans
University of Kentucky basketball coach coach John Calipari watches the NCAA tournament selection show with the team at his home Sunday, March 14, 2010 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky was named the top seed in the East region of the NCAA tournament and will face E. Tennessee State Thursday in New Orleans. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Brian Bohannon ...............

In the South, Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils led by Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler will be looking to land the legendary coach his fourth national championship. What hasn’t there been already said about the program that Mike Krzyzewski has established and put on the map ? Alongside John Wooden , Adolph Rupp , Dean Smith and Bob Knight . He may well be one of the most revered and respected coaches in men’s college basketball history. That asides, this isn’t merely about Duke but essentially whether or not they can overcome the obstacles placed in front of them ? They’ve had far easier paths in the past and have come up short. And then they’ve also pulled through and won it all when they weren’t exactly favored to. Of the quartet of number one seeds, their task in some circles is being viewed as the easiest region to come through unscathed. I’d like to think that’s the case ! But then again , who knows ?

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 14: Brian Zoubek #55 of the Duke Blue Devils guards D'Andre Bell #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the championship game of the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Greensboro , NC- March 14th 2010. Brian Zoubek (55) of the Duke Blue Devils guards D'Andre Bell (13) of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the championship game of the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jeff Zelevansky ............

Within the region, Duke kicks off its tournament schedule against the play in winner of the game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-15) and Winthrop (19-13). Lambs to the slaughter against Duke ? Well , that’s what awaits the winner . The rest of the region in terms of competitive presence as I view it , is rounded out by the likes of Louisville (20-12) , Notre Dame (23-11) , Villanova (24-7) , Purdue (27-5) and Utah State (27-7) .

Now while I’m a wholehearted Dukie’s fan through and through. I know not to expect too much from them , from time to time. As good as they can be , there’s always the chance that they can end up disappointing you. It’s like you’re out on a blind date with a really hot chic’ and you know if you play your cards right you’re going to get somethin’. But at the last, moment she disappoints and tells you that she’s got to go home because she has an appointment. Either that , for some reason the date went horribly wrong because somehow you might’ve done something wrong ? Or in effect she just wasn’t all that into you. Well that’s the feeling I get when I wholeheartedly throw my support at times behind Duke. I feel jilted ! This time around I’m hoping to feel some euphoria with the Blue Devils. If they play up to their capabilities , hang tough on defense and they could very well land that unprecedented four national title for Mike Krzyzewski. But those are just my thoughts on the scenario I envisage. It could very well be that they simply don’t pan out the way I may well have thought.

March Madness as it has come to be defined may well be the best sporting event on the North American continent by far ! There are those who feel that the one off event of the Superbowl far exceeds it in terms of excitement and suspense. And that may well be the case . But where else can you spend the better part of the month planning , discussing , debating, wagering , even arguing the merits of your brackets and whether or not your teams will prevail ? In the Superbowl, it’s about the two teams , the event itself and who in the end, ends up winning. To me the college basketball has it beat hands down and by a wide enough margin !

I’m no bracketologist and I’ve never claimed to be one. I leave that for all the guys in the know and let them prescribe to the logic it supposedly all entails. For me the games aren’t played on paper but on the field of competition. And that’s what I’m looking forward to , through the remainder of the month and through to Final Four and the championship game , itself , in early April. How about yourselves ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

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Curtis Mayfield ………”Move On Up”. Was there a better song that epitomized the seventies for the period ?

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16 thoughts on “Bracketology Is It NowA College Course And Elective ? Other Such Idiosyncrasies Of The Sporting Weekend …………..

  1. All I know is I’m having a hard time filling out my bracket! I’m ready for some exciting games! I love this tournament about as much as anything in sports. It’s quick, and do or die every game. There’s no laying down and waiting for tomorrow…

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    1. chappy 81

      The guys I work alongside in the office spent hours literally filling out their brackets. I just simply told them I’m uninterested as the fun for me is watching the games and seeing the minnows try and take down the giants of the game.

      Alan Parkins

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      1. Ha, well I love filling out the brackets, but I usually don’t do well so I don’t take that much time on them! I always root for the underdog unless there’s someone I really like on a given team…

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  2. The idiots at ESPN are idiots. I know Andy Katz at ESPN. He and I covered UNM hoops from 1989-1994. I even had him on my radio show. These folks are clowns. Kansas has the hardest road to hoe. Duke and Kentucky have a little easier time. Anything can happened. Many of the giants of college hoops had shitty years- UNC, UConn, UCLA, and Memphis. Memphis has been to two championship games. I am really interested Sorta but not really. Will I watch? probably. Will I fill out a bracket? NO.
    Do I care? Not really. The NCAA is a bunch of crooks who use kids to make millions of dollars.

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    1. Bobby Gee

      As much as I love the NBA . I like college hoops even more !. I find it’s the purest sport that there is , in terms of its value and the excitement created. College Football is great but until the BCS is taken down a peg or two , whereby there’s some credibility in determining a national champion. I’ll take my chances with the ‘NCAA tournament’ and all of the fun that it brings.

      Alan Parkins

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  3. Why is Florida in and Mississippi State out?
    I’m a Gator fan, but something is not right about that. The Bulldogs had a better regular season record and beat the Gators in the S.E.C. tournament. If the powers that be wanted Florida in, for what ever reason, then Mississippi State should have been invited also and a lesser team (Arkansas Pine Bluff?) been given a spot in the N.I.T.

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    1. aero

      Don’t ask me , I don’t know ! I guess the panelists see it as Florida having a body of work over the past few years based against Mississippi St’s ? Your guess is as good as anyone else’s I suppose .

      Don’t worry aero , if you don’t like it you can always rewind this Halle Berry scene while the Gators are playing.

      Alan Parkins

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  4. chappy 81

    Given a choice of filling out brackets and taking a test in algebra. I’d gladly go with the algebra ! Bracketology is far too intense and time consuming . You’d end up having a headache trying to figure it all out.

    Alan Parkins

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      I don’t think that the expectations were all that high for the Gators to do something in this year’s NCAA tournament.

      They simply did the best that they could at Donovan’s urging and that’s all one can ask for in the end. He’s molding this roster for next year .

      ;

      I'm a Gators' fan just like sportschump and I know that he’s not too happy right about now !

      Actress & comedienne Ayda Fields

      Alan Parkins

      Like

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