Archive for February 11th, 2010

In Search of 65, Week 1

You didn’t honestly expect us to do a weekly column on college basketball and not include bracket predictions (or a bracketology, as ESPN has conditioned us to call it), did you? My qualifications are as follows: This is, unbelievably to me, the eighth year I’ve tried to predict the field. I started before I knew who Joe Lunardi was and largely because I was sick of losing NCAA Tournament pools to people who didn’t know anything about college basketball. I decided to try to predict the field, which requires a much higher level of NCAA knowledge and is a lot more impressive than it sounds (it comes down to two or three teams a year).

In my seven previous tries, I’ve gotten 64, 64, 63, 62, 63, 64, and 64–which is nice and palindromic and leads me to believe this is the year I break the cycle and nail 65. Add it up and I’m 444/455, or 97.58% accurate. (For the record, yes, I did leave George Mason out in 2006 and I stand by it. Last year it was Arizona.)

Now, the key difference between my bracket and those offered by Lunardi and most everyone else on the Internet right now is that mine is predictive; it is NOT a reflection of what the Tournament would look like if it started today. That’s why my bracket includes teams like Louisville and Marquette–who I expect to get important wins down the stretch–and not someone like Oklahoma State–who I expect to slip in the Big 12. I admit that my knowledge of the lower conferences is sketchy at best; I haven’t seen those teams to play and err on the side of conservatism in choosing who to take from the SWAC and its ilk. Most of those selections are the team that’s currently leading the conference. Continue reading

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The Double Bonus: Go to Hell, Carolina

What an intense rivalry.

Well, John, the students in Chapel Hill are waking up to a newspaper decked out in Duke Blue (PANTONE 287 to be exact) this morning after that beatdown last night. How pumped are you that the Blue Devils did what only three other ACC teams have done this season and beaten Carolina at the Dean Dome?

There are two ways I could answer this, I suppose: First, there’s the “I don’t care if it’s a down year for them, it’s still UNC and it still feels great to beat them.” Or there’s the, “Oh God that was close! How was that a one-point game with 6 minutes left? Why does Duke have so much trouble with even the last place teams in the ACC on the road?” And even thought I’d LIKE to say I’m riding a high from beating the Tar Heels, my thoughts are more of the second school. That was a very nerve-wracking game, and when Duke finally pulled away, I mainly just felt relief. Continue reading