It is that time of year where women put in brackets that are based off the colors of the school or the mascots, co-workers calling out of work, and teams you are not even aware of are knocking off perennial favorites and blow your bracket completely up. Yes, folks it is time for the best type of drama in sports. NCAA college basketball tournament where one and done puts excruciating pressure on 19-21 year old kids and makes a star out of a small college from Virginia or Indiana.
This is the time of year where co-workers have bragging rights over each other because their school went further in the tournament or god forbid their school beats your school with last second buzzer beater.
Here are some story lines to follow when you watch the tournament.
Kentucky with another vaunted recruiting class, the prevailing thought was that the Wildcats would be back in the tournament with a McDonalds All –American at every position just never became a cohesive unit and Coach Cal is watching the tournament from home literally. Kentucky couldn’t even beat Robert Morris in the NIT.
Return of a Power
Another fiery coach is stomping side lines but chairs will not be thrown onto the court. Indiana is back! Sophomore center Cody Zeller gets a lot notoriety but the guy to watch is Junior guard Victor Oladipo. Oladipo has a chance to be that kid we look back on in 5-7 years and say,” How did 6 to 8 teams pass on him in the draft? Oladipo will be picked in this year upcoming draft but is projected to go anywhere from the 10th to the 14th pick overall. The Jr. Guard is stout defensively with an innate ability to time steals in the passing lanes. Oladipo has big time ability to put the ball on the deck and dunk on folks.
Zeller will be what the announcers will be gushing over but keep your eye on Victor Oladipo.
Cinderella stories are awesome on the 1st weekend of the tournament but once we get to the Sweet 16, the glass slipper doesn’t seem to fit anymore. At that point the underdog team is facing a 1, 2, or 3 seed and that is when the cream rises to the top. By the time you get to the Final Four, it is the usual suspects. Usually the Final Four consists of nothing lower than 3 seed. So if you have a Butler or a Creighton making it to the championship game, revise your bracket! The last time Cinderella actually danced into the Final Four, it was George Mason.
George Mason, 2006
George Mason tied the record as the lowest seed to make it to the Final Four in 2006. As an 11 seed, George Mason had to upset every team they played in the NCAA tournament, including Michigan State in the first round by 10 points. It didn’t get any easier after that—they proceeded to be North Carolina by five before outlasting another lower seed in Wichita State. GMU needed overtime over Connecticut to make the Final Four.
Before the remarkable run of George Mason it was 1986!
Louisiana State was an 11 seed in 1986 and needed two overtimes to win just their first game over Purdue by a score of 94-87. In another squeaker, they beat Memphis State by two in the second round. Perhaps their biggest upset was over Kentucky in the regional finals again by just two points.
Happy Madness and may your brackets not be busted and your sneaky sleeper team make it to the Sweet 16!!!
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