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Archive for the ‘NCAA Basketball Tourney’


How Exactly Does March Madness Work? 4

Posted on March 23, 2014 by Danielle Ward
Who will follow Louisville as the NCAA Champions?

Who will follow Louisville as the NCAA Champions?

March Madness, unless you have fair idea of what it exactly is, is bound to leave you confused as to what it means! It’s a cool name given to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s, that’s NCAA, basketball tournament for men and women teams, held from the second week of March into the first week of April. At the end of this high octane basketball marathon remains the undisputed national champion of basketball at college level. The NCAA oversees more than 1300 college and university members, and is managed by volunteers from these member institutes. Certain criteria are laid down to define active members, and these active members are allowed to participate in tournaments. Also, based on the number of sports sponsored for men and women by the schools and colleges, they are arranged in 3 divisions. Out of all the teams from Division 1, 68 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams are invited to the national championship. A selection committee sits before the tournament to decide upon the invitees. Read the rest of this entry →

Coach K Shows True Sportsmanship 2

Posted on March 22, 2014 by Darian Hybl
Coach K congratulated the Mercer players and coaches on their well deserved victory.

Coach K congratulated the Mercer players and coaches on their well deserved victory.

When I read that Duke had lost in the NCAA tournament, I was not surprised, but when I heard what Coach K did showed me what true leadership really means.

In 2008, I had the opportunity to go to Catholic Mass in Durham, NC.  And low and behold, Coach K attended the same mass and was sitting less than 20 feet away from my wife and myself.  A tall man, I really appreciated his humbleness at mass and how he put his faith first.

Back to the loss to Mercer.  After loosing such a close game, Coach K in true leadership style went to the winners locker room and congratulated them on their accomplishment.

This is the true sign of a true leader who acknowledges his loss, but congratulates his opponent on a game well played.  Coach K is the epitome of a great leader, not only showing it on the floor, but even behind closed doors by emulating style and leadership for his players and anyone who needs a figure to look up to during this day and age.

Thanks for being a model of leadership for me Coach K!!

Read the rest of this entry →

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Who Will Be the Bracket Busters? 32

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Harvard will look to be a bracket buster for the second straight year when they face the fifth seeded Cincinnati Bearcats.

Harvard will look to be a bracket buster for the second straight year when they face the fifth seeded Cincinnati Bearcats.

Now that the field for the 2014 Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament has been set, it is time for the best sports week of the year as millions try to complete the “perfect bracket.” This year the quest has taken on an even greater significance thanks to billionaire Warren Buffett and the Quicken Loans’ Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge.

The financier and Quicken Loan CEO Dan Gilbert, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, have taken the traditional NCAA bracket pool to a new level.

But while the odds of selecting the winner in every single game is even greater than that of Vladimir Putin abruptly allowing Ukraine to become a democracy or the missing Malaysian airplane suddenly showing up on a runway in Florida, it isn’t keeping millions from trying to make the perfect picks.

The contest is being capped at 15 million entries, but even if no one gets every game correct, the top 20 brackets will each net $100,000.

To no surprise, the real “big” winners in this competition are going to be Buffett and Gilbert.

While there is no cost to enter, participants must provide their e-mail address and phone number and answer some questions about their mortgage. That means Gilbert’s company will have 15 million new potential customers to send e-mails and contact by phone.

Though Buffet isn’t part of Quicken Loans, he has already received plenty of press to continue stroking his public image.

What will be especially interesting will be to see if any of the 15 million entries can even make it through the first weekend of games undefeated.

Here is a look at five games that could make it tough to predict:

South Regional: #5 VCU vs. #12 Stephen F. Austin
It was just three years ago that VCU was the bracket busting tournament darling that went from the play-in game to the Final Four. This time the Rams are a highly respected fifth seed and many think they could again make a long tournament run. However, their journey could be mighty short if Stephen F. Austin has anything to say about it. The number 12 seed enters the tournament with a 31-2 record and has four players who average at least 12 points per contest.

South Regional: #6 Ohio State vs. #11 Dayton
The Buckeyes have made a sport out of dodging their high-caliber in-state competitors, but this time there is no escaping a date with the Fliers. Ohio State was one of the top squads in the country early in the season, but struggled through the second half and a long tournament run would be a huge surprise. Dayton is one of six NCAA Tournament teams from the Atlantic-10 and will have extra motive against OSU. Read the rest of this entry →

Butler vs. Connecticut is Fitting End to Unpredictable Season 11

Posted on April 03, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack have led Butler to back-to-back NCAA Tournament Championship Games.

What happens when you get a second crack at a “once in a lifetime” moment? Well, the Butler University Bulldogs will find out Monday night when the unlikeliest of super teams returns to the NCAA Championship Game for the second straight year.

Anyone who follows college basketball even a little knows that the Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils in the 2010 title game and came a rimmed out half court shot away from claiming the national title.

Now, after defeating another mid-major Cinderella in VCU in the national semifinals, the Bulldogs are back on the main stage. This time they face the University of Connecticut and two-time national championship coach Jim Calhoun.

Interestingly, what both teams have in common is that for portions of the 2011 season both squads were looking more like they might meet in the NIT than in the NCAA Championship Game.

After a hot early start, Connecticut lost four of their final five regular season games and sank to the bottom half of the Big East standings. As a result, they had to win an unprecedented five games in five days to win the Big East Tournament.

At one point during the season Butler was 14-9 overall and 6-5 in conference play and didn’t look like they would have any shot at another run to the title game.

However, the Bulldogs won their final seven regular season games and then claimed the Horizon League Tournament title to secure a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

While the Big East Tournament run by Connecticut raised their tournament seeding to a number three spot and got them some respect in bracket pools across the country, the Bulldogs didn’t have quite the same experience. Read the rest of this entry →

20 Years Ago: Duke Shocks the Runnin’ Rebels 3

Posted on March 30, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Duke turned the basketball world upside down by shocking the Runnin' Rebels.

Today, it is hard to believe any victory by the Duke basketball team as a monster upset, but 20 years ago, the Blue Devils pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history when they knocked the unbeaten and defending national champion UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in the Final Four.

The Blue Devils entered that Final Four not as the team everybody loved to hate, but rather as a program that could not seal the deal when it came to winning the NCAA tournament.

Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke had made four trips to the Final Four in the previous five years, but came away with no national championships, as they lost their trips to the title game in 1986 to Louisville and in 1990 by 30 points to UNLV.

The 103-73 victory in the 1990 championship game was the first national championship for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and first for head coach Jerry Tarkanian, famous for his towel-chewing in the middle of games

Tarkanian had built UNLV into a national power with his up-tempo offensive style that had led the Rebels to two other Final Four appearances prior to their national title in 1990.

But under Tarkanian’s leadership, the program had built the reputation as one that did not play by the rules as “Tark the Shark” was often at odds with the NCAA.

Three months after they won the national title, UNLV was put on prohibition and banned from postseason play for the 1991 season, meaning they could not defend their championship.

But after discussions with the NCAA, the ban was lifted and UNLV would be allowed to play in the 1991 NCAA tournament.

With that featured national player of the year Larry Johnson and first-round NBA picks Stacy Augmon and Greg Anthony, the Rebels breezed through the 1991 season as they entered the Final Four with 34-0 record and a #1 ranking the team had held all year. Read the rest of this entry →

VCU vs. Kansas: Cinderella Meets The Wizard of Oz Meets The Bachelor 5

Posted on March 28, 2011 by John Wingspread Howell

Will VCU end up wearing the glass slipper at the 2011 NCAA Championships?

Bear with me. I’m mixing three metaphors but it all works out in the end.

We call it the Big Dance. We refer to the party crashers as Cinderella. No team is more of a Cinderella in this year’s March Madness than Virginia Commonwealth. And the pundits and purists who expressed their loathing of the Rams making the tournament at all, are the ugly stepsisters.

You can’t blame them. Like the stepsisters of the fairy tale, those who scorn the likes of VCU crashing the party are those who stand on convention. They are traditionalists. They perpetuate arranged marriage. If a prince seeks a bride, then she must have a pedigree. When the Fairy Godmother smiles on the upstart, they are beside themselves.

VCU has garnered more scorn than any team making the cut in recent memory. Thus they are the quintessential Cinderella. Metaphor number one.

Enter Kansas Jayhawks. A sign in the crowd at the Kansas/VCU game read, “You’re not in Kansas anymore.” That was obvious. Marv Albert said the Jayhawks looked “shell shocked” late in the first half. “Did you see the look in their eyes?” He exclaimed.

The only remaining number one seed was definitely not in Kansas any more, Call them shell shocked. Call them Dorothy in Munchkin Land. Definitely not in Kansas. Metaphor number two.

Except this Dorothy has no ruby slippers. And I guess you would call VCU the Munchkins. And they have the glass slipper. The only question remaining is will the slipper fit in the end. Read the rest of this entry →

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