Tag Archives: march madness

The NCAA Tournament, Bracketology and The Irrationality of It All

Photo Credit: (Kevin McGuire - https://twitter.com/KevinOnCFB)

Photo Credit: (Kevin McGuire – https://twitter.com/KevinOnCFB)

By Kevin York

I’m writing this post right after filling out my NCAA March Madness bracket, but you’ll be reading it Thursday afternoon at a point where it already may well be completely destroyed. I spent the last 45 minutes plus agonizing over which teams to pick. And that’s an improvement over years past. Typically I’ll spend that much time completing my bracket in one sitting. Then the next day I spend another 20 minutes or so reviewing my bracket, changing picks, changing them back, and finally leaving them blank. The following day I’ll come back and spend at least another 20 minutes making final decisions. So, this year I streamlined (people love that word, don’t they?) the process, waited until the night before first-round games and finished the whole thing in one sitting.

I decided to do sort of a live journal, Bill Simmons style, talking through my picks. This will show how completely irrational filling out a bracket is, at least for me. But I venture it’s this way for everyone – man, woman, knowledgeable, unknowledgeable, superstitious, facts-driven.

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Time to Focus on College Basketball: Things are Getting Interesting Now…

By Kevin York

I think I’m like a majority of American sports fans when it comes to college basketball. I follow the sport, but I don’t really follow it until the NFL season ends. At that point my sports watching time really opens up and I can dedicate more time to following the NCAA. Up to now, we haven’t really written much about college basketball. In fact, the one and only post that I wrote about it, wasn’t even so much about the game or season itself, but about conference realignment. I think the frequency with which we write about college basketball will start to change a bit. Now things are getting really interesting.

In case anyone didn’t notice, this past week was quite a week for college basketball. Four of the top five ranked teams lost last week – #1 Indiana (to Illinois), #2 Florida (to Arkansas), #3 Michigan (to Wisconsin) and #5 Kansas (to TCU and Oklahoma). The AP rankings were released today and Indiana remained in the top spot, yes, after a loss, largely behind their defeat of #10 Ohio State and the crumbling of the other teams around them near the top of the rankings. Duke and Miami are right on their heels though, trailing by only 44 and 60, respectively (that’s a very, very small margin of points).

Prior to Indiana holding onto its number one ranking, the AP Poll saw a change in its top team for five consecutive weeks. I look at this season’s college basketball landscape and have a feeling the NCAA tournament in March is going to be really interesting and possibly the most entertaining we’ve seen in years. For the first half of the season I’ve thought three teams stood out as better than the others – Indiana, Michigan and Duke. They’re the most complete, experienced and deepest teams in the game. However, over the past month, I’ve been getting the feeling more and more that there are a number of teams that could make a deep run in the tournament and reach the Final Four. Syracuse, Florida, Miami, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas, Louisville and Butler all fit in that group. But if you look deeper and analyze recent results and performance, teams like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Georgetown, Pitt, Oregon and even the youngsters at Kentucky could find themselves playing in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at the beginning of April. That’s 20 teams I just named…

If you haven’t been watching much college basketball, it’s time to start.

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com