The Duncan Banner

March 19, 2013

Let the madness of March begin

Evan Grice
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Alright everyone, it’s that time of year again.

The time when heroes become legends, and mid-majors become household names for a lifetime.

It’s the NCAA tournament, affectionately known as “March Madness.”

Now while I am a sports fantatic, I am in no way shape, form, or fashion the expert when it comes to picking brackets.

I mean of course I picked VCU to make the final four last year, and I called George Mason to make the magical run it did, including beating UConn to make the final four.

Yeah, let’s be honest, I didn’t come anywhere close to picking either of those.

Don’t get me started either on Butler  making the finals twice, that was non-existent on my bracket, as I digress.

Anyways, with this year’s tournament upon us, and more parody in existence than ever before, it’s anyone’s guess who is going to be dancing in Georgia come the end of the tournament.

Here’s just a little bit of knowledge I can divulge when it comes to picking in 2013.

1. Don’t pick a No. 16 seed.

For those of us who have been doing this longer than we can remember, this is common sense.

But, for those beginners who are afraid of not getting any games right in their respective pools, I can assure you that picking the No. 1 seed in its first game will at least give you four games right.

No 16-seed has ever defeated at top-seed in the opening round, with 16-seeds sporting an overall record of 0-112 in the NCAA tournament.

The closest occurrence the underdog had to winning was in 1996 when Western Carolina lost to Purdue 73-71.

Now, in the Women’s NCAA tournament a 16-seed has topped a 1-seed, with Harvard taking down Stanford in 1998.

2. Don’t pick straight chalk.

I know it’s easy and simple to pick the favorites, especially all the way to the final four.

But, if you want to win your pool, you need to pick against the favorites sometimes.

There’s plenty of talk about how this season could see no No. 1 seeds even make the final four, but again the choice is yours.

Now here is how I’m picking in my brackets so far, yes I said brackets.

I’m avoiding Michigan in the first round and going with South Dakota State.

As much as I like Gonzaga, they will probably not make the Final Four, but they at least get over the hump and make the Elite 8.

Another upset special of mine is Belmont over Arizona, I just have this gut feeling about Belmont, much like I do with the Golden Gophers from Minnesota.

This last one might be a little far-fetched, but I like Valparaiso to knock off Michigan State.

With Bryce Drew at the helm of Valpo, I see his team re-creating the magic they did several years ago in the NCAA tournament.

Take this advice for what it is worth, but use your own judgement wisely in selecting your brackets.