March Madness is here: Everyone in the pool!

It’s mid-March, let the Madness begin. But before the NCAA Tournament tips off, lets get on the record with our picks and fill out a bracket.

Notice I said “A” bracket. You know the guy who brags about how accurate his picks were and then you discover he’s put five different brackets in his pool. Puh-leez!

And then there’s the guy who leads the pool because they picked all the higher seeds. C’mon man, a trained monkey can learn to count if you feed it enough cookies.

I just watched four “experts” on ESPN reveal their brackets, and three of them had all No. 1 seeds in the Final Four. And I could swear I saw cookie crumbs on their lips.

Of course you have to favor the highers seeds, but the key is to pick the “right” upsets. If I knew which ones they are I wouldn’t be sharing, but you can find some favorable matchups and meaningful trends.

For starters, eight of the champions crowned in the 2000s were coming off conference tournament titles. That list includes 2011 champion UConn, which won five Big East Tournament games in five days before running the table in the NCAAs.

Also consider conference RPI. The majority of non-conference games took place back in December, so teams have played almost exclusively against teams in their league for the past 2 1/2 months. And be sure to check out teams’ road records and guard play.

But the biggest rule of all, go with you gut. Fill out one sheet and go with your first instinct, like you’re taking the SAT. You won’t always be right, but you don’t want to be the guy saying “Oh, I ALMOST picked that one.”

With that said, here are my Final Four picks:

* EAST: Everyone and his granny are going with top-seeded Syracuse, and those who don’t will likely picks No. 2 Ohio State. But there are a couple of sleepers that should make a run – No. 3 Florida State, which just defeated North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, and No. 5 Vanderbilt, which knocked off Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. I like both to make the Sweet 16, although Vandy has a tougher draw, but I’ll take Florida State in my Final Four.

* SOUTH: I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but how do you not pick Kentucky? The only knock on the Wildcats is their youth, but they happen to have the best young players in the country and this group seems more mature than the others John Calipari has recruited. Plus they have a relatively easy path to the Final Four with No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Baylor coming off bad losses in their conference tournament. Kentucky NEVER plays a road game, and the Blue Nation is going to the Final Four this year.

* WEST: Top-seeded Michigan State looked impressive in winning the Big Ten Tournament, but it’s not even the best “M” in the bracket. No. 2 Missouri, No. 3 Marquette, No. 6 Murray State and No. 8 Memphis stands between the Spartans and the Final Four, not to mention No. 4 Louisville, which I’m taking to the Elite 8. But I’m riding Missouri to the Final Four based on its overlooked Big 12 Tournament title and impressive guard play.

* MIDWEST: Here’s another tip to help you score some points in your bracket. Because there are so many Tar Heel fans in every pool, you can count on 95 percent of your pool picking North Carolina to reach the Final Four. Why not take a chance and pick another team, like No. 2 Kansas or No. 3 Georgetown? I’m digging even deeper with an unheralded Temple team that may have the best guard play in the country besides Missouri. Give me the Owls in My Final Four.

There you have it – my Final Four of No. 1 Kentucky, No. 2 Missouri, No. 3 Florida State and No. 5 Temple. I’ll take Kentucky over Mizzou in a future SEC rivalry, the Seminoles over the Owls, and then the Wildcats to cut down the nets while CBS plays that tired old “One Shining Moment” song.

And on that magical night, I’ll be probably the guy at the bottom of the pool who everyone else is laughing at.

Comments

comments

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swim

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swimIn the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina High [more]

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of Fame

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of FameThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced Monday the nine [more]

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debut

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debutOn the road for 12-straight days, which included a 10-day [more]

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia Tech

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia TechThe No. 2 Clemson football team opened 2018 ACC play [more]

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat Vandy

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat VandyJake Bentley threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and [more]

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swim

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swimIn the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina High [more]

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of Fame

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of FameThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced Monday the nine [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach