Scott Cordischi On Sports: Tips To Fill Out Your Bracket
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Your time is running out!
Your NCAA Tournament bracket has to be in by Thursday morning or you’ll be frozen out of the office pool. What are you going to do?
While picking wins in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is certainly an inexact science, here are a few tips to help you fill yours out:
First, as much as we all love the underdog in this tournament, don’t try to force the upsets when making your picks. If you see a lower seed that has a legitimate chance to beat a higher seed, by all means pick it. But don’t pick upsets for the sake of picking upsets. Yes, they happen quite frequently in the tournament which is what makes this event so popular. However, trying to forecast which upsets will occur is a very difficult task. And if you choose to eliminate a higher seed early because it was your upset special, you could be in trouble if that team makes a deep run in the tournament.
Second, it seems as if a 12-seed always beats a 5-seed. For that reason, you may want to look at these match-ups as your potential “upset specials.” Of this year’s 12-5 match-ups, the two where the 12-seed appears to have the best shot are (12) Oregon over (5) Oklahoma State and (12) California over (5) UNLV.
Next, look for teams with good guard play. Teams with veteran guards are even more attractive. That’s why a team like #1-overall seed Louisville deserves a long look as your potential National Champion. Senior Peyton Siva is battle tested while junior Russ Smith is a stud. They should help Rick Pitino make another run at a national title.
That brings us to our next point. As much as we want to pick a 2,3,4 or 5 seed to possibly win it all, make sure that you have one or two #1-seeds in your Final Four. Why? Because history tells us that one or two get there every year.
If all else fails, give the bracket to someone in your house who knows absolutely nothing about college basketball. Maybe he or she will make picks based upon which nickname they like better or the color of the team’s uniforms.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck!
-For the record, I have the mentor beating the pupil in my National Championship game with Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals downing Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators. How do you like them apples, PC fans?
-Also for the record, as much I would like to see my alma mater avenge their 1987 National Championship game loss to Indiana, I have the Hoosiers beating my Syracuse Orange in the “Sweet 16."
-Don’t ask me who my NIT, CBI or CIT championship teams are because I truly don’t care. Although, since the Friars and Bryant Bulldogs are in two of those tourneys, I will certainly be rooting for them to win.
-Patriots owner Bob Kraft would have been much better served to keep his mouth shut at the NFL’s owners meeting in Phoenix a couple of days ago. For as great as he has been for the Patriots franchise, what he did on Monday smacked of a PR spin that the Boston Red Sox ownership group would have been proud of. After laying the blame of a failed negotiation with WR Wes Welker at the feet of his agent, Welker’s agency – Athletes First released a statement yesterday contradicting many of his points. Among their contentions was that the Patriots made only one non-negotiable offer to Welker and that Welker personally told Kraft of the Broncos’ offer and the Patriots refused to match it. It’s not often that I take the side of an agent, but in this case their side of the story seems much more credible than Kraft’s.
-Speaking of the NFL’s owners meetings, nobody there is happier this week than embattled Jets coach Rex Ryan. When asked about Welker no longer being with the Pats he replied, “I’m glad he’s not there. I’m not kidding you!” Ryan went on raving about Welker and his abilities and the fact that he was almost impossible to stop defensively. “He’s amazing,” he said. “He’s an unbelievable route runner. He doesn’t run, but maybe five routes, but you can’t cover him. Him and Brady were on the same page all the time.”
-There are a lot of football writers/columnists in Boston, but none that I’d rather read more than the Boston Herald’s Ron Borges. While some Pats fans feel that he has an axe to grind with their team’s owner and head coach, I believe that he tells it like it is. Some who cover the Patriots seem to write almost always from a pro-Patriot perspective as opposed to anything that might be viewed as controversial. Nobody covered the Welker saga before and after his departure better than Borges.
-A close second to Borges is WEEI and the Boston Herald’s Gerry Callahan who is as talented as they come. Here’s hoping that WEEI never lets him go because he is a true talent.
-I don’t care who’s healthy and who’s not, Jackie Bradley should be in the Boston Red Sox opening day line-up……period!
-While the outcome was a bit painful for green teamers, that Boston Celtics – Miami Heat game Monday night was another great battle full of intrigue, twists and turns. It would be very disappointing if we did not see these two teams clash in the postseason again this year.
-Speaking of that game, does anyone still want to know why Danny Ainge traded for Jeff Green? I didn’t think so.
-If there’s a college basketball coach in the entire country who has done a better job than Miami’s Jim Larranaga this year, I’d like to meet him.
-Gonzaga may be one of the best mid-major programs in the country, but if the Zags don’t get to the Final Four this year, you have to wonder if they ever will. In recent years we have seen Butler make it to two Final Four’s and Larranaga’s George Mason Patriots make it to one. It’s about time Gonzaga showed up to college basketball’s biggest stage.
-I think Indiana may be the best team in college basketball, but they have a brutally tough East Region which will likely hurt their chances at winning the national title.
-Even in a supposed “down year,” the Big East Conference managed to get 8 teams into the Tournament. With Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame and eventually Louisville all heading to the ACC, that conference will soon have the most bids to the Big Dance on an annual basis.
-Butler, Xavier and Creighton are all excellent additions to the new Big East Conference.
-On paper, the line of Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand is supposedly the Boston Bruins second line. On the ice, they are clearly the first. The alleged top line of Krejci, Lucic and Horton has been good but not great. That needs to improve if the B’s are going to be considered legitimate Cup contenders.
-Good luck to both the PC Friars and the Brown Bears who will be playing in the semifinals of Hockey East and the ECAC respectively. The Friars square off against UMass-Lowell Friday at 5pm at the TD Garden in Boston while the Bears tangle with top-ranked Quinnipiac in Atlantic City Friday at 4pm. PC went 1-2 against the River Hawks during the regular season while Brown tied the Bobcats twice.
-Did you see what LeBron James said about his dunk over the Celtics’ Jason Terry Monday night? "I've had a chance to [see] it, and it was one of my better ones," James said. "The fact that it happened to J.T. made it that much sweeter. Because we all know J.T. and he talks too much sometimes. And I'm glad it happened to him." Just more fuel to the fire of the Celtics-Heat rivalry.
-As for which dunk was better this year, I’m having a hard time picking between LeBron’s dunk over Terry and DeAndre Jordan’s dunk over Brandon Knight.
-About the only thing I’ll ever dunk is an Oreo in a glass of milk!