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#pounditThursday, January 26, 2023

Articles tagged: March Madness

Iowa State upset busted all remaining perfect brackets

Iowa State basketball

The Iowa State Cyclones upset the LSU Tigers on Friday night, and in doing so left all remaining NCAA Tournament brackets busted.

It’s unclear how many perfect brackets remained as tipoff neared, but it was unlikely to be many. The tournament has been defined by bracket-wrecking upsets early on, including No. 11 Notre Dame over No. 6 Alabama, No. 12 Richmond over No. 5 Iowa and, of course, No. 15 Saint Peter’s over No. 2 Kentucky.

At the time of Kentucky’s loss, only 3% of all perfect brackets remained. Iowa State’s victory eliminated those.

With all remaining brackets flushed, it marks the second consecutive year in which first-round March Madness games resulted in every single official bracket being busted.

If there is one perfect bracket still remaining on a white board or in a mancave out there, kudos to you. Whoever you are.

Photo: Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter (11) and guard Caleb Grill (2) celebrate a basket during the second half in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Friday, March 18, 2022 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. Iowa State beat LSU 59-54.

NCAA will not release March Madness brackets

March Madness

The NCAA floated a proposal to release a set of brackets for the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but that will not happen.

While the proposal was considered, the NCAA said there were too many hypotheticals to make it feasible, and no bracket would be released.

Some of the coaches wanted this, and it was floated by an NCAA executive, but it won’t happen. It’s understandable why — the majority of conference tournaments went unfinished, which would have impacted the bubble and automatic bids. It’s unfortunate for many schools who would have been able to register a tournament appearance, but won’t be able to now.

NCAA could still release March Madness bracket for 2020

March Madness

The 2020 NCAA Tournament will not be played, but we may yet find out who could have been in it.

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt told Matt Norlander of CBS Sports that there is still some consideration that a full 68-team bracket will be released.

According to Norlander, the selection committee had already done preliminary work on putting together a 68-team field. The purpose would be to recognize teams for the work they did this season, and allow them to add an NCAA Tournament appearance to their records.

In the grand scheme of thing, this is a very minor step, but it’s worth considering. Many coaches wanted this as part of the NCAA’s plan, though they also sought a postponement of the tournament, not a cancellation. It’s too late for the latter part, but that recognition will be valued by many schools who had great seasons that came to abrupt ends.

NCAA Tournament will be played without fans due to coronavirus

March Madness

Get ready for March Madness without fans.

In a statement released Wednesday, based on a recommendation from the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced that no fans would be allowed to attend NCAA Tournament games to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “Only essential staff and limited family attendance” will be permitted.

There have been numerous cancellations due to the spread of the virus, but this is the biggest one yet. It also felt inevitable when the state of Ohio, which is slated to host games in the tournament, banned large events. Expect an incredibly eerie atmosphere at one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

Ohio governor to order fans banned from March Madness games due to coronavirus

March Madness

The NCAA has said that March Madness will go ahead with fans, but that is looking in serious jeopardy.

The latest blow to that plan comes from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who said Wednesday he is issuing an order banning mass gatherings in the state due to the spread of coronavirus. That includes First Four games set to be played in Dayton, as well as first- and second-round games in Cleveland.

The NCAA will have a decision to make. Theoretically, these games could be played without fans, but it’s unclear if that will happen.

Wednesday appears to be a watershed day in terms of closing sporting events to fans in virus-affected areas. These are definitely not going to be the last events to be impacted.

Reporter files trademark for March Madness related phrase

If you’re one of those people who is tired of how much money the NCAA is making without paying any of its athletes, you will probably appreciate what one college basketball reporter is trying to do.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports has filed to trademark the phrase “This is March” for apparel. The phrase is related to March Madness.

Rothstein didn’t have much to say about his trademark filing, but he seemingly confirmed it.

It’s unclear what kind of resistance Rothstein might get, but it’s worth a shot. Anything that can keep money out of the hands of the NCAA will probably be well received.

Best complaints from fans confused by ‘Team Stream’ broadcast

UNC Team Stream

The CBS TV family decided to go all-out for the national championship game once again in March Madness, and that meant running the title game on three different channels. TBS hosted the unbiased national call from Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery, while TNT had a North Carolina slanted call and truTV was the Villanova homer call. These team-slanted calls were called “Team Stream” broadcasts and were intentionally biased. Apparently many fans did not get that memo.

After we received a comment on our Hubert Davis post complaining about how biased TNT was towards North Carolina, it occurred to me that many other people probably ended up watching a homer telecast without realizing it.

With that in mind, here is a compilation of some of the funniest complaints from viewers upset with the “homer” broadcast they were watching. Enjoy:

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March Madness coaches you can count to avoid a first-round exit

Poring over match-ups in the first round of the NCAA Tournament can be a painstaking chore, particularly when faced with a deluge of facts, stats and figures that fail to paint a complete picture. Roster turnover alone makes it incredibly difficult to put faith in a particular team based upon previous results.

Of the teams that comprised last year’s Final Four in Indianapolis, only six of the twenty starters returned this season. Suffice it to say, the only variable that remains unchanged for most tournament teams is their head coach. With that fact in mind, we decided to take a look at the coaches you can bank on in the first round of the tourney and some high-profile coaches to be wary of.

COACHES TO BANK ON EARLY

Roy Williams, North Carolina

25 appearances, 25-0 in the first round

One of the strongest branches of Dean Smith’s coaching tree, Williams has accomplished an incredible amount, splitting his coaching career between the plains of Kansas and Tobacco Road. Williams has led his teams to seven Final Fours and two national championships while also avoiding a single first-round exit in the Big Dance. Simply put, he’s the gold standard of the first round. In addition to his immaculate record, only eight of his 25 first round victories were decided by fewer than ten points.

John Calipari

John Calipari, Kentucky

16 appearances, 15-1 in the first round

Since arriving in the Blue Grass state, Coach Cal has posted an absurd 22-4 record in the NCAA Tournament as Kentucky’s head coach. Putting aside the fact that his Kentucky teams have advanced to at least the Elite Eight every year, Big Blue Nation has also pulverized its first round competition. As Kentucky’s head coach, Calipari’s average margin of victory is 15.2 points. The former UMass and Memphis head coach hasn’t lost a first-round contest since 2003.

Sean Miller, Arizona

8 appearances, 7-1 in the first round

In Miller’s first NCAA Tournament game as a head coach, his Xavier squad lost by just four points to Gonzaga as a 14-seed. Since then, Miller’s record during March Madness is a sterling 17-7 with six Sweet 16 appearances and zero first-round exits. The former Pitt Panther point guard has specialized in squeezing out close games. Five of his 17 NCAA Tournament wins have come by eight-or-fewer points. Miller grew up in Ellwood City, Pa., just 40 minutes from John Calipari’s hometown, so there must be something in the water in Western PA.

John Beilein, Michigan

9 Appearances, 7-2 in the first round

Beilein lost his NCAA Tournament debut, a first-round blemish that came 20 years ago when he was Canisius’ head coach. His next stop was at Richmond, which saw him orchestrate one of the greatest first round upsets of all-time, a 62-61 victory over South Carolina as a 14-seed. Beilein’s second stepping stone job led him to West Virginia in 2002. After a two-year run fueled by Kevin Pittsnogle, which saw Beilein score five wins in the Big Dance, Beilein was on the move again, this time to Michigan. In 2012, Michigan was nipped by Ohio in the first round. Since that first round defeat to the Bobcats, Beilein is 8-2 in the NCAAs. Michigan has also asserted its dominance in the first round, having waxed its last two first round opponents by 15 and 27 points respectively.

BUYER BEWARE

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NCAA Tournament talk brings out some of the lamest cliches in broadcasting

If you have ever happened upon a big dance, we would like to hear from you. If you know someone who has had their ticket punched, please let us know. Has your bubble burst lately? If it has, perhaps you should consult a gastroenterologist or, barring that, maybe a shaman. For some reason, however, these trite expressions of nebulousness are dusted off each year around the first week of March in the NCAA’s Pavlovian way to drum up interest for its annual four-week basketball tournament.

Yes, folks it’s that time of year again: Everything is in full bloom, the swallows fly north, and thought-provoking discourse flies south. The NCAA begins its annual march into the forefront of the national consciousness, while brackets are busted and Cinderellas leave their slippers somewhere in Dayton, or East Rutherford.

During my enthralling college journey en route to a communications degree — in other words, a time of heavy chemical experimentation — I learned the seemingly meaningless concept known as the magic bullet theory (not to be confused with Plaxico Burress’ alibi). I didn’t know it then, seeing as how I only took on the major to meet the kind of women who had aspirations of becoming weather girls, but that theory has served me well since I am now using it in a treatise about sports no less. How many times have you watched an excoriation of the NCAA Tournament by some talking head analyzing the field or probable field, and the expressions “Big Dance”, “on the bubble”, “dark horse”, or “tournament resume”, among others have been used? You’ve undoubtedly stumbled across the anachronistic concept of March sports talk novelty. My friends, you have been shot with the magic bullet seemingly prophesied by my professor in Comm 10.

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March Madness Has Officially Arrived

Every year, during the month of March (and apparently a couple days into April) a condition afflicts many Americans. It is a condition that has yet to be recognized by the AMA despite its prevalence and the number of sick-days taken for ill-contrived reasons (butter-finger, double dribbling, and “too full to stand up” are not exactly textbook definitions of legitimate medical excuses). Statistics show that, every year the NCAA basketball tournament begins, man hours are lost in this country due to sloth, laziness, and phony malaise. Of course, if they included the other 11 months in this study, it would probably show things are par for the course. Each year, 64 65 68 teams in Division I college basketball come together to not only experience such exotic locales as Dayton, Tampa, and Tucson (I hear Newark is lovely in the fall), but to bring home the geometrical oddity that is the National Championship trophy. Meanwhile, the rest of society is intently watching to see if Northern Colorado is worthy of placing a tax refund-sized bet on them pulling off an upset in a way only a school from Greeley, Colorado can.

It seems like everyone, regardless of whether they know that Long Island is actually a school and not just an alcoholic beverage, is filling out a bracket these days (the exception hopefully being Rick Neuheisel). Even the President of the United States made his picks in years past. Fortunately for him, he did not have to decide who would win a matchup between American and Liberty University. Talk about an executive decision! Each year, America’s dreams of seeing Wofford hoist the national title are dashed about five minutes into the opening of the tournament. “How’s your bracket doing?” becomes the familiar refrain from the folks who are staking a claim on winning millions filling out a bracket with a Final Four comprised of teams from the MAC, MAAC, SWAC, and WAC … Now that’s whack …?

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