Sometimes I watch the self-proclaimed “sports experts” on TV and laugh when their so-called advice regarding the NCAA Tournament fails to come to fruition.
Then I opened my mouth (or computer rather) and wrote an NCAA Tournament guide, for you, the faithful Bellevue Reporter readers.
Little did I know, I was the one destined to end up eating crow, with my bracket looking worse with each passing game.
Therefore, with only three games remaining in the tournament, we’re going to revisit my column and see just where the jury sits on my so-called advice.
Step No. 1: Don’t bet on the No. 16 seeds
Never has a No.16 seed beaten a No.1 seed in the past and this year was no exception. North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and Memphis defeated their opponents by a combined score of 355-227.
Which brings me to my next point…
Step No. 2: Don’t fall in love with the No. 1 seeds
The verdict on this one should probably read: Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, way, way wrong.
Since seeding began for teams in 1979, only five times has the championship game matched two No.1 seeds.
Make that six times now.
With all four No. 1 teams remaining in the Final Four, two of them will square off for the title. It’s the first time since the expansion of 64 (now 65) teams in 1985 that all four No. 1 seeds have reached the Final Four.
Step No. 3: Beware the 5/12 upset
Two No. 5 seeds, Drake and Clemson, continued the trend of the 5/12 curse, as Western Kentucky and Villanova pulled upsets that ended with both underdogs playing into the Sweet 16.
Score another one for the curse.
Step No. 4: No. 2 seed second round struggles
Both Georgetown and Duke couldn’t make it past the round of 32 this year, both falling to underdogs and saying goodbye to any title hopes this season.
I also “called” the Duke upset in round two. Unfortunately, I had the Dukies falling to Arizona. They failed to make it past West Virginia in the first round. Fifty percent ain’t bad.
Step No. 5: Cinderella stories: fun, until the Elite Eight
Boy, I don’t think I’m the only one who was way off base with this one. I said the Elite Eight is where the men beat the boys, and to not count on Cinderella making any noise in that round.
I think the Davidson basketball team must have read my column, because the Wildcats were one three-point shot away from beating Kansas and paving their way as a No. 10 seed to the Final Four.
Step No. 6: A strong frontcourt makes for a good bet
Kevin Love averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds in Phoenix for the Bruins. Joey Dorsey put up double-doubles for Memphis against Mississippi State and Texas. Kansas seventh man Sasha Kaun had 13 points and six boards against Davidson. Tyler Hansbrough practically willed the Tar Heels past Louisville with 28 points.
I’d say the bigs are doing quite well.
Conclusion: I was right on with four of my six predictions. Looking at my bracket, I wonder why I didn’t take my own advice.
Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.