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It’s that time again, that time of year when even the most casual of sports fans (or even non-fans) start paying attention to the wild and wooly world of college hoops.

That’s right, folks. NCAA tourney time is upon us.

Selection Sunday is just around the corner, so I thought I might try to get some thoughts out there far enough in advance for you fine folks to take advantage when the time comes to fill out your own brackets.

(Please bear in mind - I’m no expert when it comes to the college hardwood. However, I do have a touch of the degenerate gambler about me, so … take that for whatever you like.)

We all know the drill at this point: you pony up a bit of cash or sign up for a contest and fill out your own copy of the bracket, picking winners all the way through the tournament, up to and including the 2020 champion. If you make the best picks, you win the pot.

Of course, with over 9 quintillion ways to fill out a bracket, the odds are not in your favor. But hey - there’s always a chance.

Here are a few of my (very basic) observations with regards to the sweet science of bracketology.

Published in Sports

There are few times on the American sports calendar as eagerly anticipated as March Madness. The NCAA basketball tournament is one of the most celebrated sporting stretches of the year, with teams from all over the country harboring hopes of championship glory.

Now, the reality of the tournament is that, while there will be 64 teams that gain entry to the bracket (68, technically, when you take the play-in games into account), only a handful of those have realistic aspirations of winning it all. For the majority of these teams, the real victory is getting there in the first place.

A handful of those hopefuls serve as the primary subjects for legendary sportswriter John Feinstein’s newest book “The Back Roads to March: The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of a College Basketball Season” (Doubleday, $27.95). It’s a look at the teams and people who live the college game off the beaten path. Sure, there’s some mention of the Dukes and Kentuckys and Virginias of the world, but this book isn’t about them – it’s about the teams grinding it out in conferences where if you don’t win the whole thing, you have no shot at The Dance.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 13:32

The Sports Edge – King Football

From somewhere around the time Shawn Walsh led the Maine Black Bear hockey team to their first Frozen Four in Lake Placid, New York in the late 1980s, the ice hockey program has been the crown jewel of University of Maine athletics. 

Published in The Sports Edge

With so many upsets in college basketball, there seems to be daily highlights of fans storming the court to celebrate.

No team has separated itself from the pack and there have been 15 instances when top-five teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll lost to unranked squads on the road, according to STATS LLC.

That's led to a lot of postgame mayhem and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said it's not all fun and games when it happens.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:25

Going bowling

A casual fan predicts all 35 bowl games

The college football regular season has come to a conclusion. It's all about the bowl games now 35 of them in all. That means 70 different teams are looking to end their season with a victory. Some have more to play for than others, but every single one of these teams is looking to go out with a bang.

As a casual fan, I don't claim any special knowledge regarding most of these games. After hours of exhaustive research, the only thing I can say with any certainty is this:

Your guess is as good as mine.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:39

In 1 year, Big 12 goes from turmoil to terrific

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In the span of a year, the Big 12 has gone from turmoil to terrific on television once again.

A conference whose football future was uncertain with the defections of Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri over the past two years has landed squarely on its feet.

The Big 12 has two teams in the top 10 and is the only conference to have eight schools with one or fewer losses. (The Southeastern Conference has seven).

Published in Sports

STORRS, Conn. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto, facing pressure from school presidents upset by his handling of the departure of several high-profile programs, resigned Monday after less three years on the job.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse made plans to leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference in September, and West Virginia bolted for the Big 12 the following month. The Big East regrouped by adding Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple for all sports and Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football only.

Marinatto told The Associated Press Monday that trying to guide the conference through realignment took a physical and mental toll on him.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 12:57

Boston College wins NCAA hockey title

TAMPA, Fla. - Boston College is making winning NCAA hockey titles look easy.

Coach Jerry York and star goalie Parker Milner know how hard it really is.

'You can't buy one of these championships,' York said Saturday night after the Eagles beat Ferris State 4-1 for their fifth NCAA championship and third in five seasons.

'You have to earn them. And this team definitely earned it.'

Milner, the Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player, made 27 of his 33 saves in the final two periods.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:46

The descent into (March) madness

It's that time of year again, that time when even the most casual of sports fans (or even non-fans) start paying attention to the wild and wooly world of NCAA hoops. 

That's right, folks. It's tourney time.

You've all seen the NCAA tournament brackets that are essentially ubiquitous following the final selections and seedings that took place over the weekend. Chances are pretty good that even if you don't follow the sport yourself, you know someone who follows college basketball. And there's a solid possibility that that someone, or someone who knows that someone, is putting together a tournament pool.

Published in Sports

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