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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
Thursday, 09 March 2017 00:54

Bracketology basics 2017

Thoughts on the descent into March Madness

(Editor’s note: A version of this piece has run in The Maine Edge in previous years.)

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.

Published in Sports

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
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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