March Madness: Follow the Action!


College professors will have to be a bit forgiving over the next few weeks. With hoop action heating up for men and women alike, students across hundreds of college campuses are following the exploits of their favorite teams on all three levels of play: Divisions I, II and III. They’re somewhat distracted and you can thank a certain orange round ball with causing that problem.

Final FourForgive me if I’m not too excited about Divisions II and III although I did graduate from a college who competed on the smallest of the three levels. When it comes to late season basketball—March Madness—what happens on the Division I level gets all the press. And, not to put the women out, men’s basketball has by far the biggest following of all.

Besides, a UConn Lady Huskies repeat is a given, right?

I wrote this article before the final conference championship games were played which means what I have to say won’t include details about Selection Sunday and the 65 teams chosen to go to the big dance. But, there are certain givens about this year’s tournament, stuff we already know will happen no matter who makes the tournament or where they are seeded.

Major Downer – UConn and UNC are perennial performers who make it the NCAA and go deep. Last year the Tarheels won the championship, this year they won’t be going to the dance. Neither will the Huskies. Both teams were expected to shine this year, instead they have disappointed their fans. Better luck in 2011.

No Duds – It seems every year a Cinderella team finds their way in the tournament, a 13-18 team from a bottom feeder conference who suddenly livened up at season’s end to win their conference title. Well, not this year. True, there are a handful of teams who got in who weren’t expected to including Winthrop and East Tennessee State, but at least they have winning records. And, they’ll most likely get trashed in the opening round by a top seeded team.

Baylor – Who would have ever thought that the Baylor Bears would be a force in college basketball? Last year, they just missed out on the NCAA tournament but made it to the NIT before losing in the championship game. This year, they’re testing everyone including the high flying Kansas Jayhawks. Just remember the names Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn—you’ll hear their names repeated as long as Baylor stays alive in the Big Dance. Did I mention Ekpe Udoh? Three players who could help Baylor surprise this year.

Tourney Hosts – 14 cities host opening, first/second round, regional and final four action, giving these locales a chance to bring in rapid money spending fans to bolster the local economy. Pity Dayton, Ohio who gets to host just one game—the forgetful opening round play in game no one cares about. Buffalo will be hosting first/second round action March 19-21 which raises a pair of questions: what if the city is socked in by a blizzard and what is there to do in Buffalo anyway? The best deal belongs to Indianapolis as that hoops crazed town will host the Final Four which will be held at Lucas Oil Arena April 3 & 5.

Stay sane….March Madness is here!

Adv. — Don’t get mad, get even! If you’re frustrated by all that you have to do to prepare for college, then let help you. They’ve got lots of helpful (and free) tools to make things easier for you–download what you want and plan away!


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