Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Will Upsets Rule the Day??

     Think the Madness is done?  Think again.  In this 75th anniversary edition of the Tournament; when the top ranked team in the land goes down in it's second game, you  get a  9 seed versus a 13 seed for a berth in the Elite Eight, and you get your very first 15 seed into the Sweet Sixteen...don't bet your rent money on it.
Here's a glimpse of what to expect:

     Marquette and the UMiami will get us started tomorrow night....and should set the tone early. The Warriors barely hung on in wins over Davidson and Butler by a total of three points.  'Win and Advance' is the theme here and Marquette is seriously tough enough and resilent enough to get the job done.  Reggie Johnson is out for Miami...the pressure cooker is turning up for the Hurricanes as the ACC champs move into the Regional Semis...unchartered territory.  Result:  Remember the name, Vander Blue.  Another narrow Warrior win.

     Arizona's overrated Wildcats have some new found confidence after dispatching Belmont and Harvard in the first two rounds.  Ohio State's 'goat turned hero' point guard, Aaron Craft, who scored the Buckeye's last seven points in a buzzer beating triumph over sharpshooting Iowa State; is the difference here.  Expect Craft to find his teammates open shots and for OSU to convert on them.  Says here it is a double-digit romp for the Buckeyes in a game that will be over by halftime.  

     The Indiana-Syracuse matchup is probably the most anticipated game Thursday night.  Syracuse played up to the level of their competition in a victory over Cal where neither team deserved to win.  Expect the Orange to again, play up to the level of their competition here. Indiana will be forced to hit some open jump shots against the famous matchup zone.  Expect the Hooisers to be up to the challenge...but not before some very nervous moments...maybe even an overtime.  Indiana prevails behind their effort from behind the arc; next up:  Marquette..

    Wichita State and LaSalle are both really glad to be here.  Coach Gregg Marshall's Shockers are coming off a well-earned upset of the West Region's top seed, Gonzaga.  They are 'junkyard dog' rebounders.  The Explorer's guard play has been fabulous, real matchup problems.  This is LaSalle's fourth game...they were in the 'First Four'.  It's also their last.  Wichita State makes a living from the free throw line and wins ugly to set up a shot at the Final Four on Saturday against Ohio State.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Where is 'Dunk City'??

   A look ahead @ 'The Sweet Sixteen- including a special insiders glimpse at America's Cinderella Team, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles!!  Enjoy the Madness....Women's tourney continues tonight!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

'Survive and Advance' to the Sweet Sixteen!


WEST Regional:              

Ohio State 78, Iowa State 75
The Buckeyes forced 16 Cyclone turnovers, none more important than the last one.   Aaron Craft, who missed crucial free throws during Iowa State's rally; hit the big shot for the Shining Moment!        

LaSalle 76, Ole Miss 74
The Explorers used a rare game tying five point possession in a game that saw eleven lead changes to derail the SEC Tournament champions and earn a bid in the Sweet Sixteen as the only A-10 squad left.   

EAST Regional:        

Indiana 58, Temple 52.
Victor Oladipo's three pointer with 14 seconds left sealed the Hoosiers second half rally and a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.                     

Miami 63, Illinois 59
The ACC champion Hurricanes used a Shane Larkin three and a late questionable call by the refs to edge the Illini.  Senior Rion Brown had 21 points and five baskets from beyond the arc in the victory.

SOUTH Regional:  
Kansas 70, North Carolina 58.
Travis Releford had 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals to help rally the Jayhawks from a 30-21 halftime deficit to a win over former coach Roy Williams.

Florida 78, Minnesota 64.
Mike Rosario was 6/9 from three point range with 25 points as the Gators shot 80% in the 1st half to build a nice cushion and held on late to drill the Golden Gophers.

FGCU 81, San Diego State 71.
The Cinderella Eagles built a 19-point second half bulge by shooting 56% from the field; including a variety of alley-oop slams and three pointers in dispatching the MWC's final hope in tourney.  FGCU is the first 15 seed to make the Sweet Sixteen in the history of the tournament.

MIDWEST Regional:  
Duke 66, Creighton 50.
The Blue Devils return to the regional semi-finals for the 27th time behind Rasheed Sulaimon's team leading 21 points.  Duke battled foul trouble and less than stellar shooting, relying on defense for the win.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweet Sixteen Invitations on the Line!


SOUTH Regional: 
Michigan 78, VCU 53.  
Outrebounded Rams 36-21 with four players in double figures led by Mitch McGary's 21 pts, 14 rebs.                                              

MIDWEST Regional:
Michigan State 70, Memphis 48  .
Sloppy game where Spartans pushed around young Tigers on the glass, outrebounding Memphis, 41-25. 

Louisville 82, Colorado State 56.
Russ Davis scored 27 points and the Tournament's overall top seed forced the Rams into 20 T/O's.

Oregon 74, Saint Louis 57.
Ducks hit 8 of 11 from behind the arc, led by freshman Damyean Dotson's 23 points.

WEST Regional:  
Arizona 74, Harvard 51.
Wildcats jumped to 30-9 lead as the Crimson missed 20 of their first 22 shots.

Wichita State 76, Gonzaga 70.
Shockers closed game on 16-7 run and was 14/27 from three point range!

EAST Regional: 
Marquette 74, Butler 72.
Vander Blue's 29 points and 4 steals extracts revenge on Bulldogs for Maui buzzer-beater!

Syracuse 66, California 60.
Orange shoots 41 free throws, making only 27, (63.4%)...neither team deserved to win.

Eight more games, eight more survivors tomorrow beginning at 12:15pm.

FGCU Stuns Georgetown, ISU Drills Irish!

SOUTH Regional:
FGCU 78, Georgetown 68.                                          
Florida Gulf Coast, participating in it's first ever NCAA tournament; became the seventh 15 seed to dispatch a 2.  The Eagles used a 21-2 second half run before holding on in the last two minutes.

North Carolina 78, Villanova 71.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams gets win  # 700!  UNC faces William's old team, (1) Kansas next.

Florida 79, Northwestern State (LA.) 47
Demons, nation's highest scoring team, held to season low output against Gators.

San Diego State 70, Oklahoma 55.
Aztecs join Colorado State as the only two of five MWC teams to survive Second Round of Tournament.

Kansas 64. Western Kentucky 57.
Kansas trailed the 16th seed 31-30 @ halftime.  Jayhawks shaky at end.

Minnesota 83, UCLA 63.
Golden Gophers roll to make it three upsets for the evening session!

WEST Regional:  
Ohio State 95, Iona 70.
Buckeye's Sam Thompson had career high's of 20 points/10 rebounds in rout of Gaels.

Iowa State 76, Notre Dame 58.
Cyclones led by as much as 27 in first meeting between schools since 1979.                    

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ole Miss Upends Wisconsin, LaSalle, Temple Hold On!

     Three lower seeds picked up where Harvard left off last SEC Tourney Champion Ole Miss rallied to upset Wisconsin,  while A-10 powers, Temple and LaSalle held on tight to post victories.

WEST Regional:
 LaSalle 63, Kansas State 61.
 *LaSalle led by 18 points @ halftime!  
MIDWEST Regional:
Creighton 67, Cincinnati 63.
 *Blue Jays nailed 22/25 from the charity stripe!                                  
Duke 73, Albany 61.
*Lehigh upset 15/2 upset in the cards for the Blue Devils!

WEST Regional:  Ole Miss 57, Wisconsin 46.
Rebs held Wisconsin to season low 25.4% shooting for victory!                                

EAST Regional:
UMiami 78, Pacific U. 49.
*Long time Pacific Coach Bob Thomason's swan song.
 Temple 76, N.C. State 72.
A-10 POY/leading scorer Khafil Wyatt hurt his thumb, helped Explorers hold on.
Indiana 83, James Madison 62.
Five players in double figures for the Hooisers!
Illinois 56, Colorado 49.
Colorado rallied from a 16 point halftime deficit; only to allow Illinois to close it out on an 18-5 run.

More later...enjoy the Madness!

Great Take on What It's All About!

     Here is a link to an article you don't want to miss:  Barnabas Piper's take on exactly why we can't get enough of the Madness! Enjoy the games!!

Harvard Puts Away New Mexico


Evening Session Results from Thursday:

EAST Regional:  
(12) California 64, (5) UNLV 61.
(4) Syracuse 81, (13) Montana 34. 

WEST Regional:  
(6) Arizona 81, (11) Belmont 64.
*The six seeds are now 3-0.  UCLA will try to make it a perfect four against Minnesota tomorrow.
(14) Harvard 68, (3) New Mexico 62.

SOUTH Regional:
(4) Michigan 71, (13) South Dakota State 56.
(5) Va. Commonwealth 88, Akron 42.
*Akron was not only missing its suspended starting point guard, but had two other starters with a severe case of the flu.

MIDWEST Regional:  
(1) Louisville 79, North Carolina 48.
*Louisville had a NCAA record 20 steals as the tourney's number one overall seed.
(8) Colorado State 84 , (9) Missouri 72.

Action gets cranked up shortly after 12 noon EST today.  Watch for more Shining Moments!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Afternoon Session Produces a Few Surprises

Scores from the first full day's afternoon sessions at the NCAA Tournament:

Midwest Regional:  (4) Saint Louis 64, (13) New Mexico 44.
                              (6) Memphis 54, (11) St. Mary's 52
                     *St. Mary's missed a three at buzzer that was for the win.
                              (3) Michigan State 65, (14) Valparaiso 54
                              (12) Oregon 68, (5) Oklahoma State 55.
                    *Ducks upset, the final of the afternoon left only 5.5% of brackets on CBS still perfect after the first session of games. Crazy, hnh?!?

West Regional:       (1) Gonzaga 64, (16) Southern U. 58
                    *Bullodogs were holding on for their lives under one minute to go.
                              (9) Wichita State 73, (8) Pittsburgh 55.

East Regional:        (6) Butler 68, (11) Bucknell 56.
                             (3) Marquette 59, (14) Davidson 58.
                    *Davidson had a 4 point lead with less than 14 seconds left in the game.

     More big games on tap tonight as we continue down the 'Road to Atlanta'!  Enjoy the Madness!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three Players that Could Rock Your World Thursday!

     Many of us know the 'big names' that we can expect to step up on center stage as March Madness get rolling early Thursday afternoon...Sports Illustrated's national Player-of-the-Year, Michigan's Trey Burke;  the Sports Illustrated cover boys this week: Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, CBS's POY; Georgetown's remarkable Otto Porter, even the nation's second leading scorer...the coach's son Creighton's Doug McDermott to name a just a few...but here are three more to watch that you probably won't know as well...until Thursday.  

Sim Bhullar, 7'-5" Freshman Center, New Mexico State-  The WAC Tournament MVP averaged 10.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg. as the WAC Freshman of the Year; improving by leaps and bounds as the season progressed.  Bhullar propelled the 13th seeded Aggies to the WAC Tournament championship with a 16 point, 15 rebound, and 5 block shot effort, his second consecutive double-double.  Needless to say the young man from India via Toronto,Canada, alters shots as a rim protector.  New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies calls Bhullar a very cerebral player and an excellent passer with very good hands.  The Saint Louis Billikens will likely have to make some in game adjustments to account for him, many teams have gone to double teams when Bhullar gets the ball in the low post.

Steven Adams, 7'-0" Freshman Center, Pittsburgh-  A member of the Big East's All-Rookie team, Adams (7.1ppg, 6 rpg, 2 bpg) has been one of those big skill players that shines when he shows up, but spends entirely too much time bogged down in foul trouble on the bench.  The New Zealand native, the last of 18 children, has a older sister who is a two-time Olympic gold mealist in the shot put.  He is now recovered from an ankle injury suffered in practice in early March.  Adams came to campus as the most heralded recruit in the coach Jamie Dixon era.  If he stays on the court and gets some early touches and blocked shots, look out for his Panthers!

Nate Wolters, 6'-4" Senior Guard, South Dakota State-  The Summit League's POY scored 53 points against IPFW, tops for a single contest in DI this season.  Athletic with great anticipation and a great marksman that is good at creating his own shot, Wolters averaged 22.8 ppg and 5.7 apg for the Jackrabbits.  Wolters is a quiet midwestern kid who really doesn't like the spotlight; but the point guard is only the fifth player in DI history to amass 2000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists.  Teams will try to keep the ball out of the wizard's hands...good luck with that!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What to Watch For Thursday & Friday!

                                                      3 Shockers to Look For

  WEST REGION @ Salt Lake City, UT-  Belmont (6) vs. Arizona (11)
     Belmont's Bruins have yet to win a game in the NCAA tournament in five previous appearances.  The Bruins 78 ppg ranks 15th in the nation and they rank 4th in FG percentage (49.4%).  Ian Clark, 6-3 Sr. guard from Memphis Germantown High School is an outstanding shooter (18.1ppg, 46.3% 3pt) who can take over a game.  Clark's running mate, Kerron Johnson, is a great complement that will steal you blind all over the court.  The Ohio Valley Conference champions are a veteran team that capatilizes on opportunities.
     Arizona, meanwhile, has been inconsistent at best and has trouble defending the 3-point line (allowed 36% on season). They can execute offensively with  Mark Lyons, the 6-1 Sr. transfer from Xavier, a solid player (14.8ppg. 3apg) and Senior forward Solomon Hill;  but the bigs they count onso much down low are freshmen (Brandon Ashley & Kaleb Tarczewski) who don't always play hard and make too many mistakes.  Alot of people have jumped on the Belmont bandwagon...some folks think the Wildcats are a shoo-in for  the Sweet Sixteen.  We think this is a matchup thing...we are picking the upset for the Bruins.  Heads up, the confidence they gain here could help Belmont win another game, too...just say'in.    

     SOUTH REGION @ Austin, TX- Northwestern State (14) vs. Florida (3)
     The Northwestern State Demons (LA) have been in this place before when as the 14 seed they knocked off heavily favored Iowa back in the 2006 tournament.  The 14 seed has won sixteen times, the last in 2010, but only two squads actually advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.  We say all of that to point out that this would be a major upset.  The Demons lead the nation in scoring at 81ppg, but they do it by attacking the basket and creating additional shot opportunites; not by firing up threes, at which they are not particularly good.  They play ten players to force the tempo as well as turnovers (12.7/gm). State's leading scorer, DeQuan Hicks (14.1 ppg in only 20 mins/gm) comes off the bench. If they shoot the ball well (James Hulbin warms up from three point range) and can hold their own on the defensive glass, we could see the Gators liking the 'up and down' floor pace.
     It is a tall order against Florida, who is ranked in the top five nationally in offensive and defensive effieciency ratings; but the Gators have not performed well of late away from Gainesville, in close games (Ole Miss in SEC tourney is a good example).  We like the upset if the game is close at the end, Donovan may make adjustments that keep it from being that way.  Interesting note:  if the Gators survive, we like them as a serious contender for Atlanta, too.

     EAST REGION (also) @ Austin, TX- Illinois (7) vs. Colorado (10)
     The Colorado Buffaloes are doing something they have not done since 1963: play in consecutive NCAA Tournaments.  After winning the Pac-12 tournament in 2012, the Buffs finished another strong season in the league.  This team has an impressive strength of schedule ranking 20th in the nation.  They notched key wins over NCAA tourney invitees, Oregon (twice), California and Arizona.  They also defeated Baylor (NIT) and Colorado St (NCAA) out of conference.  So the Buffs come in experienced and confident. Tenth seeded Colorado comes into their Thursday match up with seventh seeded Illinois feeling good about their chances off pulling off a Second Round upset.  The Buffs have the nation’s leading rebounder Andre Roberson back in the lineup after missing two games with an illness.  Roberson's stats are impressive: 10.9ppg,  11.3rpg, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.  It's easy to see why he was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.  Colorado also has depth and balance in the backcourt with top-scorer Spencer Dinwiddie (15.6 ppg) and Askia Booker (12.4 ppg).  This CU squad is very balanced, with scoring options in the paint and from outside.
    The Illini come into the Tournament struggling.  They finished the Big 10 with an 8-10 record and have lost 4 of their last 6 games.  Illinois likes to launch alot of three's (they are third in the nation in attempts) but only 242nd in three-point percentage.  As you might expect, this poor shooting has hurt the Illini all season long.  Their team field-goal percentage is 41.6 which is only 261st in the nation.  Their rebounding is almost as bad (33.5 rpg) which is 218th.  It is this lack of shooting and rebounding that gives Colorado the edge over the Illini.  Not only does Roberson lead the nation in rebounds, but CU is 60th on the glass overall.  The Buffaloes come into their second straight Big Dance with the balance and versatility to make some noise.  It's their inside dominance, scoring balance, and defensive intensity that should give the Buffs the edge over the Illini. (Correspondent: Christopher Morris)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Coming Soon: Upset Specials/ Heroes Under the Radar

     'The ball is tipped'  less than 24 hours now...visit us tomorrow as we reveal our three upset specials guaranteed to make you double check your brackets .  As we move to the field of 64 look for the names of the 'hidden heros' we expect to make a difference on Thursday and Friday as we hit the Road to the Atlanta.  Oh...and by the way...if you're planning on callling in 'sick' at the end of the week...better get your gameplan together...the countdown is on!

Dellavedova Ready for His Shining Moment

     Matthew Dellavedova is comfortable in the bright lights.  So when the Madness tips off in Dayton tomorrow night; it will be yet another opportunity for the 6-4 senior to show off his complete game.  Delly, as he is affectionately known, has a skill set that made him, a preseason candidate for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guard.  A coach on the court; Dellavedova averaged nearly 16 ppg, while handing off over 6 assists per contest.  He will leave St. Mary's as the school's career leading three point marksman; as well as in assists and scoring, a three time All-West Coast Conference selection.
     Dellavedova started all six games as the youngest member of the twelve man Australian National Basketball Team this past summer in London; leading Australia to the Quarterfinals.  His value to St. Mary's is even more significant; however.  He was 10/16 from the field while scoring a career high 32 points in a key early season triumph over Drexel.  The 'Awesome Aussie's buzzer beating half court heave in a January victory against BYU is only overshadowed by his court savvy that makes his Gael teammates so much better.
    Tuesday night, Delly leads Saint Mary's into battle against Coach Kermit Davis' defensive-minded Blue Raiders.  Middle Tennessee State is known for its physical 'lockdown' perimeter defense that makes it tough on point guards, even standouts, like Dellavedova.  No doubt, Davis will be looking at film from the formula that #1 seed Gonazaga used to defeat the Gaels three times in WCC play this season.
    Don't expect Delly to back's just not in the Awesome Aussie's DNA.  The winner of the first round NCAA play-in game will be the 11 seed in the Midwest Region and will face C-USA champion, Memphis on Thursday @ Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Flames Are the Longest of Long Shots

75 Years of Shining Moments Correspondent:  Christopher Morris
     Meet the longest of long shots, the Liberty Flames; who have pulled off the nearly impossible: they are going dancing with 20 losses.  For only the second time in history, a 20 loss team will be in the field of 68. 
    Liberty lost their first eight games; but this team of scrappy, undersized underdogs put it all together when it counted most.  By winning four games in six days to capture the Big South tournament title, the Flames return to the Big Dance for the first time since 2004.  Flames' coach Dale Layer is no stranger to the NCAA's, having led Colorado State to the Tournament in 2003.  But that Rams team did not have to overcome as much as his Liberty team has.  After winning the Big South crown, Coach Layer praised his squad for being able to "grind it out in the face of adversity." 
    On the court, the Flames were led by the backcourt duo of John Caleb Sanders and Davon Marshall.  With a gritty performance Marshall was awarded the tournament MVP by averaging 18.0 ppg and shooting an improbable 70.8 % from three-point territory.  Sanders led the Flames in scoring for the season with 14.2 ppg, followed by Marshall with 13.4 ppg.  The 6-foot junior guard Sanders comes from a family line of gym rats.  His brother Thomas earned AP All-American Honorable Mention honors at Gardner-Webb in 2008.  John also played alongside his brother Jesse for two seasons with the Flames.  Soon after Jesse's departure, John stepped into the leaders' role for Coach Layer. 
     The experience paid off in the Big South title game against Charleston Southern when; despite a sprained ankle, Sanders scored a career-high 27 points en route to a 87-76 win.  After the upset, Sanders said, "We've played four of our best games in these four games of the tournament.  Talk about peaking at the exact right time."  As the players and cheerleaders rushed the court and cut down the nets, no one could have agreed more.  Thus Liberty capped off the most remarkable run in Big South tournament history. 
    Liberty will be facing North Carolina A & T in a First Round play-in game in Dayton, OH Tuesday night.  If their luck holds out, they will face No. 1 seed Louisville four days later.
    Meanwhile, the Liberty players, coaches, students, and alumni can bask in their Big South Tournament Championship.  Twenty losses or not...they are chasing more Shining Moments this week!

TV Times, Announce Teams Announced


Here is the CBS Sports link with locations, game times and the announce teams.  Find your favorite team.
ESPN Insider ($7.95/mo.) is cheap and comes with ESPN the Magazine.  This is the link to the just posted 'Insider's Guide' by Bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, that will really help you do a better job on your brackets.  Worth the $$$!

Yet another link on Wikipedia tells you all about W/L history of the seeds against each other; very specific detailed information!!'s_Division_I_Basketball_Championship_upsets

The following link lists the Final Four odds for each region were just released by popular author/oddsmaker, Nate Silver of' 'FiveThirtyEight' fame:

We will have some updated previews on some hand picked teams and players posting all day tomorrow.  Check back and have fun filling out those brackets!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Selection Sunday: Tweeps to Follow!

I cannot tell you what a whirlwind that Twitter is.  It is an unparalleled resource for everything under the sun in real time.  March Madness is no exception.  Set up a Twitter account if you do not have one to maximize your resources and ultimately your bracket success.  Put in hashtag (#marchmadness) to find related tweets, etc.  Here are some accounts to follow to jump start you today.
                                      Tweeps to follow on the Road to Atlanta:

@jppalmCBS            bracketology expert for CollegeRPI/CBS
@ESPNLunardi         bracketology expert for ESPN
@SethDavisHoops    analyst/reporter for Sports Illus./CBS
@JimmyDykesLive    analyst for ESPN/ABC
@MarchMadnessTV    CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV link
@TomCrean             coach of top seed Indiana
@ncaastats                official NCAA statistics
@JayBilas                  ESPN analyst/author of recent bestseller, Toughness
@rushthecourt           the independent voice of college basketball (a winner!)
@MarchMadness      Official NCAA Everything 'March Madness'
@cmarkcarver           Home of 75 Years of Shining Moments
@ESPNCBB            official account of ESPN college basketball
@FinalFour               Official NCAA Everything 'Final Four' account
@tsnmike                  Sporting New's Mike DeCourcy knows his stuff
@ESPNAndyKatz Senior Writer
@DickieV                 You know him!

Two great links to throw in here that are simply too good to pass up:

  • The aforementioned Mr. DeCourcy posted a link to his Guide to Selection Sunday...its fabulous.

  • Gary Parrish of CBS Sports posted this article written by Jon Solomon @ about the changing fate of Head Coach Andy Kennedy and his Ole Miss Rebels who battle Florida in the SEC tourney championship game today.

More later....enjoy the Madness!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

This-N-That as We Come Down the Home Stretch

    What a day! Clear your head and get some sleep tonight...we have four great games on tap tomorrow in the SEC, ACC, ATL10, and Big10 Championship games.  Then it's the 'Selection Show' on CBS and the big debate can begin, in earnest.  It's filling out one bracket...and then another, only to watch the whole thing explode before Friday night.
     Let me connect you with some great resources to consider as you print brackets and begin to analyze everything:

  • CBS cable partner, TruTv will have the Infiniti Selection Show immediately after CBS signs off.
  • ESPN will host it's own 'Bracketology' show with the usual suspects you have come to know and love @ 7-9 pm.  ESPN U will have a "Tournament Countdown" Show immediately following the NIT Invitation Show @ 9:30 pm.
  • ESPN Insider (costs $$) has a remarkable setup right at your fingertips by Monday morning.  
  • Sirius XM has has it's College Sports Nation (channel 91) that features great interviews with coaches and a live call-in show until the wee hours of the morning. 
  • The' USA Today newspaper always has a magnificent 'pull-out' section on the Big Dance in it's Monday newspaper with capsules on each team. 
  • ESPN Radio, which is available online, is a great source with 'name' hosts that cover the Tournament in a way that only radio can.
  • Don't discount  They've covered the tournament for years. The information there will really surprise you.  

     I will close it out here with an interview done with the 'Voice of The Final Four', Jim Nantz.  He openly talks about how a 'great story' is the key to setting the stage and sharing the 'Shining Moments' of the NCAA Tournament.     While that's certainly true from a journalistic point of view, when you really think about it; that's part of what truly appeals to so many people.  It's the drama.  It's sneaky and it's powerful, yet shared and intensely personal. I hope your team is in the field of 68.  Time to buckle up for the ride of your life!  Hold on!

Seeding Will Matter Little When Field of 68 is Revealed

     It seems as if tournament seeding is always the big topic of choice in the midst of the Madness on Selection Sunday weekend.  I have a newsflash for you...where you are seeded absolutely will NOT matter in this field, THIS year! They have to put your team some place...just be glad to be included. There are going to be so many upsets on Thursday and Friday that you will have to start your office pool over by next Saturday afternoon!
    I'm not saying that the 'matchups' will not matter, that's still very instrumental in the 'win and advance' pressure cookers we have become accustomed to this time of year.
   Contrasting styles will be always prove a difficult matchup for others...but just remember, how you shoot the basketball is, without question; the great equalizer.  If you are lucky enough to get in this crazy tournament field, don't worry about where you are seeded...well...
   Take the advice of country singer, Rodney Atkins:
 "If you're going through hell...keep on going, don't slow down, if you're scared, don't show might get out...before the devil even knows you're there." 

Tigers 'Double Dip' & Donnie Tyndall's 'Harlem Shake'

     Double OT gut check for Memphis, the undefeated C-USA regular season and conference tourney champs.  Southern Miss is clearly a very good team; but I'm afraid league RPI and the absence of any signature triumphs on their resume will do them in tomorrow.   Don't be surprised if they WIN the heard it here first...not kidding, folks.
     Check out the full video here of the 'Harlem Shake' that CBS shared near halftime: ...Were the Golden Eagles laughing at Coach Tyndall...or with him??  :) Enjoy the Shining Moments!!

Bubbles Bursting Evening Heightens Weekend Drama

     An exhaustive list of 'bubble dwellers' fell like flies all evening around the country...desperate, hungry teams like Virginia, LaSalle, Tennessee, Temple, Iowa, as well as defending national champion, Kentucky; may have sealed their 'NotIntheTournament' fates.  Only the committee knows...or can even figure it out...good luck with that! 
     Southern Miss, Maryland, Akron, UMass, Alabama, and Ole Miss won and advanced to tomorrow.  The Golden Eagles (C-USA), Minutemen (A-10), Tide (SEC) and Zips (MAC) will probably, almost certainly, have to win their games tomorrow to seal their postseason destiny.  Meanwhile, the Terps and Rebels would do well to follow suit; because the bubble is so soft this year...contenders must control their own destiny on this last weekend before the Big Dance.  Win and advance, boys...or go home, maybe for good.
     Wow, we have seen our last Big East battle between Syracuse and Georgetown unless fate intervenes in the next three weeks....what an overtime survival test for both clubs with the Orange advancing.  Kansas State put away Oklahoma State in the Big 12...both teams will get well deserved high seeds this weekend...while the Wildcats get another shot at 'Rock-Chalk'  Jayhawk!  Kansas will be going after that #1 seed!!  How about Memphis aiming for the 'double-dip' in C-USA after disposing of home standing Tulsa...could the Tigers get to a 5-or-6 seed with a win?  Did Duke damage their 'overall #1' status by bowing early in Greensboro; @ESPNLunardi says they are the last #1 right now!  Gosh, look at that Big 10 bracket tomorrow on CBS...Indiana vs. Wisconsin gets you started @ The United Center while Ohio State and Michigan State are in the nightcap!  Get some sleep...early tip-offs are only 11 hours away!  Enjoy the Madness!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Afternoon Shining Moments


     Looks like the afternoon sessions in the conference tourneys are just about complete. Alabama is leading Tennessee late in a fight for its tournament life while LaSalle and Virginia will be on the hot seats on Selection Sunday after tough defeats at the hands of Butler and NC State respectively this afternoon.  I was very impressed with Florida, Indiana, and Saint Louis opening game statements against good competition.  Wisconsin just eliminated Michigan from the Big 10 landscape in Chicago...the Badgers are improving their seeding as you are reading this.  Miami held off stubborn BC, who improved so much at the end of the season. From the home of the 75th Anniversary of the Final Four-  It's Madness run amuck, folks....enjoy the Shining Moments and check back late this evening!

Making Sense of the Madness: Links You'll Love!

Here are some links I have come across...I had to cut the list down...because there are so many outstanding ones:

More compelling links as I come across them.  Feel free to post your own in the comments section below. Follow me on Twitter (@cmarkcarver) this weekend!

'Bubblicious' Basketball for Conference Tournament Friday

        A list of the most important conference tourney 'bubblicious basketball' coming up this Friday; bubble dwellers in PINK:

  • SEC Tourney @ Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN- Alabama vs. Tennessee, Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt & Ole Miss vs. Missouri
  • Atlantic 10 Tournament @ Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, NY- Saint Louis vs. Charlotte, LaSalle vs. Butler, & Temple vs. UMass          
  • ACC Tournament @ Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC-  Virginia vs. NC State, Maryland vs. Duke
  • C-USA Tourney @ BOK Center, Tulsa, OK- Southern Mississippi vs. UTEP
  • Big Ten Tournament @ United Center, Chicago, IL- Iowa vs.  Michigan State
  • Big 12 Tourney @Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO- Iowa State vs. Kansas
       Many expert bracketologists believe that Kentucky, Tennessee, and LaSalle are all 'IN' the tournament with wins today.  There is widespread disagreement about Virginia and Ole Miss.  Remember this list does not include conference tourney losers that are still 'hopefuls' like Middle Tennessee, Baylor, Boise State, and St. Mary's (CA), and Wichita State.  It's complicated...I can only imagine what it is like for the selection committee this weekend.  More later...enjoy the Madness!!

Just How "MAD" is Mad??

           From the category of just how 'Mad' will March Madness be on the Road To Atlanta?
     What the What?  In certainly one of the most bizarre endings to a basketball game in recent memory; bubble-dweller Charlotte survived their opening round game of the Atlantic 10 Tourney against Richmond @ The Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.  The 49er's Pierria Henry shot 8 free throws in the last 4.7 seconds thanks to a total of three technical fouls.  The Spiders were fouling to prevent Charlotte from attempting the game-tying three pointers with a 63-60 lead.  Richmond lost the game 68-63.  Check out the last few confusing seconds here from NBC/SN:
     Let me know what you think...were the refs out of line...or was this simply horrible coaching at the end of the game by Richmond Head Coach Chris Mooney?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sorting Begins...UC Bearcats on Bubble!

 The sorting has begun in the major conference tournaments this afternoon...some notable teams have already lost:

  • Cincinnati's 19-point  loss to Georgetown in the Big East tournament is not a huge surprise; but I'm not as sure as Jerry Palm (CBS) and Joe Lunardi (ESPN) that the Bearcats are as sure a thing as it might seem on the surface.  Cincinnati's biggest wins were @ Pitt in late December and at home against Marquette.  In fact, their saving grace may be a holiday tournament win in Las Vegas over fellow 'bubble' dweller, Iowa State back around Thanksgiving.  Goes to show...every game counts!!  I'll bet they will be nervous Sunday night though...maybe a 'First Four' candidate now? 
  • Minnesota's rally against Illinois in the Big 10 tourney fell short this afternoon.  They won @ Illinois in convincing fashion earlier this year though.  Despite an 8-11 overall record in the nation's best conference; the Gophers victories over Memphis, Michigan State, and Indiana will get the job done on Sunday.  
  • Oklahoma surrendered a double-digit lead in the second half against desperate Iowa State in the Big 12 tourney at Kansas City. They did post a win against the Cyclones earlier in the season. The Sooner's RPI is in the mid-30's...though KenPom has them at 50.  They were 9-9 vs. the Top 100 and had a SOS of 16.  They beat Kansas, so I still think they are in, but their seeding may have suffered some. 
  • Arizona State is done.  The Sun Devil's led UCLA by 8 at the half in the PAC-12 tilt @ Vegas. The RPI is in the 80's and a previous win at home over UCLA is the only impressive Top 100 victory on the resume.  
  • Boise State's loss to San Diego State (a squad they already beat in the regular season) in the opening round of Mountain West Conference Championship late last night keeps the Broncos squarely on the bubble. An early road win against MVC Tourney champion, Creighton and an 8-9 mark against the Top 100 are the only highlights on their resume.                                                                                                        

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Countless Shining Moments in 75 Years!! It's BACK!

    It's that time of the year again.  It fills the senses.  In fact, you don't even have to be a basketball fan to be attracted to it.  And if 'your' team is actually involved...OH takes on a life all its own.
    I'm not sure where the term 'March Madness' came from; but I know where it started in my life.  My earliest memories were emotional ones tied to the then 'Memphis State' Tigers.  I remember being mesmerized; in front of our B/W television...watching Larry Finch, Ronnie Robinson, and Larry Kenon do all they could to stop Bill Walton and the mighty UCLA Bruins. It was tied at 39 at halftime; but it wasn't to be.  I also remember crying myself to sleep that night...a child of 11 years old...too heartbroken to realize that I had just witnessed one of the most remarkable individual single game performances in NCAA tournament history.
   That's where it all began for me....there have been many Shining Moments in March since then.  I intend to tell you all about them; the defensive stands, the incredible swings of momentum, the last second miracles...the way I remember  them...over the next 25 days. I will share my heart about 'the tournament' as it unfolds; from Selection Sunday to the final coronation here at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta!  Bookmark this spot and come back everyday and relive some of those special memories with me...and let's make some new ones together...
   I leave you tonight with a short explanation of what IT is....One Shining Moment!
Let the' Madness' Begin:

The ball is tipped
and there you are
you're running for your life
you're a shooting star
And all the years
no one knows
just how hard you worked
but now it shows...
(in) One Shining Moment, it's all on the line
One Shining Moment, there frozen in time

But time is short
and the road is long
in the blinking of an eye
ah that moment's gone
And when it's done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew...
(that) One Shining Moment, you reached deep inside
One Shining Moment, you knew you were alive

Feel the beat of your heart
feel the wind in your face
it's more than a contest
it's more than a race...

And when it's done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew...
(that) One Shining Moment, you reached for the sky
One Shining Moment, you knew
One Shining Moment, you were willing to try
One Shining Moment, you knew
One Shining Moment...
Songwriter(s):David Goodloe Barrett
Copyright:Hodges Song Supply
Lyrics from <a href=""></a>