Revisiting Hoops Prediction Before Sweet Sixteen
Like my recent article on the English and Spanish football leagues, I pondered whether this article was worth writing. However, the reason was different. There, the outcomes seem so obvious as to almost not be worth an article (they seemed that way in January too). Here, we now have more qualified people to discuss basketball. However, I am a man of my word and I said I’d revisit my January predictions, so here I am.
Back in January, I picked dook to win it all. Why did I not stick with this when filling out my bracket? I forgot about my prediction. No, seriously. I’ll chalk it up to selective memory being a two-time UNC-alum, I guess. That, and being too busy to breathe. Well, I’m breathing again and I’m now that there’s oxygen to the brain, I really don’t know why I picked Michigan St. to beat dook. Wishful thinking, I guess. Louisville over dook? Well, that could go either way.
I was, however, able to right my wrongs….or re-wrong my wrongs, depending on your perspective, by picking dook in my Second Chance Tourney Pick’em over at Yahoo.
But why did I pick New Mexico? Well, mostly it was the oxygen thing, but a 3 seed winning it all is not unthinkable. It happened in 2006 and 2003 and if you go further back a 4 won in 1997, a 6 won in 1988/1983, an 8 won in 1985. The mid-major seems to be a bigger hurtle. The last mid-major to win was UNLV in 1990 and before that it was the famous 1966 Texas Western team. Of course, you also had Marquette in 1978, which was before they joined the Big East. And while we’re looking at the conferences through the ages, I have to mention as a current New Hampshire native, that back in 1944 and 1942 Dartmouth made the championship game (losing both times). Usually, I am a big believer in looking at the conferences closely, but this year I just threw caution to the wind. Lesson learned.
My final four picks in my original bracket were Michigan, Indiana, New Mexico and Louisville (in case a couple of those weren’t clear from the above comments). I literally cannot get more points out of the west (thanks to New Mexico and others), which explains my 51.6% as I write. I still remain unconvinced by Kansas, even after watching most of their performance against UNC. UNC shot horribly in the first half and given Kansas’ turnovers, should have been up by much more. It’s true that Kansas also shot horribly in the first half, but they had many fewer shots because of all of the turnovers. Time will tell about Kansas, but like I said, you should listen to the other Sportazine writers when it comes to basketball. I’ll stick to the sport where kicking the ball is legal.
But before I go, I want to remind all the basketball lovers out there about the Women’s tournament and the NIT on ESPN. ROLL TIDE in the NIT and GO HEELS in the women’s tourney!