From what I hear, many pundits were saying the first two days (first round) of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was boring.
Not enough close games or buzzer beaters and not enough upsets.
That could be true, but the next two days more than made up for it, and expect the Sweet 16 that starts Thursday night, and the rest of the tourney, to be just as enthralling.
One of the No. 1 seeds (Villanova) and two No. 2 seeds (Louisville and Duke) lost in the Round of 32.
Wait a second … let me repeat that again. Duke lost in the Round of 32.
Just typing that makes me smile. Hey, this is March Madness and the fan comes out in all of us, and with apologies to Duke grads and fans — no, wait, I take that back … no apologies for you — I love it whenever Duke loses.
Why do I loathe Duke so much? Maybe it’s because of the annoying and sometimes dirty players that have worn Duke uniforms over the years — including current instigator Grayson Allen. Or maybe it’s because head coach Mike Krzyzewski has never admitted his hypocrisy.
After all, Coach K (I prefer “Coach H” for hypocrite) was the loudest voice against recruiting one-and-done players if you go back six or seven years. He was proud of having players who stayed in college multiple years and didn’t like the rule that requires one year of college ball before going to the National Basketball Association (NBA). But Coach Hypocrite is one of the frequent recruiters of one-and-done players now, but has never done the moral and honorable thing by admitting he was wrong. By definition, that’s hypocrisy.
Enough of my unfettered joy (I did take off my shirt and shorts and run around my house screaming when Duke officially lost on Sunday). Duke and Villanova losing in the East Region has messed up most of the reader entrants in The News-Dispatch NCAA Bracket contest.
In fact, out of 85 entrants, only two picked South Carolina to upset Duke and six picked Wisconsin to beat Villanova. Three readers actually are looking real good in that region with Baylor making the Final Four, while two have Wisconsin making it through.
As for our “celebrity” brackets, we have eight who participated and those brackets produced seven different national champions, which shows how much parity there is in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Two celebrities have lost their champion — Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse had Duke winning, while Michigan City boys basketball coach John Boyd had Villanova.
I’m leading the celebrities barely with 49 points — I have Kentucky winning — while Marquette athletic director and girls basketball coach Katie Collignon has 48 points and Kansas as her champ. Marquette coach Donovan Garletts has 43 points and Butler winning it all. City athletic director Craig Shaman has 45 points and North Carolina winning, while Boyd and sports reporter Michael Raines have 42 points with the latter picking Arizona as champ. Parkhouse has 41 points, while sports reporter Zack Eldridge has 40 points and Arizona as the champ.
Reach sports editor Steve T. Gorches at email@example.com or (219) 214-4206. Follow him on Twitter @SteveTGorches.
NCAA BRACKET CONTEST
53 — Dave Van Vlack
52 — James Saylor
51 — James Wright, Larry Arness, Martha Tryon, Jackolyn Woodard
50 — Mark Dever
49 — Sandy Nelson, Jim Rusboldt, Ed Frank, Scott Kistler, Linda Hancock, Randall Will, Tommy Sosinski Jr., Faye Ann, Darla Edling, Kevin Collyard
48 — Thomas Krause, Mark Dolph Sr., Cathy Krueger, John Will Jr.
47 — Dave Havlin, Diane Hack, Ted Woodfield, Brett Kohn, Ron Black, Christine Kopanski, Dave Pahl
46 — Gale Schooley, Jeff Galey, Michael Chism, Steve Czizek, Lisa Will, Rhonda Herrera, Sue Webster
45 — Daniel Kohn, Lance Hancock, Mark Marz, Ted Henderson, Jimmy Saylor, Jim Rubino, Bill Johnson, Dale Colvin
44 — Dave Johnson, Rob Steinborn, Peyton Steinborn, Dick Scrivnor, Tom Sosinski, Vincent Yadavia, Robert Reinholz, Bruce Neulieb, Abby Collyard, Lynn Miller
43 — Sandy Robbins, Gregory Luckett, Johnny Stimley, Lonnie Hancock, Ron Ryba II, Jerry Potempa, Mark Talbutt
42 — Lori Richardson, Isaiah Roland, Ryan Labis, John Hendricks
41 — Tim Wolfe, James Lamm, Abby Sellers, Barbara Saylor, Greg Saylor, Kevin Harmon
40 — Richard Wolsifer, Karen Miller, Ed Wojasinski, Paul Kopanski, Carl Milcarek, Mark Neitzel, Jack McGlonz
39 — Tyler Skeen, Pat Fogus
38 — Marion Dolph
37 — Chris Yagelski, Brian Studtman
33 — Trisha Sosinski
31 — Walt Orzech