I have returned from a great experience in Las Vegas (I will be posting on my experience here in the next few days) with WPPI, so now that I have caught up on a few hours of sleep I thought I would post up my thoughts on the March Madness, where thousands of hours are wasted at the workplace each year filling out brackets and office pools.  I always love reading information like the following from sites like this

The first week of the tournament — when the most games are played during daytime hours — could cost U.S. employers as much as $1.8 billion, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a global outplacement company in Chicago, Illiniois, that annually predicts the tournament’s impact.

I think I need to own a business like that.  I want to predict how much money somebody is going to lose or crap they will have to listen to for doing something that isn’t work related.  I could offer this to guys who can’t figure out other areas of their lives like when they go play golf every weekend, watch football all day, or take naps.  (Yeah I know this is probably going to ruffle some feathers, but remember if I start this business I can help.) 🙂

So anyway we are now on to another exciting time of year with March Madness and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starting on Thursday.  This is a happy and sad time for me every year.  I love watching the games, but I also know that around the corner is the fact that the only basketball games on will be the NBA and that sucks.

There are a couple of facts about the tournament that I thought were pretty interesting…

  • The fewest points scored by one team is 20, scored by North Carolina in their 26-20 loss against Pittsburgh in 1941.  So Roy Williams shouldn’t feel too bad about not making the tournament this year.  I would rather not make the tournament than only score 20 points in a whole game.
  • In 1990 Michigan State went into an overtime with Murray State to become the first #1 seed to almost lose a first round game.  So that means that Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, or Syracuse could be the first this year.
  • For the last 18 years the team to win the tournament has been a #4 seed or higher…So that means that Purdue (4) has a little (not without Hummel) chance, but Butler (5) and Notre Dame (6) are pretty much going to leave by the second round.
  • Odds of picking a perfect bracket? 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1. So don’t stress out about your picks.  You are probably going to miss a couple…

Here are a few of my thoughts on this year’s tournament…

  • Underrated teams this year…Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh.  It really depends on which team shows up for Maryland and Georgia Tech.  Pittsburgh was probably deserving of a #2 seed.
  • Overrated teams this year…Purdue, Notre Dame, and Butler.  Purdue would not be in this list if Hummel was still playing, but without him they are a sub-par team.  Butler might have been undefeated in their conference and have a 20 game win streak going, but beating unranked teams doesn’t prepare you for the tournament.  Notre Dame….one word…Harangody.  Wow…I am being really hard on the Indiana teams this year.
  • Some of my favorite coaches…Tom Izzo, Coach K, Mark Few, and Matt Painter…and some of my least favorite coaches…Calipari, Huggins, and Pitino.  How does a team go from the bottom to the top?  Just ask coach Calipari

Here are my picks for the tournament…Yes I picked Duke to win it all.  This is partly because I think they are due.  Coach K hasn’t won a championship since 2001, so with Singler, Smith, and Scheyer healthy they are going to be hard to stop.  I keep telling my wife, who is a huuuuge Dukie, that Zoubek is the key to their tournament, but she doesn’t believe me.  If he can average a double-double I think they will win.  We will see what happens…


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