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Some bracket-ology...sort of
By DYLAN MALONE
Well, I’m out. I know out of the 190 or so brackets I’ve been grading for this March Madness tourney that I’m not alone but this weekend really did a number on me.
It’s been one upset after another and the winner will be the one who was hit the least, not the one who was right the most this year. It’s far past the point of gloating about picking “Dayton over Ohio State” or “Harvard over Cincinnati”. Even if you had the extreme basketball foresight to predict those upsets you were more than likely blasted out of the sky by any number of other shockers to this point of the tournament.
The irony here is that those who thought they were out of luck on day one because they lost a few Elite Eight picks are actually sitting pretty good (for now) thanks to many brackets who actually lost their champions during this madness.
There is more good news for those who sit atop the standings and hope to get into the top 15 prizes after it’s all said and done. That is the good news, by the way. We have added a 15th prize. I was hovering around 14 for the few days before the tourney but after talking with Terry Laurent out at Cross Creek Golf Course he has graciously offered up a coupon for 18 holes of golf with a cart for free as one of the prizes.
I go into March Madness with the same mentality every year. I pay attention to the teams throughout the season and think I have a read on some or most of the field only to find come Sweet Sixteen time that I have had it all wrong.
It’s not just this year, either. It’s been like this for about the last 10-15 seasons. I blame the one-and-doners.
Yes, Kentucky, I’m talking to you. Coach Calipari is ruining the college basketball landscape! No, I’m just teasing Wildcat fans.
While I’m not really a big fan of the kids who join a college program knowing that they will likely be drafted high in the NBA after their freshman campaign, I would definitely choose the Association if given the choice. Sadly, I went undrafted once again this year despite a solid jumper and a great hand to eye coordination.
The truth is, though, there really isn’t going to be a dominant force that lasts as long as these kids leave their programs early. Kentucky will stay in the top 25 for the next few decades as long as Calipari continues to get the big stars to make UK a pitstop on the way to the NBA but his young groups will never win National Championships. The Wildcats won recently with some phenomenal freshman but they were complimented by some great seniors that will be more and more rare to see for Kentucky.
All that just to say that when the kids leave their programs like UK and other big programs they leave gaps in the leadership that never seem to get filled. Florida and Virginia are great examples of teams that have made the most lasting impact so far in their games as they are senior-laden and have remained calm despite the tournament pressures.
I suppose that I should have considered this hindsight and gone with a team like that but there’s no use crying over spilled milk. Two of my Final Four teams are out. It’s done. I may as well grade brackets with humility and hand out the prizes with some pride. Happy bracket watching.
SQUAWS DO IT AGAIN
Giving credit where it is due, I have to tip my cap once again to the incredible athletes from the Bellmont Squaws track team.
They defend their title at the Indoor Track Relays over the weekend and they do it without being at full strength. Bellmont beamed with pride and celebration when this group brought home third place in the loaded and class-less track state last season.
It stands to reason that as hard as these girls have worked and will work the rest of this season, anything short of a repeat performance or even better would probably not suit their winning expectations.
Coach Carl has ‘em hungry over there at Worthman Stadium running their hearts out, even if there is a little snow here and there still on the ground.
I’m antsy to see what Chase Ellsworth and the golf team can do as well as baseball, softball, and tennis still on tap for the coming spring season in April.
There are other interesting storylines throughout the county as well but we’ll discuss those another day!