March Madness 101

on March 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

It happens to all of us at one point or another. The sun comes out, the weather gets warm and you feel the need to step outside and soak it all in. Maybe you decided to go for a walk or your significant other forced you to. Maybe you wanted to start with some yard work to get that garden going or your significant other told you too. Maybe, just maybe, you just don’t like College Basketball because your significant other told you not too. But take care as March Madness may mean nothing to you (or your spouse) but you risk being a social outcast this week because that’s all everyone else is talking about.

Well, at Fredi Sports, we got you covered. Don’t fear the water cooler area, don’t be afraid to answer your phone and don’t be scared to laugh at why a duck is now God’s least favourite animal. Fredi is there for you. We won’t give you every single detail of what happened these last few days but you’ll have just enough to be part of the conversation. After all, nobody could have spent the entire four days watching all 48 games of basketball right? Umm, ummm – would you believe the devil made me do it because that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Plus, there Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked.

Win by the sword lose by the sword

11th seeded Northern Iowa had the lead with 44 seconds left when 3rd seed Texas A&M (the Aggies) went on the most incredible 14-2 run to send the game into overtime, and then won it in double OT. It is alright to feel sorry for Northern Iowa as that was one of the biggest collapses in NCAA history. But don’t feel too bad for them because they’ve had their fair share of last second heroics as well. To get into the tournament, N. Iowa sank a buzzer beater to win the Missouri Valley Tournament. Then, in the opening round on Friday, they sank a mid-court buzzer beater to advance to the second round. It just seemed the Panthers still had their end of game luck, but this time is was bad. Real bad.

2 Be and 2 Not To Be

In what may be the biggest upset in the tournament history, 15th ranked Middle Tennessee upset heavily favoured #2 seed Michigan State 90-81. This is the 8th time (since the tourney went to 64 teams) that a 2 seed has lost in the first round and with Michigan State having such a rich history this one may be the most shocking. I even had the Spartans making it to the final and this was the exact moment when my bracket got busted.

Two days later another 2 seed, Xavier, lost to a last second shot by 7th seed Wisconsin. What seemed so promising, turned into March Sadness for Bill Murray, yes, that Bill Murray who watched his son, an assistant coach with Xavier, bow out of the tournament. So 2 of the second seeds advance to the round of Sweet 16 and two of them are going home. With this tourney’s format being single game eliminations, it’s no wonder that the highs are really high and the lows are, well, the lows are just devastating.

A duck may be the devil’s favourite animal

After beating Holy Cross in the first round and squeaking by St. Joseph’s in the second, it may seem that the devil has a new team to root for in the Oregon Ducks. It’s sometimes funny how things work out, having a team play two catholic schools back to back like this, but if I was a betting man, I’d say Oregon will have it tough in the next round as they face Duke. What’s so funny about that? Well Duke’s nickname is the Blue Devils.

Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight

The next set of games are coming up this weekend and there are a couple of teams to look out for. All four #1 seeds (Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia and Oregon) are still in it, but only once in history have all the #1’s made it to the Final Four.

Oregon is most likely to bow out as they have the toughest road in facing Duke and the winner of what should be the best match up 2nd seed Oklahoma vs 3rd seed Texas A&M. Teams that face an early scare usually advance further as they have overcome adversity and both of these teams could have easily been out already. The other big match is #1North Carolina versus #5Indiana. Again both teams have such a rich history, it should be another classic.

Can Con

Finally, since we invented the game, some talk should drift toward Canadian content. It’s sad to see Jamal Murray of Kentucky be eliminated in a loss to Indiana, as we expect him to be drafted in the Top 10, if not the Top 5 in the NBA. But Kyle Wiltjer of Gonzaga will be in the Sweet 16 and he will be joined by Montreal’s Chris Boucher and Mississauga’s Dillon Brooks who both play for the Oregon Ducks. Brooks led all players with 25 points in their 69-64 victory. Now you have a reason to cheer for these teams as well.

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