After a brutal first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, I’m not really in the mood to talk about how about my predictions. Let’s just say I won’t be sending my kids to Cleveland State.
Before the first round, I laid out for methods for predicting the tournament based on some of the old cliches, like “defense wins championships” or “the team that scores the most points wins.” How did such adages fair?
Method 1: “Defense wins championships. (Pick team with lowest opponent points-per-game average in each game.)
Final Four Outcome: Cleveland State, Memphis, Illinois, Stephen F. Austin
Title Game: Stephen F. Austin over Memphis
Accuracy: 22/48. You’re better off letting your girlfriend pick winners based on the “cuteness” of each team’s mascot. Memphis is the only Final Four team left standing, but even they looked vulnerable against lowly California State—Northridge. However, Cleveland State was predicted to beat Wake Forest.
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Method 2: “Teams that score points…win.” (Pick team with highest ppg average in each game.)
Final Four: Wake Forest, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma State
Title Game: North Carolina over Wake Forest
Accuracy: 29/48. OK State gave Pittsburgh a run while Wake Forest was plain reckless with ball. (Stick around another year, Jeff Teague. Seven turnovers didn’t raise your stock.) UNC look impressive with and without Ty Lawson. This method might have the correct national champion pick, but you’d want to avoid the watercooler with these kind of results.
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Method 3: “Who’s Hot?” (Pick team with best record over past 12 games. (In case of tie, choose best overall record.)
Final Four: Louisville, Memphis, American, Gonzaga
Title Game: Memphis over American
Accuracy: 20/28. Statistically, the worst method, but it does have three Final Four teams still alive. Louisville and Memphis could lock horns but I don’t see Gonzaga getting by UNC. How brilliant is Zags head coach Mark Few? He should be the first guy getting a call for a major vacancy. I haven’t heard anything from the rumor mill, but Virginia should give him a call. He could really turn that program into a force in the ACC.
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Method 4: “Who Did They Play?” (Pick team with best record against Top 25 teams. (In games where one team has not played a Top 25 team, opposing team advances if their record was greater than .500. Final tie-breaker is best overall record.)
Final Four: Louisville, California, Pittsburgh, North Carolina
Title Game: Louisville over Pittsburgh
Accuracy: 34/48. This methd outperformed some of my real brackets, but like I said before, it favors teams from major conferences. If I could start from scratch, I would putt Louisville and Pitt in the title game. DeJuan Blair is playing like a man possessed and I’m impressed by the play of Cardinals Terrence Williams and Samardo Samuels. Terrence Williams has that NBA-ready body. Besides Kansas center Cole Aldrich, I don’t think any player has seen their NBA stock rise more.
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Check back for more next Monday when we’ve got this thing whittled down to four teams. Best of luck this weekend.