Sport Report

It’s March Madness, and I’m neither angry nor insane. Not yet at least.

Sooner or later, though, the craziness will get to everyone, male or female, Emerson or Ashton, slave or free, because March holds the universal, tension-building event of the year: finals week.

Sure, there’s an quazi-important basketball tournament that takes place the same month, but for the sake of SPU students, the real madness in March is finals.

Thanks to the quarter system and the Roman calendar, March has become a double whammy for academic sports fans at SPU. Not only do we have to study for finals in classes that are destined to do us no good in our future lives of coach-potato management, we also have to plot and strategize our game plan for filling out the NCAA Tournament bracket. Being the humanitarian (and procrastinator) that I am, I would like to offer my aid to those of you bleary-eyed with chemistry formulas. I may not be able to help you out with your five-page A & P final, but I can sure lend my assistance to predicting the outcomes of the biggest college basketball games of the year.

Normally I wouldn’t suggest that you take advice from a hotshot columnist, but I’m more than just a schmo. I’m a schmo with credentials. Two years ago, I picked the entire West Region right. I was the driver of the ’99 Rhode Island bandwagon. I saw Cincinnati’s collapses coming. I practically invented the RPI. And Gonzaga in the Sweet 16? Yeah, that was me, too. So who better to give you NCAA advice than me? OK, maybe Bill Raftery, but definitely not Dick Vitale.

The following is my fail-proof formula for weeding out the Cinderellas from the old maids.

* Don’t put too much weight on the polls. It is rare that the top team in the nation moves on to the championship (Duke anyone?).

* Regular season records aren’t as important as strength of schedule.

* Tougher conferences feature tougher teams.

* If a team is hot going into the tournament, its streak is good for at least two rounds.

* If all else fails, pick the team with the weirdest mascot. No one may know what a Saluki is, but everyone knew that Southern Illinois was for real in last year’s tourney.

I hope my wisdom has helped make the madness of March a little less maddening for some of you. It sure hasn’t helped me write my psychology paper. But, hey, in the spirit of college basketball, there’s always the 6 foot 7 inch student athlete’s answer to late-night studying and paper writing: find someone to do it for you.

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Title: Sport Report | Author: Kevan Lee | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2003-03-12 | Internal ID: 3239