Sports

Bracketology for beginners

Welcome to Bracketology 101.  This course outline will prepare students for the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament, and offer the best advice possible to fill out their brackets.
With the tournament a little over a month away, it’s time for college basketball fans to look at this year’s top teams and pick a bandwagon to jump on.
The first bit of advice is to avoid setting up the bracket yourself.  Save the time and energy, get your friends together and sign up for a pool online either through the CBS website, the Score, or even on Facebook.
Secondly, try not to load up on the number one seeds.  Don’t let the numbers fool you, as there isn’t much separation between the top four seeds in each portion of the bracket.  This tournament is full of upsets every year, and it’s not uncommon for a number one seed to be knocked off within the first few games.
Look for teams that are hot coming into the tournament.  Pay attention to the final two weeks of the NCAA season, and see if you can pick out one or two teams that you think is poised for a run deep into the tournament.  In a single game elimination tournament such as this, momentum can be a very powerful force.
Canadian Content
This year’s March Madness tournament will have more Canadian content than perhaps ever before.  Toronto ballers Corey Joseph and Tristan Thompson are marquee players for top ranked University of Texas, and Montreal’s Kris Joseph is making a name for himself at the University of Syracuse.  North Vancouver’s Robert Sacre and Kamloops native Kelly Olynyk are both key to the University of Gonzaga’s success, and their’s is certainly a team capable of a run deep into March.
Bennett Soderstrom, a U of C student who played high school basketball with Sacre, thinks this year he has taken his game to the next level.
“Rob’s game has improved a lot,” said Soderstrom. “He has addressed all his weaknesses, and I think playing for the Canadian national team has really boosted his confidence.”
What makes March Madness perhaps the most exciting sporting event of the year is the unpredictability of it all.  Two years ago only four perfect brackets were filled out in the entire United States.  Do your best, but don’t get discouraged if your picks don’t pan out.  And most of all enjoy the Madness.

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