How to Deal with a Busted Bracket

Written by :
Published on : March 21, 2016

 

 

 

Michigan State lost and now everyone’s bracket sucks. I know, I hear you. I had Sparty in my Final Four. We aren’t even that far into the tourney and most folks seem so down about their chances. Well, I’m here to say: keep your chin up. Nobody saw State losing, so we are all affected. Many had them winning it all. That’s a little more rough. Here is some advice for those of you suffering heartache over your busted bracket.

 

It’s not over

Who knows what’s going to happen. There could still be some craziness and your terrible bracket may swing back into shape. So don’t tear it up just yet. Wait it out ’till it is actually done before you start crying and moaning. And generally speaking, don’t be so quick to get to the self-pity phase. That’s not a place you need to spend any extra time in. Trust me.

 

Downplay it

 

If you are mathematically dead-in-the-water then stop looking at your ranking in the office pool. Just enjoy the remaining games and don’t give in to the victim narrative of the sore loser. If someone asks “hows your bracket?” then downplay your initial excitement. Hit them with a “not my year” and move on. Speak anymore about your sad bracket and you must pay your friend at least $40/hour as a therapist. If you are going to weep, please do so in absolute solitude. Thanks, from everyone with eyes and ears.

 

Study

Use the loss to learn and grow. So next time your co-worker mentions the latest bracket busting upset you can fire back with an impressive stat. This shows off your knowledge even if you didn’t nail every pick and your status as college hoops guru can still be intact. This step is key. A chimp can pick a perfect bracket but the students of the game will always have an advantage. P.S. the chimp has Kansas beating UNC in the championship. Stupid, lucky genius.

 

Yale-hoops

 

Pick a new pony

You can’t start over but you can jump bandwagons. Maybe you were riding Michigan State but they are out. So pick a new horse. Now you love Duke or Indiana or Oregon and they were always your second choice. The one you should have never second guessed. But you can tell everyone, I always knew Blank was going to have a great tournament. Don’t you sound smart.

 

 

There is a lot of great college basketball yet to be played and don’t let your shitty picking skills ruin it. So just chill and dig the super fun drama that is March Madness. Remember, no tears unless they are of joy.

 

 

Hands up, you’re busted!

 

 


ESPN Airs “Fantastic Lies” Documenting The Duke Lacrosse Case

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Published on : March 17, 2016

 

Sunday night, ESPN aired “Fantastic Lies” which documented the infamous Duke Lacrosse rape case and the controversy surrounding it. First, let me say that it was that it was probably the best ESPN 30 for 30 I’ve ever watched. Given its sensitive subject matter, I’m surprised that ESPN even decided to produce it but I’m so glad that they did.

 

Growing up playing lacrosse and being a (former) DII lacrosse player, this a story I’m very familiar with. Ten years ago, when this story broke, lacrosse was even more of a niche sport than it is now. When people thought of lacrosse, they thought of an affluent, preppy white kid from New England who went to boarding school.

 

Here’s some reference:

 

 

And that was very much the case back then. So college lacrosse players, who most of the general public viewed as spoiled white kids from rich areas, didn’t have the best rep going into the scandal. Obviously, when the media got wind of this, everyone lost their minds. In the eyes of the public (and professors at Duke) the whole team was guilty.

 

Given today’s society, this would’ve been 10x worse if it had happened now. The scary thing is most people don’t even know what happened. I guarantee if you asked 10 people if they knew about this case all 10 would say yes. If you asked those same 10 people if they were proven innocent or guilty, I bet the majority would say guilty. That’s the sad part. People were so quick to condemn these kids because of who they were and where they came from. The accusations stuck in our minds, not the facts.

 

I don’t want to go into the nitty-gritty of the case, I’ll leave that job to ESPN because they do an excellent job of telling it.

 

For anyone who is familiar with this case or not, this is a real must-watch. I’m sure ESPN will air it again sometime this week, so be sure to watch.

 

Duke lacrosse has done a good job of putting this whole situation behind them and moving on to big things like this:

 

DukeLacrosse1

 

And like this:

 

DukeLacrosse2

 

 

 


SBS Guide to Bracketology

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Published on : March 16, 2016

 

A few days ago was Selection Sunday. That means the teams and seeding are chosen for one of the most competitive tournaments in sports. The NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament AKA March Madness is once again ready to roll. Millions will fill out brackets trying to guess all the upsets and blowouts. This is the art of Bracketology. It can get pretty tricky picking all the winners, so ScoreBoredSports put together a little manual to help everyone who needs some last second advice. This is the SBS Guide to Bracketology.

 

Find the upsets

All four #1 seeds almost never make it to the Final Four. That means there is going to be an upset somewhere. Figure this out and you are already ahead of the curve. Each year we have have a Cinderella story, the issue is trying to identify it. Worst case scenario is you discover the new hot team only to find ESPN has done a feature on your favorite underdog. Bummer. Either way, find that underrated squad and push them into your Elite Eight. This small move may win you the whole damn thing if it comes down to you and another player who has the same projected champion.

 

 

Ride the favorites

If you know nothing about college hoops then pick an all time favorite like Duke, UNC, or Kentucky. And hope you get lucky. Fingers crossed. In most cases, the top seeded team will win. This can’t happen every time or else March would be seriously boring. But generally speaking, select the squad with the best record. This will keep you competitive with the gamblers and serious analysts. Within this advice is the concept that you must follow trends. The tourney is all about energy and momentum. Find that hot team then double down and bet the farm. Also, most fantasy groups allow more than one bracket per person, so by all means, follow your gut. Or a hunch or the prediction of a mall-psychic. And cover all your bases.

 

Be bold

Don’t be scared of making a risky move. These are the things that will win you the top prize. There will always be a crazy twist that no one seeing coming. Roll the dice and just maybe you can get ahead of the curve. Correctly pick the 9th seed to reach the Final Four and you will be sitting pretty in any office pool. But know this, play it safe and you will for sure lose. Someone will have the the same shitty bracket as you but they will have picked something bold which gives them a chance to pull ahead. While you wallow in the middle with the other “Participation Trophy” holders.

 

There isn’t much time. Fill out those brackets (hopefully more than one) but be sure to pick a few underdogs, follow the hot hand but favor this year’s best. I feel like too often folks pick winners based on history. That’s a mislead. Last year’s team isn’t here. I’ll go with the crew that’s only lost three games all season.

 

 

When in doubt, just copy Obama’s answers.

 

 


Will Duke repeat as National Champs?

Written by :
Published on : October 11, 2015

 

 

In an era of “one and dones” in college hoops it has become increasingly difficult to try and predict a clear cut favorite to win the national championship. Teams can no longer rely on building a program with a key nucleus of returning players. It also doesn’t help that the number of transfers during the off-season are at an all time high. To try and repeat as national champs is a very large obstacle in which to achieve. Has this hurt college basketball?  Some fans would say so. This fan, however, enjoys the amount of talent coming into the college ranks year in and year out. Even if only for a year, the Durants and Loves look great in an NCAA jersey. There are more teams than ever who have a chance to cut down the net in March thanks to the quick turnover of five star talent.

 

Coach K

 

Coach K, and many other coaches, have adapted to this new way of life. The three best players on the best team in the country left just as quickly as they arrived, saying, “you’re welcome”, as they shut the door at Cameron indoor.  How will Duke recover and defend their title?

 

Regardless of talented recruiting classes, a quality core of returning players who have a team first mentality is needed. Duke has four such guys in Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Marshall Plumlee. Allen, a freakishly athletic guard, played sparingly throughout the season but stepped up big time in the tournament. He will have a much larger role this season. Jefferson is a blue collar forward who will get you 6 and 8 consistently, and provide much of his contributions on the defensive end. Matt Jones, who became a starter towards the end of last year, is a combo guard/forward when consistent can do a little bit of everything on both ends. He also shot 38% from beyond the arc. Marshall Plumlee carries the famed name on the back of his jersey and while he’s not as polished as his brothers, he brings toughness, defense and rebounding that is more than necessary to be competitive.

 

Practice makes perfect

 

Of course it helps having a “top 5” recruiting class as well. Four freshman will play immediately. Derryck Thornton will step in right from day one and be the starting point guard. He reclassified and came to Duke a year early to fill the void left by the departed Tyus Jones. Center Chase Jeter and wing Brandon Ingram also will likely start. Jeter is a back to the basket big guy and Ingram is a slashing, 6’8, lefty scorer. Luke Kennard is another top guard recruit who will come off the bench and play both guard positions, though he is more of an off guard.

 

The last player to fit into the rotation will be 6’9 sophomore transfer forward Sean Obi. He averaged a double double as a freshman at Rice and was one of the more desirable transfers a year ago.
There are a lot of question marks about this upcoming Duke team,but they are not lacking the talent and role players. All signs point to another deep tourney run in March. Could this be a year we see a back to back champ, or will it end with another Lehigh or VCU upset?

 

 


How to Fix Men’s College Basketball

Written by :
Published on : August 20, 2015

 

I really like college basketball. It’s fast, intense and is one of the best examples of what a team sport should be. It’s different than the NBA, it feels more emotional somehow. Maybe because the athletes only get to play a few years, everything seems more important. For college seniors not going to the draft, there is no “next year”. They have to lay it all on the line now and that’s what makes it perfect.

 

Well almost perfect. I mean, they are essentially just a talent farm for the NBA. College basketball has no superstars to market around because by the time everyone knows a player’s name, they leave. The only faces that stay the same are ones on the old ass coaches. And while those dudes are smart and great personalities, they are not the stars of a brand. Sorry Coach K.

 

Coach Mike Krzyzewski

 

So what can we do help? Well, since we still have a few months until the 2015 season starts, I decided to spend some time dreaming up ways to improve the game. Here is my outline on how to fix men’s college basketball.

 

– Update the shot clock and 3-point line

 

Make it just like the NBA. Change the shot clock from 30 to 24 seconds and push the 3-point line back from 19’9″ to 23’9″. These small changes will ensure an intense game. The 30 second shot clock is just too long. No one wants to watch someone slowly dribble up the court while the rest of the squad jogs through their offense. The 24 second clock will force teams to set up their shots even sooner. All of this should lead to higher scoring games.

 

– Change the uniforms to Shirts versus Skins

 

Home team goes shirtless. If on a neutral site, then a coin flip will determine who strips down. The team designated as “shirts” can wear their traditional jerseys. I think this would really help the game. First, we just upped the sex appeal 200% and second, it’s a great way for players to showcase themselves to NBA scouts.  I know, I know, they need the jerseys and numbers to help the coaches and refs manage the game. We can still do all that, instead of saying: “foul on number thirty three”  you’d say “foul on mustache six pack”. See works just as well.

 

– Pay the players

 

Not a ton. But something. Enough that they can take care of themselves. Maybe with just a base allowance, the NCAA could hold onto some of its players for a bit longer before they go Pro. Encourage students to finish their degree. So kids don’t just leave school as soon as the first pay check arrives. Some are going to leave early. We can’t stop that. But paying them is the right thing to do. They work hard and create profit for an organization. They deserve some sort of compensation beyond their scholarship. No doubt, if college players were paid, the level of competition would increase.

 

– Let the Mascots fight

 

We all wanna see it. I know I do. Hell, every time I see that Duke Blue Devil jerk running around with that stupid cape, I just wish someone would tackle him.

 

Georgetown Hoyas vs. Connecticut Huskies

 

– Keep expanding the bracket for March Madness

 

Add more teams, more branches to the bracket, more MADNESS! It gives smaller schools a better chance to sneak in. That increases the “Cinderella Story” factor that we all seem to love. You know Las Vegas likes the idea of more games. So it’s gotta be on the level. Because Vegas is never wrong.

 

– More Dick Vitale

 

Dicky V is the king of college hoops. Give him his own show or network. Whatever he wants. Maybe a nice tuna salad sandwich, on wheat, easy mayo. And would it kill you to bring him some fresh coffee? Seriously tho, I can’t even think about March Madness without hearing that voice in my head “awesome baby.”

 

Dick Vitale

 

 

Well, that’s it. If the NCAA made all these changes then I could confidently say that the future of the sport would be intact. If you have a great idea on how to fix college basketball then start your own league or leave a comment.

 

 


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