Friday, April 3, 2009

March Madness Comes to an End

March of 2009 has come and gone as quickly as the weather changes in Utah. The Madness of the NCAA tournament is coming to an end tonight April 6th on the basketball court in Detroit, Michigan. The Michigan State Spartans will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in what should be an incredible matchup with several NBA prospects taking the floor in what is sure to be an epic battle. North Carolina is heavily favored, but Michigan State will have a favorable crowd and will look to feed off their enthusiasm. The Tar Heels speed and sharp-shooting will square off against the Spartans toughness and relentless rebounding ability in a showdown that will be one for the ages. The road has been long and difficult for these 2 teams, but they survived the madness to earn the right to play in the NCAA Basketball Championship Game to see who is crowned this year’s champion.

This year’s tournament had many maddening moments. One of the most notable being the last second shot by Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds to beat #1 seeded Pittsburgh and send Villanova to the Final Four. Michigan State also surprised many by upsetting the heavily favored Louisville Cardinals to reach the Final Four. As expected Connecticut and North Carolina made their way into the Final Four with wins over Missouri and Oklahoma. Along the way there were many upsets including 12th seeded Western Kentucky over the 5th seeded Fighting Illini of Illinois, 11th seeded Dayton over 6th seeded West Virginia, and my own alma matter Utah State seeded 11th almost pulled off the huge upset over 6th seeded Marquette losing by only 1 point.

My brackets didn’t fare too well in this year’s tournament. I had Pittsburgh winning the Championship this year and they lost in that nail biter to Villanova. My other picks didn’t do as well either. I only picked 1 team right out the Final Four teams remaining in the tournament. I will need to do a better job of scouting and research next year. Or I could try my wife’s method of guessing, which helped her bracket to beat mine in our own little competition. So much for all those nights of studying teams, matchups, and reading all the so-called experts picks. I think next year I might actually try the method a past co-worker of mine once used- heads or tails- with the team called as heads moving on to the next round. I think he probably did better than me that year, too.
Tune in next year in the month of March to start another round of Madness. There are sure to be upsets, nail biters, last second wins, and lots of entertainment. Remember to try your hand at filling out a bracket in next year’s tournament. Just don’t follow my lead by wasting your time studying too much. Many of you might do very well with the heads and tails or the guessing strategies. For me, I will continue to research and study the teams and spend all my extra time listening to the experts only to find myself losing to my wife again.

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