ARTICLE OF THE DAY

March Madness
by Kevin Monroe
3/18/05

I love this time of year.  You can’t beat sitting on the couch and just watching basketball all day long.  Will this be the year that a #16 beats a #1?  It’s never happened before, but records are made to be broken.  Washington, Duke, UNC, and Illinois all seemingly have very easy games, but if 15’s have beaten 2’s and 14’s routinely beat 3’s, its only a matter of time for a 16 seed to shock the world.  Part of the fun of filling out a NCAA tournament bracket is picking the upsets.

Choosing the #1 seeds to be in your final four is easy to do, but the true test is picking winners during the rounds of 64 and 32.  Did you know that 16 of the last 17 years a #12 seed has beaten a #5 seed, including yesterday’s victory by Wisconsin – Milwaukee over Alabama.  When you pick your brackets, you must keep these perennial upsets in mind. 

There is no exact science in picking these tournament games, you just have to go with your gut.  The upsets I picked this year are Penn over BC, UTEP over Utah, and UCLA over Texas Tech.  I may win one of those three, or I may not win any, but watching any upset you pick come to fruition is what makes this time of year such Madness.

Watching these ball games has really got me excited about East Carolina Basketball and our chances of going back to the dance in the near future.  Coach Stokes has reinvigorated the “Pirate Nation”.  It wasn’t long ago that schools like Gonzaga, Nevada, and UTEP were unfamiliar schools to the average fan, but now these schools are household names that make the tournament every year.  The Pirates can be like these schools if they can just get over the hump. 

Enjoy these games, because the season will be gone before you know it.  CBS puts billions into the tournament and the coverage is awesome.  You get to watch several universities and colleges that you have never even heard of, and it’s always fun to root for those underdogs.  I know I will be on the edge of my seat for the next few weeks and hope you are too.

Kevin Monroe
kevin@downeastsports.com