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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports


From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Experts at disadvantage in office pools

Replay Monday's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW, which aired on WCZI 98.3 FM and Greenville Cable 7...  Listen...


Picking the NCAA’s is IMPOSSIBLE

Do you know why various Internet sites offer millions of dollars to pick all of the games correctly in the NCAA Tournament? It’s because it is impossible.

That’s why the winner of the office pool is usually somebody who never keeps up with hoops until March.

One year a girl picked all of her favorite nicknames in each game. One other time the winner picked his favorite color of uniform in each game. I even know someone that did quite well in his pool, picking alphabetically!

One year my daughter got the exact Final Four correct and still lost the pool by a single point from the first round.

With all of that in mind, I submit my Final Four picks for your entertainment.

In the West I like Kansas. The Jayhawks are going to win this thing for Roy Williams one of these years. Take away one key injury, and the Jayhawks might be my pick to win it all. This is the most difficult regional, but I think Kansas beats Duke in the Sweet 16 and then takes care of Arizona.

In the Midwest I have Kentucky in the Final Four, though I’m not convinced that the Wildcats aren’t due for an off game. Tubby Smith should be the national coach of the year.

In the East, I think Syracuse is going to have a huge advantage, playing so close to home. Wake Forest is so young with the exception of Josh Howard. Oklahoma will be playing a long way from home. The early trendy pick was for Louisville to make it to New Orleans. But give me the ‘Cuse in the East.

In the South, I’m going to take Texas, though I think Xavier is going to make some real noise as the third seed.

That gives me two number one seeds, a two and a three to make it to New Orleans for the Final Four.

Marquette, Louisville get C-USA's most advantageous seeds

As expected, Conference USA brought home four spots in this years NCAA basketball tournament.

Marquette is the 3rd seed in the Midwest. Louisville is the 4th seed in the East. Memphis is the 7th seed in the West, joined by 8th seed Cincinnati in the toughest of this year’s regionals.

Let’s start with that West regional. Two of the best in C-USA are a part of an absolutely brutal regional. The top seed is Arizona. The second seed is Kansas. The third seed is ACC tournament champion Duke. The fourth seed is Big 10 tournament champion Illinois.

Eight of the 16 teams in the West regional were their individual tournament champions, meaning that those teams are certainly playing their best basketball late in the season.

That regional is as tough as any that I can remember.

Memphis has a difficult opening round game with tenth seed Arizona State. The Tigers then get a shot at 2nd seed Kansas in the second round. How’s that for a difficult road.

Perhaps the only road more challenging than the one the Tiger’s must navigate will be the one that Cincinnati faces. The Bearcats have one of the past NCAA darlings, Gonzaga, in their first round game. Should Bob Huggins and company get past that game, they would take on top seed Arizona in the second round.

Louisville and Marquette have much easier routes to an appearance in the “Sweet 16."

The Cards, seeded No. 4 in the East, get Austin Peay in the first round, and then draw either Mississippi State or Butler in round two.

Marquette is the 3rd seed in the Midwest and Tom Crean and company get Holy Cross in the first round. Then, it’s the Missouri-Southern Illinois winner for the Eagles.

None of the four are shoe-ins for the the “Sweet 16.” But Louisville and Marquette should get there, barring an upset.

3 C-USA Teams head to NIT

Three other league teams will head to postseason in the NIT. UAB and St. Louis get home games in the first round, while DePaul is on the road.

The Blazers host Louisiana Lafayette in their game, while the Billikens welcome Big Ten member Minnesota to town.

DePaul has the most intriguing match-up of the three, playing in Chapel Hill against North Carolina.

The buzz at last week’s ACC Tournament, after the Heels beat Maryland, was that the NCAA might take Carolina as an at large team. They did have some quality wins early, but their ACC league record was just too poor to make it in. Still, Carolina played well against the Terps, before falling to Duke in the ACC semifinals.

Best of luck to all of the C-USA teams playing in the post season!.

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02/23/2007 01:26:22 AM

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