The NCAA Tourney is huge in my office this year. I’d never really paid much attention to it, but when I got an email from the CEO encouraging all employees to download the NCAA bracket application that my company had developed for facebook, I knew I needed to wake up this year. I still think it’s funny that the CEO is not only encouraging all of us employees to go on facebook but to also see the application that allows you to watch all the NCAA games for free – and while we’re at work! But I’m not complaining – I’m not going to be like the kid at the end of class on Friday who asks the teacher if there’s any homework for the weekend. This is fun!
Because of the encouragement from the top, I’m surrounded by co-workers discussing their strategies and planning various bracket competitions. Since I’m a newbie at picking my bracket, I decided to consult my fellow co-workers (and one co-worker’s husband) to see if they had any advice on how to be a tourney winner. After all, this year I need to win more than ever so that I can beat BASG!
Here’s the expert advice that I was given – good luck to all!
What websites do you use to help you pick your bracket?
Tim:I usually go with ESPN for most of my sports news. However, it doesn’t hurt to get some varied viewpoints from the biggies: Sportsline (shameless plug), SI, Fox Sports.
Katherine:I like to read the information Yahoo posts about each team on their brackets. I usually take a look at the team ranks, the points information and the user picks percentage. I also watch a little sports center and watch some of the regular season games when there’s nothing else on TV…
Pete:None, it’s all stored in the brain.
Is there any NCAA “expert” whose advice you shouldn’t take?
Tim: The only NCAA expert I ever listened to was this girl who lived in my apt building in college. She helped me win my one and only bracket competition. Other than that, no one really knows. That’s why it is called March Madness. The experts don’t know anything!
Sam:Digger Phelps – huffs highlighters
Katherine:Kevin Lowe (Team Dead Flowers in the BASG Tourney) – he always talks the talk and then finishes towards the bottom.
Pete:I don’t listen to those guys so it’s not a factor.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when picking their brackets?
Tim: Picking all the favorites maybe? There will always be crazy upsets that you never saw coming. Another mistake may be listening to the experts. Go with your gut.
Sam:Not going with their gut
Katherine:Too much research. I don’t like to read too much, or at all, about the teams or what the experts think.
Pete: Picking too many longshot teams to go to the Final Four/win the whole thing. Although some lower seeds make the Final Four, it’s tough to actually pick the right one and if you miss out on a one seed making the final or something along those lines, you’re done.
Which team is the most overrated of the NCAA tourney this year?
Sam:Just about any Big10 team *(I was tempted to say Washington, but I let it slide)
Pete: Michigan State
Which team is the most underrated of the NCAA tourney this year?
Sam:Siena and Arizona St. (just like any team, any year they could go down 1st rd or go on a wild ride, but they both have filthy scorers)
Pete: West Virginia
Who’s going to win it all?
Sam: BIG EAST (pitt or Louisville)… hard to go against Memphis tho…. Wouldn’t be surprised with any one of 8 teams this year though. Usually not that many even teams at the top (last year = 4)
Any final words of wisdom?
Tim:Trust your gut. It’s probably as good of advice as you’ll get from anyone else.
Sam: I usually watch A LOT of college basketball, but this year I have been set back a bit. I go off what I know, what my gut tells me about specific players, I like teams with great backcourts, and I don’t have a lot of respect for “good teams” from crappy conferences (ie. Tennessee this year from the SEC).
Katherine: Bring it.
Pete: When in doubt, pick teams from the Big East.
Play against Tim (TimO), Sam (Poppin’ Fresh), Katherine (Stephen Jackson) and Pete (Villanova Wins) in the BASG NCAA Tourney – picks must be in before the first game on Thursday!