Commentary by Tyler J. Scott ’12 and Erik T. Masingill ’12
In arguably the most exciting tournament in sports, March Madness is set to make a comeback beginning on Tuesday, Mar. 16.
Last year’s champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels, are struggling to contend for a tournament spot this year.
Louisville, last year’s overall No. 1 seed, is also struggling to hang on to a 12 seed.
What does this mean for the tournament this year?
It’s wide open. This season, the No. 1 team in the ESPN/USA Today Coach’s Poll has changed three times already through Week 13.
From previous years we know the team that wins in the end has an experienced back court.
Last year’s champions, North Carolina, had eight seniors. Their point guard, Ty Lawson, was a junior at the time and is now in the NBA.
Four of their five starters from that championship team were drafted in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Inexperience and losing so much talent has led to the Tar Heels being 13-10 as of Monday, Feb. 8.
This year’s favorites, in our opinion, are Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and Villanova.
Kansas still has five players from their championship win in the 2007-2008 season, including Sherron Collins, their clutch point guard.
The duo of Collins and Cole Aldrich, who was a freshman during their championship run, average 27 points a game together. Their experience together has propelled them to the No. 1 ranking as of Feb. 8.
Syracuse has two experienced seniors on the team, a guard and a center. The guard is Andy Rautins who averages 10.7 points per game and has always been a core part of the Syracuse offense. Arinze Onuaku averages 10.3 points per game as well as 4.6 rebounds per game.
Syracuse’s pesky matchup zone also poses problems for all opponents.
Kentucky does not have the experience in players, but they have an experienced coach in John Calipari as well as two freshman phenoms in John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
The dynamic duo of Wall and Cousins averages 32.8 points a game and has the Wildcats sitting at No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coach’s Poll as of Feb. 8.
The University of Kentucky is the winningest program in college basketball, grabbing 1,988 wins and they are looking to get back on top.
Villanova is fresh off of losing to the reigning champions, UNC, in the Final Four last year.
The Wildcats are returning with their amazing back court consisting of Scottie Reynolds who is a senior, Corey Fisher who is a junior and Reggie Redding who is another senior.
With the Big East attitude and strong schedule, the Wildcats are looking for a championship.
Reynolds is Mr. Clutch once again this season and he often starts Villanova’s comebacks.
He is averaging 18.8 points a game as well as 3.6 assists per game while Fisher averages 13.8 points a game and four assists.
As of Feb. 9 in ESPN writer Joe Lunardi’s “Bracketology,” the tournament seeding has Kansas in the No. 1 spot in the Midwest, Villanova No. 1 in the West, Syracuse No. 1 in the South and Kentucky No. 1 in the East.
Kansas has a fairly easy way into the Elite Eight; Georgetown is the only other team in their region that could give them trouble.
Villanova has a slightly tougher region consisting of bracket busters like Temple and St. Mary’s. They also have an inconsistent Texas team as well as a banged up Michigan State team in their midst.
Syracuse has the hardest road to the championship but their matchup zone should help to slow down their opposition.
Their bracket consists of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are always a threat, a sneaky Kansas State team and a Duke team that could get really hot from the three.
Kentucky has a very easy bracket that only contains a tough Wisconsin team and a solid West Virginia.
All pending a let-down by one of these four teams, we will see another all-No.1 seed Final Four.
No matter what matchup this year’s championship is it will come down to a skilled backcourt along with numerous clutch plays.
Tyler’s prediction: Kansas vs. Villanova. Winner: Kansas. Explanation: Villanova doesn’t have the size/championship experience.
Erik’s prediction: Syracuse vs. Kentucky. Winner: Syracuse. Explanation: Syracuse has a big, talented team and Kentucky is overrated.
March Madness pool drew nearly 500 students last year
By Tyler J. Scott ’12
Last year 483 students participated in a March Madness pool but only the top 10 finishers received prizes.
The prizes were extravagant: up to $125 cash, an iPod nano, gift certificates, vintage Brophy T-shirts and a Great Hall Front-of-the-Line pass.
The entire pool was done through the Web site www.hoopness.com and students were required to login as their Brophy ID’s such as “TScott12.”
Students simply signed in to www.hoopness.com and filled out the brackets there.
At the end of March Madness, after the Championship, the students with the most accurate picks were placed.
Last year’s winners consisted of C. Dare Slonaker ’11 in first place, Ryan Johnson ’10 in second, Michael Sutter ’11 in third, Jeff Romine ’10 in fourth and rounding up the top five, Kevin Curley ’10.
Mr. Jeff Glosser and student council members run this event.