March Madness: The Conclusion

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

March Madness is over. Duke is your 2015 NCAA champion after defeating Wisconsin in a tightly contested finale, and we are left waiting until next season for the reappearance of college basketball. This game was the perfect ending to a tremendous tournament, featuring two of the best teams battling until the very end.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

From the minute the game tipped off, it was clear that this matchup would be exciting. With both teams playing at a furious pace and the lead constantly changing hands for the first 20 minutes, the teams entered the half tied at 31. Once the second half started, we saw both teams begin to get into a more steady rhythm, and the back and forth lead changes were more drawn out. As the finish grew closer, the Badgers seemed to be in control holding a nine-point lead with only seven minutes to play; however, the Duke freshmen refused to give up. In a situation that tends to favor experience, Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen elevated their play, and led Duke to a victory. [Read more…]

March Madness: The Final Act

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

March Madness has been absolutely tremendous this year. Sure, we really didn’t have a true Cinderella to captivate us, but the quality and competitiveness of basketball more than made up for that. After 66 games, there are only two teams left, two teams doing everything they can to win for their schools, their fans, and themselves.

wisconsin-duke

Duke and Wisconsin have earned their way to this point and proven that they have what it takes to be a champion. Both of them started this tourney with a No. 1 seed based on what they did all season long; however, Kentucky and Villanova did the same thing. That was the easy part, the thing that four teams do every year. [Read more…]

March Madness: Final Four Bold Predictions

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Well everyone, we have made it to the Final Four. The four programs remaining in this tournament have proven they deserve a chance at winning the national championship, beating every team in front of them. Kentucky, Wisconsin and Duke were expected to make it to this point, at least to some degree. Sure, nothing is guaranteed in this tourney, and there is no easy path to the Final Four. But, these teams were ranked as No. 1 seeds for a reason. Michigan State, on the other hand, has defied the odds to get to this point. Beating both Virginia and Villanova, the Spartans have had the most difficult journey to get to this point as a No. 7 seed. However, isn’t this what we expect from the Tom Izzo-led Michigan State team? This is a familiar role for them, and they have proven that they are just as dangerous as their opponents. [Read more…]

March Madness: Final Four Coaches

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

The programs left in the NCAA tournament are loaded with talent and have played their best when it counted, but the coaches leading them are the single biggest reason that they have made it to the Final Four.

John Calipari. Bo Ryan. Mike Krzyzewski. Tom Izzo.

Photo Credit: athlonsports.com

Photo Credit: athlonsports.com

Calling these coaches successful would be a vast understatement. Between the four of them, they have won 2,532 games, reached 25 Final Fours and won national championships. Coach K has won 1,016 games, and if the Blue Devils can win the tournament this year, he will only trail John Wooden for the most championships in NCAA history with a total of five to his credit. John Calipari has had success with multiple programs, with four trips to the Final Four in the last five years. Bo Ryan has won four Division III championships, and may have his best shot yet at a Division I title this year. Tom Izzo has taken the Spartans to seven Final Four appearances since 1999, more than anyone else during this period, and often as an underdog. [Read more…]

March Madness: The Elite Eight

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

The Sweet 16 has come and gone, and we are jumping right into the Elite Eight. The field has grown even tighter, with the just one team that did not earn a No. 4 seed or better. Look forward to a slate of highly-competitive basketball this weekend, with almost no potential outcome being a true shock, outside of maybe Kentucky losing. With that said, here is a breakdown of Elite Eight.

1 Kentucky vs 3 Notre Dame

Despite being seeded as a No. 3, many have considered this deep of a run for Notre Dame to be improbable at best. However, their most recent victory against Wichita State showed just how dangerous this team can be. They may not be flashy, but when they are on, the Irish offense can be tough to stop. In the second half of that game, they shot an insane 75 percent from the field. [Read more…]

March Madness: No Cinderellas

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

If you take a look at the remaining teams in the Sweet 16, a clear trend emerges. Every team seems to belong here: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, UNC, Louisville, Michigan State, etc. There are no Cinderellas left to take everyone by surprise.

This is not an accident. This is by design.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

On Selection Sunday, the committee picks the 68 best college teams in the nation to square off against one another in this tournament. Similarly, they seed these teams from one to 16, in an effort to give the best teams the easiest path while making those weaker teams really earn every win. The end goal, as with any athletic tournament, is for the best teams to compete with one another to win it all. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – Kentucky, Michigan State & Jim Croce

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

CLICK HERE to listen.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

The field of 68 has been whittled down to the Sweet 16 in college basketball’s annual championship tournament, colloquially known as March Madness, even though technically it’s known by another name: Fred’s Bigassed Hoops Tourney. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Don’t feel bad, I read a lot. Anyway, the question being most posed the past couple of days is “Can anyone beat Kentucky?” [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – Lessons In Madness

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

CLICK HERE to listen.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

Well, the first weekend of March Madness is in the history books, my friends, and your bracket is busted. OK, well a tiny few of you can honestly say yours is not, but even yours is at least fractured, or suffered a deep bone bruise, or at least got a nasty paper cut on that one spot on your thumb that you somehow bump 368 times a day. Through all of the chaos, what did we learn? [Read more…]

March Madness: And Then There Were 16

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Just a few days ago, this tournament was brimming with 68 hopeful teams. Our brackets were crafted for certain success, and our favorite team was poised for a deep run. Then this weekend happened.

No worries. Let’s just forget about all of that now and focus on the basketball ahead of us.

Here’s a look at some of the teams who have survived to make it to this point and what they really bring to the table.

The Favorite: Kentucky

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

No surprise here. Kentucky is considered by most (I’m still not convinced) to be the likely winner of this tournament. They still haven’t lost a game this year, and for good reason. Any opponent hoping to legitimately challenge them will have to score effectively and at least slow down the multiple-headed Wildcat attack. This team is young and talented, and the only way they get knocked out is by failing to bring their best to a game. [Read more…]

Where is the fun in today’s March Madness?

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

March-Madness-NCAA-Basketball

I enjoy the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, AKA March Madness, as much as the next guy. I dutifully fill out brackets and watch them go up in flames along with 99 percent of the rest of the population midway through the first day of the tourney. Here in Northern Illinois, there isn’t much of a regional interest since, for the second straight year, no team from the state made the tournament. The University of Wisconsin is only about 60 miles from where I sit now, and most of my basketball-loving friends have adopted the Badgers as they wind their way through the West Region as a No. 1 seed. Here in my hometown of Rockford, we root for Wichita St. because the Shockers excellent guard, Fred Van Vleet went to high school here. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – Mortal Lock Madness

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

CLICK HERE to listen.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

Well good Friday morning to you, faithful listeners! Amidst the tsunami of tweets and office conversation revolving around the phrase “I can’t believe I’m out of it ALREADY!” it’s time for day two of March Madness. It’s also time for first day one of spring. Most importantly, it’s time for day 300-and-something of Mortal Lock Friday. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – Get To Vegas. No Seriously, Get To Vegas NOW!

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

CLICK HERE to listen.

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

Well, it’s finally here, folks – 68 teams dwindling down to one over the next three weeks in this chaotic majesty we call March Madness. Office pool brackets will be studied, agonized over, submitted and then ripped up, most of them before the ink has a chance to dry. Ah, isn’t semi-legal gambling fun? It’s fun for sports fans, but like most things, it’s MORE fun if you do it Vegas. [Read more…]