March Madness: First Round Breakdown (Part 2)

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Friendly PSA here: If you haven’t submitted your brackets yet, read this and do it now! This is part two of our breakdown of the first round. You can read the quick analysis of the Midwest and West regions at Project Shanks as well.

East

1 Villanova (32-3) vs 16 Lafayette (20-12)

Not that we advocate gambling here at Project Shanks, but there is a 23-point spread in this game! 23 points! A No. 16 has never beaten a No. 1, and if you were hoping for it to happen this year, pick a different game to put your money on. Villanova may be considered the weakest No. 1 seed in this tournament, but this one shouldn’t be close.

Prediction: Villanova [Read more…]

March Madness: First Round Breakdown (Part 1)

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

The First Four is finished and we are jumping right into the tournament proper. There are 32 games over the next two days, and you had better be ready. I trust you have finished your brackets using our guide, and if not, get those things submitted immediately if not sooner! Since I know you are all very busy people, I am going to get right to the point on each of these games.

Midwest

1 Kentucky (34-0) vs 16 Hampton (17-17)

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Good news. After defeating the vaunted Manhattan Jaspers, Hampton finally has broken even with a .500 record. Bad news is… Kentucky. Look, I would absolutely love for the Pirates to pull a victory out of thin air here, the success of my bracket be damned. It’s just not going to happen. Kentucky is just in a different league altogether when looking at this one.

Prediction: Kentucky [Read more…]

The Best NCAA Cinderella Stories Since 2000 (Part 2)

By Ryne Hancock
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Beginning Thursday, 68 teams have a chance to write their own March story as the First Four kicks off the 2015 NCAA Tournament. And while on paper Kentucky is the odds on favorite to win the national championship and finish the season undefeated, there is a plethora of underdogs that are looking to write their own Cinderella story.

But before you fill out your bracket, here’s the last part of the list of the best Cinderella teams of the last 15 years.

Similar to the first part of this list, the criteria is as follows:

*Team was seeded no higher than eighth
*Team made it at least to the Sweet 16 (sorry, 2001 Hampton, 2012 Norfolk State and 2012 Lehigh)

10. 2014 Dayton Flyers
Seed: 11
Record: 25-8
Result: Elite Eight

In 2008, Archie Miller’s brother Sean led Dayton’s archrival Xavier to the Elite Eight, the second such trip for the Musketeers in program history. Six years later, Dayton, which last reached the second weekend in 1984 when they lost to Georgetown, went on a spirited run as the No. 11 seed in the South Region, beating Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford before bowing out in the Elite Eight. [Read more…]

March Madness: The First Four

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Just wakin’ up in the mornin’ gotta thank God, I don’t know but today seems kinda odd. The cause of which is either South by Southwest descending upon the fine city of Austin or the official start of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. I am going to go with the latter, but either way, today is in fact a good day. Sure, it may only be the First Four, but take it easy. We have a lot of basketball ahead of us, and it’s important that we ease into it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Without any further ado, let’s get this party started. Here is everything you really need to know about these first four games, including my expertly guessed upon predictions.

Tuesday 3/17

No. 16 Manhattan vs. No. 16 Hampton

Kicking off the 2015 NCAA Tournament, we have the Hampton Pirates squaring off against the Manhattan Jaspers. The MEAC vs. the MAAC. Pretty compelling stuff if you ask me.

Hampton is coming into the tourney as only the ninth team with a losing record (16-17) to be selected since 2000. However, they The Jaspers (19-13), led by senior forward Emmy Andujar, have fared a bit better. Regardless, these are two teams that had slow starts to the year, got better as it wore on, and won when it mattered in their conference tournaments. The bad news is, whoever wins has to play Kentucky. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – Brackets, Paul Revere and C.H.U.D.’s

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

CLICK HERE to listen.

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

The Brackets are out! The Brackets are out! If Paul Revere were alive today, he’d be riding his horse through Boston in the middle of the night, shouting that phrase. Of course, if he were doing that he’d probably be detained by the police as a crazy person, and all Boston residents would be saying “Yeah, we know the brackets are out. We have TV’s, dude. Who is that guy?” At any rate, the brackets are out. [Read more…]

March Madness: To Those Who Will Be Left Out

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Selection Sunday is only a couple of days away. Once the brackets are set, 36 at-large teams will join those with automatic bids in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. These teams have played hard all year and earned a chance to bring home a national championship.

2014 Snub: SMU (Photo Credit: USA Today)

2014 Snub: SMU (Photo Credit: USA Today)

The day following Selection Sunday will provide us with a massive amount of media coverage. Some of the best basketball writers and commentators will be debating the seeding of teams, breaking down key matchups and analyzing the contenders’ path to the Final Four. At the same time, you are going to hear a lot of teams, fans and analysts arguing about something else, and it will sound a little something like this. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – The Field of 68 Predictions

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

CLICK HERE to listen.

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

It’s the Friday before the Sunday before the Madness. It’s also Friday The 13th, so we should definitely be on the lookout for camp counselors gettin’ busy in the woods near Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and machete wielding goalies. You know what I’m sayin’? yeah, me neither. Basically, it all adds up to yet another scintillating edition of Mortal Lock Friday. [Read more…]

March Madness: Why We Watch

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

March Madness is one of the most popular events on any sports fan’s calendar, and with good reason. In the span of only a month, we have conference tournaments, Selection Sunday and then 67 games of the NCAA tournament. There is so much going on in such a short period of time, that it can be almost impossible to keep track of everything. By the time one round has been played, the next one is underway. This leaves no time for us to prepare for the upcoming matchups, especially when unexpected teams snatch up a victory.

March-Madness-Watch

Piece of advice here: Focus less. Enjoy more [Read more…]

The Best NCAA Cinderella Stories Since 2000 (Part 1)

By Ryne Hancock
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

For as long as anyone can remember, the underdog theme has been as much as a part of the NCAA Tournament as One Shining Moment and mid-major hate (remember Billy Packer’s comments about St. Joseph’s in 2004). And while everyone for the most part has heard the story about the 1983 NC State squad or the 1985 Villanova team that shocked the world and won the school’s only national title, the NCAA Tournament the last 15 years has seen its share of Cinderella stories as well, hence the reason for this article you’re reading now as we look at 20 of the best Cinderella runs since the year 2000.

The criteria for this list is as follows:

*Team was seeded no higher than eighth
*Team made it at least to the Sweet Sixteen (sorry, 2001 Hampton, 2012 Norfolk State and 2012 Lehigh)

20. 2000 UNC Tar Heels
Seed: #8
Record: 22-14
Tournament Result: Final Four

After the sudden retirement of Dean Smith prior to the 1997-98 season, longtime assistant Bill Guthridge was pressed into duty to replace the legendary coach. In Guthridge’s first season, the Tar Heels won 34 games and won the ACC Tournament as well as made the program’s second straight Final Four. The following year, the Tar Heels reached their 25th straight NCAA tournament, only to lose to Weber State in the first round. [Read more…]

The Definitive Guide to March Madness Glory

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Selection Sunday is in less than a week. Conference tournaments are in full swing. Tension and excitement will be building every game from now until the final buzzer sounds.

I know it may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, we will get through this together. Just follow the guidelines set out below, and you are guaranteed to have a great time.

March-Madness-NCAA-Basketball

First things first, go ahead and fill out a bracket. Maybe even fill out a couple if you have multiple groups of friends or Steve from the finance department is running a poorly managed bracket pool. However, keep a few things in mind: [Read more…]

How Far Will Kentucky’s Talent Take Them?

By Josh Wiggins
PSDC March Madness Contributor

Kentucky is absolutely stacked with talent this year. You will be hard pressed to find anyone to argue against that. This lineup is filled with future stars that have undoubtedly been well coached with John Calipari at the helm. If placed on vast majority of their opponents’ rosters, the Wildcats’ starters (maybe even some of their bench players) would be the star player for their team. As a result, expect Kentucky to be the most popular choice for NCAA champion as brackets are filled out.

However…

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

What makes a champion? Are championships won based on the talent level of the team, especially that of its key players? Or is it more dependent on team’s experience and ability to execute? [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – 30-0 Isn’t News, Kentucky

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

CLICK HERE to listen.

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

So Kentucky improved to 30-0 last night, coming from behind to defeat Georgia, and I noticed it was the most I’d heard about the Wildcats in some time. It seemed odd, because last time we had a team get this close to finishing a blemishless season in college hoops, they were constantly in the news. Of course, that was UNLV, and no one in Sin City who takes Jacuzzi’s with mobsters has trouble getting press. [Read more…]