Sports Perspective: February Madness - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective: February Madness

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 4:00 am

Although it’s not quite “March Madness” and the NCAA basketball tournament isn’t here yet, it sure feels like it. From buzzer-beating thrillers to upsets, this week alone in college basketball will be hard to match even when the real madness begins.

Precisely six teams out of the nationally ranked top 10 lost this week, including four of the top five teams in the country. In addition, there were 13 ranked teams that lost to an unranked opponent just this week. In each of the past five weeks, the No. 1 ranked team has lost.  

When it comes down to it, the simple answer for all of this craziness is that there is not one team that is dramatically better than the others. Throughout the season, no team has proven to be dominant or even very consistent as displayed by the Kansas Jayhawks who were poised for the top ranking before losing three consecutive games. 

After the shake-up in the polls, the Duke Blue Devils are back on top as the best team in the nation. Well, at least for a week. 

Nonetheless, all the volatility leads to one major conclusion; that this year’s NCAA tournament will be more unpredictable than ever. An already impossible task to predict all of the tournament games correctly has just been made more difficult. So don’t be too hard on yourself when your predictions are nearly completely wrong.

As March quickly approaches and the regular-season concludes, it’s about time to start brainstorming the frontrunners for the National Championship.

In the past, the teams that have been most successful are the ones who go on winning streaks near the end of the season, including winning their conference title. In addition, it would be a relatively safe bet to rely on the conference champions from the powerhouse conferences such as the Big East and Big-Ten. 

Another factor you may want to consider when planning out your bracket is a team’s winning percentage on the road. Although tournament games aren’t technically considered away games, they’re played at neutral sites and this statistic can weed out the overrated teams who have a strong home crowd.

There really isn’t a best way or flawless strategy to filling out your March Madness bracket. An unprecedented number of upsets will occur and all you can do is sit back and enjoy as your bracket becomes more and more flawed by every sounding of the buzzer. There’s no doubt that this year’s tournament will be one for the history books.

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