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March 13, 2016

Gentlemen Start Your Brackets

by Larry Leek
NCAA March Madness 2016

With NCAA conference tournaments winding down, selection Sunday is at last upon us and the time to fill out those brackets is here again. Today at 5:30 PM Eastern, the committee will be making the selection for the 64-team field. Will your team be there? Are they one of the teams on the bubble?

Of course there’s the obvious teams that will be there, those that year in year out you can pretty much count on them being there.

The Kentucky’s, North Carolina’s, Duke’s, Michigan St’s. and Kansas teams whom before the season ever begins you can pretty much bet that these teams and others will be there and you could probably just go ahead and give them the nod but of course we can’t do that, that’s why we have a regular season right?

Mich. St. Spartans

For the other teams however, that don’t always or rarely get to attend the big dance, to have a 20+ game win season though not always, can be a pretty good indication that a team will be in the discussion at the very least but the anticipation of not knowing if they will make the 64-team field can be down right nerve racking.

So after a rather lengthy season each year, for many teams it all boils down to one day and one group of people with opinions on who should and who should NOT be admitted to the grand ball OOPS! Er Big Dance that is.

Tonight we shall find out which bubble teams float into the tournament unscathed and which ones have their bubble burst right in front of their eyes.

Here is a list of the teams on the ever moving and ever changing list of bubble watchers, teams who had their destiny in their OWN hands and now are at the mercy of the selection committee, who will determine their ultimate fate.

Teams that should make it.

VCU [24-9 (14-4), RPI: 39, SOS: 81]                                                                                                      

Oregon State [19-12 (9-9), RPI: 31, SOS: 12]                                                                                                      

 Connecticut [23-10 (11-7), RPI: 42, SOS: 49]                                                                                                      

  Cincinnati [22-10 (12-6), RPI: 44, SOS: 70]                                                                                                        

  Pittsburgh [21-11 (9-9), RPI: 48, SOS: 31]                                                                                                           

  Syracuse [19-13 (9-9), RPI: 68, SOS: 41]                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Teams with uncertain fate.

   Temple [21-11 (14-4), RPI: 60, SOS: 93]                                                                                                           

  St Bonaventure [22-8 (14-4), RPI: 30, SOS: 82]                                                                                                

  Michigan [22-12 (10-8), RPI: 55, SOS: 54]                                                                                                          

  San Diego State [25-9 (16-2), RPI: 36, SOS: 75]                                                                                                

  South Carolina [24-8 (11-7), RPI: 58, SOS: 153]                                                                              

  Vanderbilt [19-13 (11-7), RPI: 62, SOS: 43]                                                                                      

  Saint Mary’s [27-5 (15-3), RPI: 41, SOS: 167]                                                                                  

  Valparaiso [26-6 (16-2), RPI: 50, SOS: 178]                                                                                      

  Arkansas-Little Rock [28-4 (17-3), RPI: 51, SOS: 284]                                                                

  Monmouth [27-7 (17-3), RPI: 57, SOS: 206]

RPI=Rating Percentage Index  

SOS=Strength Of Schedule   

Now  that the regular season is finally over for the teams listed above the wait is just beginning.

This is Whats On My Sports Mind about this subject:

First I have to say a little prayer for my South Carolina Gamecocks. 

It’s been awhile since they were fortunate enough to make the tournament and for a team who seemed so destined to make the field for most of the season, their tournament wheels appeared to literally fall right off as the season winded down, even taking an early out after being the 3rd seed in the SEC tournament, losing to a 19-13 Georgia team and not were they ousted from the tournament by the Bulldogs but they were defeated in both of their other two meetings between the two teams over the course of the season.

My Sports Mind can only say, you HAVE to take care of your OWN affairs and NOT leave it up to a bunch of guys in suits looking to play spoiler.

South Carolina Gamecocks Baxsketball

So for them  and all of the teams listed above to have your fate in your OWN hand only to let it slip from your finger tips, like a bad shot that didn’t roll off of them properly is quite disappointing indeed for everyone involved.

All the what ifs and woulda, shoulda, coulda’s don’t amount to a hill of beans now, the only thing that does is someone else’s opinion of you. Definitely NOT a good feeling to this Sports Mind.

Even for the teams listed under the “Should Make It” section there is NO guarantee what so ever and it is and always will be a flawed system when you leave a bunch of teams fate at the mercy of people who’s reasoning for their selections are not always completely legit at least as far as My Sports Mind is concerned.

It would be much better if there was a system in place to determine the actual participants with tie breakers involved, so that in the end there would be no reason for debate and you could also get rid of all the guys in suits or at the very least, give them a REAL job.

Either way it will soon be time to get out those bracket sheets, better know as “sheets of integrity” and get them filled out and see if you’ve learned anything this season.

2016 printable-march-madness-bracket

There are many sports sites like ESPN or CBS Sports that have contest’s anyone can enter, most are free, where you can fill out one or more brackets, get in with different types of groups from regular peeps to popular sportscasters or stars just to see how you stack up with the so called experts.

There are also many companies that have office pools (Usually NOT free) which sometimes can have some big cash payouts to the winner(s).

Either way take it from this Old Sports Mind it’s a lot of fun to do and it also makes for a more interesting tournament when you actually have something riding on it yourself. So get ready, check out the selection’s at 5:30 PM eastern to be broadcast on CBS. You can also view it free online thru live streaming @

The Selection Show will aire for 2-hours for the first time, increasing an additional hour from the old 1-hour time slot that lasted for over a decade. Gee that’s just as long as a      B-Ball game it’s self 😉


So Whats On Your Sports Mind about this subject?








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