Hello sports fans, a quick intro before I get into the real post. This is the sports section of The Weekly Snooze. If you have the wrong classroom please exit quickly – try not to make eye contact with anyone to avoid awkward conversations with the cutie in the first row at the next frat party – consult your schedule, and head back to our home page and click the category you meant to land in.
I plan to take this sports section in loads of different directions and will be exploring and commenting on whatever is current and on my mind. In hopes of keeping it fresh I’ll be going after all sorts of topics and questions in the wide world of sports and believe me, in my opinion it’s a wide one so brace yourself, and get involved. This will be much more interesting if you readers give feed back and suggestions. Pound out those comments or send an email to email@example.com and throw my name in the Subect line. Now, let the games begin!
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NCAA basketball is heating up and we’re inching closer and closer to that fabled and time honored week in March when sane men and women turn to animals, incapable of functioning and can only be found perched in front of the nearest television clutching worn-through print outs and muttering phrases like “Cinderella…,” “Upset…,”and “14 over a 3…..14 over a 3“.
If you’re looking to get the edge in the office/dorm/random Facebook pool this year then now is the time to strike! The games over the next few weeks will define the attitude and style teams take into the big dance. Watching games now is going to give you a huge edge come pick time. Don’t be the guy or gal that waits until the field is set and in a last second panic hastily fills in some numbers, an upset or two and calls it done. There is a better way. Here is my strategy until we find ourselves in that fabulous second week of March.
Skip the big names vs. big names, those will be easy to pick come bracket time. My suggestion is to start watching conference play and focus on the two or three teams in each conference that seem to be falling in the middle of the pack. Take a look at game summaries and see who, while they may not be winning, is putting up a fight . End of season conference play is when a team truly defines itself. Teams play hardest within their conference and team dynamics are much more visible. These games are perfect mini peep shows of what a team can really do.
I look for consistent team play, shared point and rebound stats across the team, serious value from the bench, and most importantly leadership. When it comes to the NCAA tourney, upsets and close games are the norm and it’s in these situations that teams that have the best chemistry with one or two very strong leaders can easily out perform much more talent-blessed squads. Find great flow on offense (hint: this means very few isolation plays and hardly any standing around), a true leader, and that rebound as a team with everyone crashing the boards. Combine this with quality defense from the bench players and you’ve got your Cinderellas down pat. Keep track of who does this well as the weeks go on and that 8 vs. 9 pick might just be a breeze.
So who am I looking at? If i told you that much I’d have to kill you, or at least un-friend on Facebook and any related march madness integrated social media platforms, not speaking with you until the pools are locked. But I will leave you with this: Take a peek at a little group of Royal Purple Wildcats over in the sunflower state and find teams that are doing what they’re doing.