SPORTSBEAT March Madness a great time for fans

Greg Ceilley •

March Madness is a great time of the year for basketball enthusiasts. Like many fans, I’ll be glued to the TV for as many games as possible over the next three weeks.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament promises to again be filled with thrilling games, dramatic plays and heart-stopping finishes. Unbeaten Kentucky is the heavy favorite to win its second NCAA championship in the past four years but there are several teams capable of knocking off the Wildcats.

The Wisconsin Badgers are among the title contenders but they have a tough road to the Final Four with possible match-ups against North Carolina and Arizona. The Badgers, who advanced to the Final Four last year, are very capable of winning it all if they play up to their potential.

Wisconsin has the experience, an outstanding coach in Bo Ryan, a balanced attack which is deadly from the perimeter and inside, and boasts one of the top post players in the country in Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky.

I’d love to pick the Badgers to win the title but if I do that, I’ll probably jinx them. Hopefully the dreaded Sports Illustrated jinx won’t happen to Wisconsin as Kaminsky graced the cover of this week’s publication.

The Badgers always give themselves a good shot at winning because they take care of the ball so well, don’t foul very much and are so welldisciplined and patient on offense, utilizing all of their weapons.

The Badgers are similar to my alma mater, Northern Iowa, which is a team to watch out. The Panthers have a very balanced attack, led by standout forward Seth Tuttle, play excellent defense and are very patient and disciplined on offense.

When filling out your tourney brackets, keep in mind the teams who are hot coming in, have good postseason experience, were battle-tested during the regular season and have top-notch, veteran coaches such as Ryan, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo or Kentucky’s John Calipari. Oh, one more tip, try not to to go with your heart very much when making your picks.

It should be a very exciting NCAA Tournament, as it usually is. It’s always fascinating when big upsets occur and if there’s a Cinderella team which makes a deep run in the tourney.

My Final Four picks: Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia and Iowa State; championship game – Arizona defeats Virginia.


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