Cinderellas March On

uab

By Aaron Hampton

March Madness is staring wide-eyed at your tattered brackets during the midnight hours of the morning trying to make sense of one of the most anarchic sporting events in the world. Less than 24 hours into this year’s edition of the NCAA Tournament, and madness might just be underselling what a wild first day of the tournament we’ve seen.  So while we brainstorm superlatives to put Thursday’s insanity (hey that’s it) into perspective, let’s take a look at how two of Thursday’s biggest upsets transpired.

2015 marks the third straight year that a 14-seed has advanced over a 3-seed in the opening round of the tournament, and we narrowly missed having 3 straight 14-seeds advance in one day as Northeastern University almost joined shock winners UAB and Georgia State in the second round.

When thinking about what goes into making a great upset, certainly luck has to be listed in there somewhere.  Georgia State made their own luck Thursday, using an aggressive defensive approach to force Baylor into 21 turnovers, and a stifling full-court press to shutout Baylor for nearly the last three minutes of the second half.

It just hasn’t been a good year for Big 12 postseason aspirations in both basketball and football, dating back to the College Football Playoff committee overlooking TCU for a playoff berth due in large part because the conference does not have a postseason tournament.  Having both Baylor and Iowa State, both two of the upper echelon teams in this year’s Big 12, flame out in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament has to rank right beside that disappoint.

Iowa State were seen as many as a dark horse pick to reach the Final Four in this year’s tournament, and played uncharacteristically mediocre against a team that was barely .500 in the Conference USA. Take nothing away from the Blazers, they dominated the glass, kept Georges Niang from having any type of imprint on the game, and forced Iowa State into questionable decisions with the ball that led to have nine turnovers heading into halftime.  Never have I been a fan of the logic that one team wanted a game more than the other, but the Cyclones just could not match the effort and intensity of the Blazers and ultimately it led to the win slipping from their grasp.

At the end of the day, upsets are what make this tournament what it is.  Upsets are the reason over 70 million brackets have been filled out and over $2 billion dollars has been wagered on the tournament.  So grab the tape and put the tattered pieces of your bracket back together, if Thursday’s any indication we’re in for an unforgettable March.

Advertisements

College Football Playoff… Did They Get It Right ?

cfp

By Stefan Anderson

Since the creation of BCS Championships, fans and teams have been fighting the current system that rewards teams for winning styles over winning, major conferences over mid majors and all the fine statistics that make teeth cringe. The BCS system has been denounced and now the College Football playoff has now begun…

Facing off in the inaugural football playoff will be

  1. Alabama vs. Ohio State
  2. Oregon vs. Florida State

The two matchups will be intriguing but the same issues are at place that were issues in years previous, someone who deserves in always left out the picture.

As some might suggest if a team loses one game that their chances are already flawed but with the current system but it’s all about who you play right ?

Oregon for example lost to Arizona early in the season but turned around their season and earned their revenge in the Pac-12 championship, defeating the Wildcats 51-13.

Ohio State jumped their way into the final four after their impressive win over Wisconsin with their 3rd string quarterback. But what happens to a TCU or Baylor, who posted their same record as the Buckeyes but failed to reach the playoff.

This case presents the same problem as with the BCS system.

Although Baylor lost to what would consider a weak West Virginia team, they beat TCU who made it to the weak West Virginia team, and they beat TCU who made it to the top 4 in the week previous. And what about TCU, who completed their season flawlessly over Iowa State and only had a loss, which was to a quality opponent, Baylor. But Ohio State loses to a mediocre Virginia Tech team and is rewarded with the birth in the playoff.

The system still shows a biased opinion.

Ohio State, Florida State, Oregon and Alabama have been featured in the National Championship 10 out of the last 15 contests and continue to show the favoritism of College Football’s point system.  One thing I do give credit for is that we did not witness 2 of 4 teams represented by the “premier “conference, the SEC.

All the questions and different variations are always going to lead to the arguments that are going to sparked until the point system is corrected and they allow more teams to join the playoff. This is history in the making and is going to be something we will not forget.