Volume 94, Issue 92

Thursday, March 15, 2001


Another bad fad - Revealing some diet myths

March Madness is upon us again

Huckins rides into the sunset

Moving day in the NHL - St. Louis may not be so blue for long

March Madness is upon us again

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

March Madness is upon us.

So grab your pizza and beer, find the best recliner in the house, and enjoy the greatest event in sports history.

Through the next three weeks, I will attempt to predict the plethora of games, uncover the upset specials, and find the hidden talent on teams like Monmouth and Hampton. And through all this, I, along with every other so-called expert, will have to realize there is no method to the madness.

So hand over your pool sheet to your little baby sibling, because in reality they have a better shot at picking the winners than you do.

With that confidence in hand, here is my formula for success :

East Region:

Duke drew an extremely tough bracket with the likes of perennial powerhouses Kentucky and the University of California at Los Angeles poised to strike. With point guard Jason Williams playing on an injured ankle, and forward Carlos Boozer doubtful for the tournament, the Blue Devils will have to perform with the same tenacity as they did beating North Carolina by 26 in the Atlantic Coast final. The Blue Devils will survive on pure talent against a tough Missouri squad, led by talented guard Kareem Rush.

UCLA is a tough team to peg. Are they the team that lost by 25 to Arizona, or the team that beat Stanford? Many see them as prime for an early exit, but I like the way coach Steve Lavin has brought these guys together. They will play their typical end-to-end smothering pressure defence, beating up on Hofstra, and speeding by Ohio State.

The sentimental favorite is Oklahoma State, who suffered through a tragic plane crash which killed two players.

Look for Kentucky, a team hot off a 22 point pasting of Mississippi to emerge to the sweet sixteen by beating Holy Cross and Iowa.

West Region:

The West is chalk full of upsets just waiting to happen. Stanford will come nose-to-nose with a Jones, that's Alvin Jones, Georgia Tech's bruising center.

Brigham Young University will take care of tournament malcontent Cincinnati, but end up on the losing end against Indiana.

Georgia State is a team that will put a scare into everyone with the back court of Shernard Long, and Thomas Terrell. I see them stupefying the usually savvy Wisconsin defence, but I can't see them having the same luck against powerhouse Maryland.

Arkansas is rolling along right now, and will fly by Georgetown with a pressing defence. But their fate will be sealed when their strength turns into a liability, when Iowa State point guard Jamaal Tinsley picks it apart.

Midwest Region:

Tennessee is much like UCLA, in that you never know who will show up. Unlike UCLA though, the Volunteers will show their darker side when they go down to the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Illinois.

The Cinderella story in the first two rounds will be Cal State Northridge. The Matadors will surprise overrated Kansas, and then continue their winning ways against Syracuse, another team that gets too much love.

If the championship was based solely on talent, Arizona would be the hands-down favorite. I see the Wildcats utilizing it in the big dance, dominating Eastern Illinois, and upset favourite Butler. They will clash with scoring sensation Troy Murphy's Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who will take out the offensively desolate Mississippi.

South Region:

Michigan State has the easiest draw for a one seed, and will advance in the top portion of the bracket, downing Fresno State.

The most frightening team in the tournament has to be Gonzaga, who has thrown a monkey wrench into the draw in recent years. Look for Bulldog forward Casey Calvary to be the "Wally Szczerbiak" of this year's tournament. The Bulldogs will roar through Indiana State to meet Michigan State in the sweet sixteen.

Florida will beat zone-minded Temple, and Providence's John Linehan will glue himself to North Carolina star Joseph Forte, in beating the struggling Tar Heels, to round out the field.

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