Posts tagged with “march madness tournament busts”

They Are Who We Thought They Were

Tuesday, 18 March, 2014


Dennis Green made infamous comments and statements in a post game press conference after the Arizona Cardinals blew a big lead against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night football. It was a disaster lesson for many bettors that had the Cardinals that night. The loss has faded to distant memories for most people but one that has stood out year after year is Green’s comment, “They are who we thought they were”.

As you get ready to finalize your office pool brackets, head to the sports book counter, or whatever type of wager you plan, keep Dennis Green’s comments in mind.

Do not over project a team because you think they can go on a Butler, George Mason, Wichita State, or VCU run. Historically runs like that just don’t happen and if they do that don’t come from teams in the power conferences. Just like the teams noted, it’ll come from a mid-major.

Yet time and time again people will pull the head scratcher maneuver and have an under performing 8/9 seed making an epic tourney run. They may have been ranked highly at one time during the season but there are 30-plus games from the regular season that should provide you with clarification on where to go with those teams. Logically it doesn’t make sense to have them going beyond the sweet 16.

Here are teams that you should avoid making a mistake with. Your online brackets aren’t hidden from your buddies. As soon as those games start Thursday your bracket will be viewable to everyone. Don’t be that guy/gal to have their brackets crushed before the round of 32.

Oklahoma State
This OK State team was beyond the bubble watch just about two to three weeks ago. After Marcus Smart returned from suspension though the Cowboys finished the season strong led by Smart. Predicting this former top ten team to advance far is likely going to be the option from several people as a dark horse contender. Sure they were rated in the top ten but they were over ranked. This team lives by their back court of Markel Brown and Marcus Smart. The big twelve style of play favored the Cowboys in thriving with free flow offense. In the tournament though that should halt as teams will force Smart into difficult shots. It’s already documented that Smart gets rattled easily if he is having an off-game.

Shaka Smart’s VCU team has that mid-major brand name favorite from their success as a play-in 11th seed to the Elite 8. Their run that year made the Vegas books and offshore books quite nervous. One trademark Shaka Smart coaching maneuver remains with his high octane press. What isn’t there is the same caliber of depth and high percentage shooters. VCU lacks the size in the middle to play sound defense around the basket. They also are a woeful team with their half court offense often producing wild three pointers or poor floaters in the lane by their guards. They thrive off of two things. Turnovers from their press and offensive rebound putbacks from their athletic forwards. They may have the seeding to make you ponder tabbing them as a threat but don’t do it.

North Carolina
Towards the end of the regular season North Carolina creeped back up in the ACC standings. They somehow ended up as one of the fourth ranked team in the conference. Coach Roy Williams deserves a ton of credit from rescuing this North Carolina team when they were 11-7 January 20th. I’m not a full believer that they’re capable of getting beyond even their first round game against Providence. The ACC was a top heavy conference that provided great stretches of wins for the top half of the league. Watching the Tar Heels they just look like they’re a player or even two away from being a highly qualified tournament team. They are also one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the tournament.

The Wildcats raised eyebrows just a teensy bit with the way they played in the SEC tournament. Wait, how many teams from the SEC are in the tournament? 3, and one is a play-in game team in Tennessee. The conference was down undoubtedly and likely has cast a perception of this Kentucky team that is unwarranted. Tournament teams will give this inexperienced Kentucky team fits. Their seasons worth a games in the SEC is comparable to playing a non-conference schedule in the ACC, Big Ten, and other power conferences.

Others: San Diego State, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Michigan, and UMass