The void left in sports fans by the close of the NFL season will be officially filled next week with the arrival of the NCAA Tournament. Selection Sunday will leave die-hard fans and casual observers alike with just two short days to fill out their brackets before the First Four tips off on Tuesday. Whether you’ll be following your team across the country (see Travel for Sporting Events), or just sitting back to watch the Madness ensue, this year’s tournament will include storylines as compelling as the matchups themselves.
Villanova, Kansas and Oklahoma are all candidates for a #1 seed in this year’s Big Dance and are looking to make redemption stays in March this time around, after their trips were cut short before the elite nights of the Elite 8 as a #1, #2 and #3 seeds, respectively, in 2015.
Kentucky has reached the Final Four in four of the last five years; the NCAA must not offer 5th redemption night free benefits. Either way, Kentucky has managed just one title over that span; will the sporadic Wildcats return to the semifinals this year, and if so, can they capture another ring for Coach Cal?
LSU is in need of a major run in their conference tournament to earn consideration from the selection committee. If they sneak their way into the tourney, can Freshman Phenom Ben Simmons give them enough to make a deep run before he likely takes to the NBA next season for Cash + Points?
There is plenty of madness in store this March, and plenty of other stories to be written. Which are you most eager to see unfold?
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This is our favourite time of year as far as sports are concerned. We are huge Kentucky fans and our team flat-lined against Wisconsin in the Final Four. We also have in our group a Michigan State following and enjoyed watching them beat out Louisville at the Elite 8...sweet victory. We are also fans of North Carolina but they have not been very vocal in the last couple of years. We have been following this tournament since our oldest (now 35) was born and have enjoyed this time of year immensely. We all also love an underdog...a couple of years ago it was the Dayton Flyer team that pulled off a couple of upsets in Buffalo.
I have them meeting up in my picks but I will be wearing a UK sweatshirt with a UNC baseball cap...although I have the Tarheels going through I have learned never to underestimate the Wildcats. Either way I love a good game and hoping that this will be one "HEEL" of a game.
I am most eager to see what unfolds on and after April 3rd (just 16 days from now) - MLB Opening Day 2016! In March, my sports interests lie with what happens in both Phoenix (Cactus League) or Florida (Grapefruit League).
I am not a fan of March Madness either, but what an excellent post for those who are, AndrewT!
Thanks for the kind words, pluto77!
I'm a big baseball fan too; who will you be keeping your eye on in the MLB this year?
There are about a half dozen teams that I like (or else have a morbid fascination of ), but The SF Giants finally succeeded in stealing my heart about 5-6 years ago (only after living in their market for 25 years - prior I held true to my lifelong passion for the Dodgers - I'm an LA native). It is a love affair that was born of attending Giants AAA affiliate games here in town, and getting to know the players. (Sadly last year, the Giants moved to Sacramento, and we received the Houston Astros AAA affiliate, or perhaps not so sad, since the 'Stros AAA team won the National Championship, their first year with us.)
Now we go to Giants games every year in SF (this year we will try the SF Marriott Marquis as well as the Hotel Adagio, Autograph Collection, and we get real creative with parking our car outside the city and light railing in, to avoid some of the highest hotel parking fees on the planet).
I've also taken to attending Giants away games. Two years ago we watched the G's at Dodger Stadium, last year Wrigley Field and this year I will get to see my G's play at National's Park (I already have the tickets!) Also will visit Camden Yards since I'll be in the neighborhood and the Orioles will be in town (not a fan, but like visiting different mlb ballparks, and the Insider scoop here on Insiders is that Camden Yards is worth a visit.)
Thanks for asking. I love shooting hoops, just not watching others do it, .
Who are your MLB favorites?
We've stayed at the Marquis before and loved the bar on the top floor, great view just that the hotel was a bit larger and more active than we want and I've looked at the Adagio for an upcoming possible trip to the Bay Area, need to research it a little more before committing to it. You have any Inside(r) intel?
And in other news, Duke escaped with a win.
My husband will probably not like the Marquis then, but we'll at least be able to say we did it once. We walked through the San Diego Marquis lobby once. While it was kinda cool, it felt a little bit too big and institutional for us as well. Same with the Marquis in Times Square. Visited the lobby and the restaurant high up above: nice, but just not a personal preference. Really enjoyed the Marriott East Side, which grew on me with each passing day, but may not have been able to say that, had we had to live with the very tiny room they attempted to give us at first, before getting that wonderful, lovely corner room, which seemed twice as big and had three windows. I'm also going to try the DC Marquis in October.
Sounds just like the East Side room we had huge corner one and NO, not a fan of the TS Marquis either. Although it was crazier than the SF Marquis still not our cup of tea!
Ever heard of or stayed at Hotel Zepher in the Wharf area? Just ran across it and its a funky looking cool joint, might be fun spot to stay.
UPDATE....never mind it is actually a Radisson, ick.
Back to the thread, sorry folks......just call me D.B. Cooper!!!
Looks like the first upset is brewing, that is if you call a Number 9 beating a Number 8 .....UCONN is up by six with 5 minutes to go.
Message HAD TO BE edited by: IAHFLYR
It sure is a great time to be a Giants fan; their new rotation looks like one of the best in the league, at least on paper.
I'm a big Yankees fan, but I am also interested to see if the Mets and the Astros can follow up their surprising playoff appearances last year with another strong season.
Sounds like you've planned a couple of great trips this season. Camden Yards is legendary, and I've heard nothing but good things about Nationals Park. Enjoy!
I like those picks, wesleywc. My Final Four looks the same, with the exception of Oklahoma in over Duke.
Interesting Temple prediction. I could see them getting past Iowa and even upsetting Villanova. Who else do you expect they'll have to go through to get to the Sweet 16?
Sounds like our brackets are pretty similar. I hope your right about Miami, as I am a huge 'Canes fan.
Against my better judgement, I have UNC winning it all, even though they could easily be knocked out in the Sweet 16 by Kentucky. Who do you think will be cutting down the nets?
It's not that we all hate Duke it's that they are so smart! Here are the facts, Durham is much larger than Chapel Hill, yet the school of brains has about 1/2 the number of the students that UNC has. Smart is way overrated!!!!
UNC is starting to show the defensive intensity in the ACC Tournament and I expect that to continue. It will be interesting to see them get out of the East Region though with some pretty tough competition, but I won't be at all surprised if the are not playing in the FInal Four at NRG Stadium.
MSU-UNC Finals is a nice pick.....and if so I will find a way to attend that's for sure.
It's my favorite time of the year. Love college basketball, especially my KU Jayhawks (Kansas native and KU grad). My Final Four
KU vs aTm
UNC vs Mich State
KU vs UNC
KU in a close game (sorry IAHFLYR, but I still like Roy even though he left)
Well, aTm tried to lose to knock out the second of my final four, but managed to pull it out in two OTs. UNI fell apart, but can't figure them out. They always seem to go on a tear in March. Stills smarts that they beat my Jayhawks in 2010. Now we have to beat Maryland and Mark Turgeon. Turgeon is a former KU player and was an assistant on the 88 championship team, but no favors will be given.
Here it is, National Championship day......both teams are playing very very well, but not sure Nova can handle the inside game and speed that UNC possesses. My heart is with UNC and I hope when the clock strikes 0:00.00 the University of North Carolina Tarheels are cutting down the nets at NRG Stadium.
UNC 84 Villanova 71
I've only seen Nova play once and not the entire game. I think the Heels will take control at the end of the first half and hold them at bay in the 10-12 point range, but could open up more in the last few minutes should Nova start to foul and UNC continues to hit a high percentage of their free throws.
I'll most likely DVR it and then start watching it about an hour after the start so I'm not rushing to get dinner off the grill!
What's the chance that Jim Nance will NOT say "Hello Friends"? NONE????
I am still in shock....first that UNC did NOT pound the ball inside all game, next that they got down by 10 and came back on that crazy shot by Paige and lastly, well the SHOT. Nova did a wonderful job of making Carolina work for every point they got and in the end played a heck of a game.....Congrats Wildcats!
I watched Villanova shoot 71% in annihilating Oklahoma in the semifinal, so it wasn't a complete surprise, but like you, I thought the Heels' bigs would take control of the game in the paint. It was one of those terrific games that almost seems a shame that someone had to lose.
What great game to finish off the tournament. We as a family of Crazy Canucks join the CBS online pool and have a lot of fun trash talking each other. This year my daughter got ribbed right from the beginning for her choices, her brothers and uncles were relentless BUT in the end she put them all to shame....she had Nova winning it all.