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Join March Madness Bracket and Take on BAJA Sports

March 12, 2012 1 comment

Would you like a chance to compete against BAJA Sports bloggers in the 2012 Men’s NCAA Tournament?

Do you think you have an unbeatable bracket that will top others?

BAJA Sports has created a group via CBSsports.com called BAJA Sports (directed to tournament page). The password to join is bajasports. Anyone can join to take on Thomas Hitch, Zach Hughes and Brian Weiss.

Each round takes a different opportunity to score more points for correct picks. In the first round one point is gained by picking a winning team, two points in the second round, four points in the third round, eight points in the 4th round, 16 points in the 5th round and 32 points in the championship game.

So what do you have to gain for winning the tournament?

The winner will receive a ‘BAJA Sports Face Time’ opportunity to publish an article of their choice or to brag about their winning bracket.

Think you have a chance to predict a perfect bracket? It is like we say, “Perfection is NOT enough.”

We are calling you out, do you have what it takes to win?

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College basketball has no real favorite

January 23, 2012 3 comments

After two and a half months of basketball, I think it’s safe to say that there has been little accomplished when it comes to finding a clear favorite for the NCAA title.

With every team playing a significant amount of games so far this season, one would think that a team would have set itself aside as a favorite.

That is far from the truth.

There is a cluster of teams that have a case as to why they should be considered the favorite. This season’s rankings have been like a game of musical chairs, with teams struggling to hold ground inside the top-ten.

To put it into perspective, in the latest ESPN/USA Today rankings released on Jan. 23, only one team held their position from the previous week.

Now let’s get into some of the teams that could make a case:

Syracuse:

Before losing this weekend to Notre Dame, Syracuse had the best case. They were undefeated and had several quality wins to their name, including Florida, Marquette and Virginia Tech. Syracuse is just now entering the meat of their conference schedule and we will find out if this team is a serious title contender in the next few weeks.

Kentucky:

Christian Watford nails a buzzer beater to upset #1 Kentucky. Credit: smauctioneers.com

With the Syracuse loss, Kentucky has jolted back to the top of the rankings, a place they haven’t been since the fifth week of the season. Kentucky’s only loss came on a buzzer beater three pointer by Indiana’s Christian Watford. It was the first true road game of the season for the Wildcats and, let’s just say, Assembly Hall isn’t a fun place to play as a road team. The Wildcats have arguably the most talented team in college basketball but it’s full of youth. Head Coach John Calipari will need to keep his team focused down the stretch and not let the hype get to them if they want to stay ranked No. One.

Missouri:

The Missouri Tigers started the preseason ranked 25th but have steadily climbed up the rankings and now sit second. They, too, have only lost one game this season on the road to Kansas State in an early Big 12 contest. Missouri proved on Saturday they are serious title contenders when they traveled to Baylor and knocked off the then No. 3 team in the land.

Jared Sullinger is a leading candidate for Player of the Year. Credit: bleacherrepot.com

Ohio State:

Ohio State sneaked past Syracuse by one vote into third in the rankings. The Buckeyes own a 17-3 record with all three losses coming against top-15 teams. They also play in arguably the hardest conference in college basketball – the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes have a three-pronged offensive attack with Jared Sullinger, William Buford and Deshaun Thomas. The Buckeyes also have a feisty point guard in Aaron Craft who helps space the floor and averages just over five assists a game.  The Buckeyes have an experienced team and they’ve experienced playing without players due to injury, i.e. Sullinger. I would personally say a healthy Buckeyes team would be my favorite for the title if the tournament happened to start today.

Duke:

The Duke Blue Devils could also make a case as a title contender. According to the Pomerey Ratings, the Blue Devils have had the toughest strength of schedule so far. Given that, they are still 16-3 and to count out a talented team coached by Coach K is insane.

The Rest:

Will Murray State be this year's Butler? Credit: Aseaofblue.com

Murray State is currently the only team in Division I basketball yet to lose a game. They are 20-0 and currently ranked ninth in the polls. The problem is they only have one signature win and it came against a young Memphis squad. I wouldn’t consider them a title hopeful just yet, but with a few wins in early March that could easily change.

Other teams like Kansas, Baylor and North Carolina could also make cases as to why they should be in the debate.

Kansas has beaten Ohio State and Baylor, when both were respectfully in the top-five. With Bill Self at the helm and stars Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, they will be in the mix throughout the rest of the season.

Baylor started the season off on a 17-game winning streak before losing their past two games to Kansas and Missouri. They are still developing as a team and will look to get back to their winning ways quickly. With their presence down low they will be a tough out for anyone.

North Carolina looked extremely vulnerable in their road game against Florida State a few weeks back. Given they have one of the best starting fives in the nation with Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Tyler Zeller, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock. They also lead the nation in points scored per game with 85.1 and rebounds per game with 46.3. They can put points up on anyone and it will take a strong defensive effort to slow this high profiled offense down.

These nine teams can make legitimate cases as to why they should be the favorite right now. It just goes to show you how tight the gap between the top teams are and why this season has been so up and down at the top of the rankings.

Honestly, I think it’s going to come down to which team is the hottest during the tournament. Connecticut ran a hot streak to the title last season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again.

No matter what happens, March Madness is bound to be just likes how it’s advertised, madness.

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