Hey Champ!

We made it. It’s early March and unless we experience a complete societal meltdown the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will kick off in less than 2 weeks. The two teams everyone is chasing continue to prove their worth for a top seed. Gonzaga is still perfect (no surprise) and while Baylor did suffer their first (and only) loss of the season on the road to Kansas (71-58), the Bears bounced back with two victories against ranked teams (West Virginia & Oklahoma St.). The other two top seeds will most likely go to a pair of Big Ten teams: Illinois, Iowa, Ohio St, Michigan. The Fighting Illini of Illinois had a huge road win against Michigan (76-53) and will look to keep the momentum as they visit a slumping Ohio State team who has lost 3 straight.

Always dominant on the gridiron, the Alabama Crimson Tide are making waves on the basketball court. They sit atop the SEC and will try to make a case for a #1 seed should they win at Georgia this weekend and win their conference tournament. Another team who is always to be feared come March is Villanova. The Wildcats lead the Big East and will look to roar into the Big Dance but they may have to do so without their assist leader and 2nd leading scorer, Collin Gillespie, who recently suffered a serious knee injury.

The following conferences will crown a champion by the end of the weekend and with it an automatic bid: Atlantic Sun (Liberty), Big South (Winthrop), Missouri Valley (Drake), Ohio Valley (Belmont). The teams in parenthesis are the top choice to win their respective tournament. Other than the Missouri Valley, these conferences are most likely a “one-bid conference” meaning only one team will make it to the Big Dance. The Missouri Valley has two teams (Drake and Loyola Chicago) who are favored to receive an at-large bid but that may change should another team win the conference tournament and steal a bid. Seven more automatic bids will be decided by mid-week and we’ll keep you updated with who punches their ticket.

The official rules for this year’s Bracket Bingo Competition will be released soon. The format differs this year as players are trying to “Beat the Nerd”. Score more points than our “House” card and you win. Get 5 Bingos and you win even more!

Enjoy the games this weekend and make sure to tell all your friends (and enemies) about “the bracket game…you never heard of”.