News Column

Bracket Bashers Spoil NCAA Opening Weekend

March 27, 2013

Dennis Garcia, The Courier-Tribune, Asheboro, N.C.

The yelling, screaming and loud slams on tables heard this past weekend had nothing to do with burnt dinners, vehicle troubles or finding a way to pay the water bill.

It instead had a whole lot to do with Florida Gulf Coast, Oregon, Harvard, Ole Miss, California and La Salle.

The 75th NCAA Tournament began last week, meaning millions of brackets were filled out in just the few days between when the field was announced Sunday and when the first-round games began Tuesday.

It's almost a must for sports fans to fill out and enter at least one bracket in the dozens of contests available online or at the office.

Hey, we're no different here in Randolph County and The Courier-Tribune offered its readers the opportunity to enter the Full Court Pick contest.

Contestants could enter by either filling out a bracket which was printed in the newspaper and dropping it off at the office or going online to complete their bracket.

Once the tournament began, it didn't take long for those upsets to start causing havoc with the brackets.

Oregon (12) over Oklahoma State (5), Wichita State (9) over Pittsburgh (8), Ole Miss (12) over Wisconsin (5), La Salle (13) over Kansas State (4), Harvard (14) over New Mexico (3), Iowa State (10) over Notre Dame (7), Minnesota (11) over UCLA (7), Florida Gulf Coast (15) over Georgetown (2), Temple (9) over N.C. State (8) and Cal (12) over UNLV (5) were all games in which the higher-seeded team won.

Then double-digit seeds La Salle, Florida Golf Coast and Oregon continued their unlikely treks to the Sweet 16 with victories in the third round.

This is the first time in tournament history a No. 15 seed has broken through to the Sweet 16.

Our leader in the Full Court Picks is Asheboro's Jeff Davidson, who picked 25 of 32 correct in the second round and 12 of 16 in the third round.

He'll be pulling for Arizona to beat Ohio State in the West and Marquette to topple Miami in the East. His final Four selections include Duke, Kansas, Indiana and his selection of Kansas State in the West was wrong as the Wildcats have already been eliminated.

There is a logjam behind Davidson as nine contestants are within six points of first. Randleman's Karen Hager, Asheboro's Wes Luther, Asheboro's Jeffrey Bennett and Asheboro's Michael Jordan are all tied for second, four points behind Davidson.

Each win in the Sweet 16 is worth eight points and each win in the Elite 8 games is worth 16 points.

Contestants will be kept up to date every Wednesday until the national championship game is played on April 8 in Atlanta.

The winner will receive a flat-screen television set.



Source: (c)2013 The Courier-Tribune, Asheboro, N.C. Distributed by MCT Information Services


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