Archive for the ‘Bradley's Bracket Fiasco’ Category

Customer service: Our expert panel provides bracketing help

Is Murray State the new VCU? Or will VCU be the new VCU? (AP photo)

Will Murray State be the next VCU? Or will VCU itself be the next VCU? (AP photo)

On the road to the Final Four, everyone needs a little help. Toward that end, we’ve sought the guidance of five learned observers, posing the same four questions to each. Our illustrious panel includes:

Barry Goheen, a Vanderbilt legend for making seven game-tying/winning shots in the late ’80s, including two outrageous treys in seven seconds against favored Pittsburgh in Round 2 of the 1988 NCAA tournament, the clip of which is available on YouTube; now a litigator for King & Spalding and chairman of the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.

Ron Hunter, an NCAA tournament participant with IUPUI in 2003, when his 16th-seeded Jaguars lost 95-64 to Kentucky, the tournament’s top seed; now the coach of Georgia State, which was picked to finish 11th in the Colonial Athletic Association but won 20-plus games for only the fourth time in school history.

Dave Odom, who as coach of Wake Forest and South Carolina took …

Continue reading Customer service: Our expert panel provides bracketing help »

The Big Dance: 10 key steps along the way to an NCAA title

The Harvard Crimson react after seeing they've been drawn against Vandy. (AP photo)

The Harvard Crimson react after seeing they've been drawn against Vandy. (AP photo)

The NCAA tournament is comprised of 67 games over 20 days and, unlike the college bowl season, all 67 matter. Some, however, will matter more than others. Today we offer a list of the 10 games in this Big Dance — some scheduled, others projected — that rise to the level of truly significant.

Round 1, West Regional, 9:10 p.m. Tuesday: BYU versus Iona. Nobody paid much attention when VCU met Southern Cal in the First Four last year. Then VCU, whose mere presence in the field was a source of some ridicule, took down five teams from BCS leagues in 11 days. VCU is back this season — more about the Rams in a bit — but the mid-major at-large selection triggering the most buzz is Iona.

The Gaels, who are 25-7, were upset in the Metro Atlantic tournament semis by Fairfield, and their worksheet wasn’t without holes. (They’d beaten Maryland but had lost to Hofstra, which finished 11th in the 12-team …

Continue reading The Big Dance: 10 key steps along the way to an NCAA title »

Our live video chat about the NCAA tournament

UPDATE: Thanks again for watching and participating. If you missed it, here’s the full video from today’s chat.

Original: Ready to chat about the NCAA tourney? Our chat, hosted by fellow AJC blogger Michael Carvell, begins at 12:30 p.m.

You’ll need to use your Facebook login to enter the chat.

If you encounter a tech problem, here’s what our tech folks suggest: Update your Flash and browser, or try a different browser, and empty your cache.

And, a reminder, the 25th edition of Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco is up and running. (You can enter it here.) I’ve made my picks. (You can find them here and read an overview here.) During today’s chat, we’ll talk about all of the above.

Continue reading Our live video chat about the NCAA tournament »

In the 25th Bracket Fiasco, I take chalk – and the Tar Heels

Darius Millier and Jonathan Davis: They'll lose again, I'm afraid. (AP photo)

Darius Millier and Anthony Davis: They'll lose another game, I'm afraid. (AP photo)

For our silver anniversary, I wanted to do something completely different. (Nattering nabobs might say, “Yeah? How about picking the right Final Four for a change?” I actually did that in 2004.) I thought about tabbing  an all-Kentucky Final Four, but the four Bluegrass entries were stuffed into two regionals, so that’s out.

This week I reviewed the previous 24 years of Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco,  and I was surprised to note that I had outpicked the committee, if only just. I’d gone 41-for-96 over the past almost-quarter-century; of the teams actually seeded No. 1, only 39 made it. Buoyed by this knowledge, what does the world’s dumbest man do?

For the first time ever, he seconds the committee’s emotion. He picks the four No. 1 seeds.

Doesn’t it bother me that three of the four will enter the NCAA tournament on one-game losing streaks? On the contrary. Nothing concentrates the mind of a good …

Continue reading In the 25th Bracket Fiasco, I take chalk – and the Tar Heels »

Join us Monday at 12:30 p.m. for a fiasco of a live video chat

The chat will be conducted with me hovering above the city. OK, I'm lying.

Monday's live video chat will be conducted with me hovering above the city. OK, I'm lying.

Fair warning. There’s a real fiasco apt to be committed in this space Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. This not-exactly-telegenic correspondent will conduct, with the aid of esteemed colleague Michael Carvell, a live video chat. Topics are sure to include:

1. Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco, about to enter its 25th year;

2. Bradley’s picks, which will be offered in this space after the NCAA tournament grid is released Sunday night;

3. Bradley’s hair, which is a different style and color than when the Fiasco began in 1988.

Part of me sincerely hopes you’ll watch and partake. Another part of me — the realistic part — would advise you to steer clear of anything having to do with me and live (or even taped) video. But for those brave enough to monitor the doings, you’ll be able to submit questions that morning in the comments section on this dumb little blog and during the chat itself via Facebook. …

Continue reading Join us Monday at 12:30 p.m. for a fiasco of a live video chat »

And they said it wouldn’t last: The Bracket Fiasco turns 25!

BradleyTopper

The March of time: When the Fiasco began, I thought I was loco; decades later, we've got this snazzy logo.

Friday update: I’ve just been informed that we have a windfall prize for our local Fiasco winner this year — a $1,000 gift card courtesy of Kroger. So enter the contest and eat hearty!

Twenty-five years ago, Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco began not as a contest with an in-house marketing team and thousands of entrants, not even as the Fiasco at all. The name came not in the inaugural edition but the next year, when Chris Foley of Atlanta wrote on his stamped envelope — in those olden days the internet was just a gleam in Al Gore’s eye — “NCAA Fiasco ‘89.” Knowing a good word when I see one, I exercised eminent domain and borrowed it.

Twenty-five years after I first challenged readers to pick the Final Four, the Fiasco is with us still. The first run produced 295 entries, not one of whom tabbed the correct Final Four. The 2011 edition yielded 5,763 entries, not one of whom …

Continue reading And they said it wouldn’t last: The Bracket Fiasco turns 25! »

Butler! UConn! ‘One Shining Moment!’ We’re chatting live!

This is how my first Final Four ended. Kind of boring, really. (NCAA photos)

How my first Final Four ended. Kind of boring. (NCAA photos)

It was 1983 in Albuquerque and I was scared to death. It was my first Big Event — I was working for the Lexington Herald-Leader — and I got to The Pit on Final Four Saturday convinced I was the worst writer in the building if not in history. And then the man sitting next to me on the seventh level of press row said, as a team nicknamed the Bulldogs was about to face N.C. State in the first semi, “Georgia — they’re from the SEC, aren’t they?”

And I thought to myself: “OK, second-worst.”

The Final Four, as you might know, is my favorite thing to cover, but not being there –  I haven’t been to one since Memphis blew the title in San Antonio in 2008 — doesn’t bother me as much as I’d have thought. I’ve done 20 of them. If I never do another, that’s enough for anyone. And my first few pretty much spoiled me.

1983: The Jim Valvano/Lorenzo Charles/Phil Slamma Jamma title game, preceded by the only slightly less great …

Continue reading Butler! UConn! ‘One Shining Moment!’ We’re chatting live! »

Upset! A sports writer (though not this one) wins the Fiasco!

These guys messed up everybody's brackets again, our winner's included. (AP photo)

These guys messed up everybody's brackets again, our winner's included. (AP photo)

The 24th annual installment of Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco proved, to put it kindly, the most challenging yet. Our champion is Chris Lewis, a sometime writer from Garfield, Ga., who triumphed over 5,763 other entrants despite having filled out a bracket so pockmarked he gave up on it.

“I hadn’t even revisited [the Fiasco site] to see how I was doing,” Lewis said Monday. “I figured my bracket was shot. Thank goodness for upsets.”

Lewis won despite picking only half the correct Final Four. (He had Connecticut and Kentucky.) He won on a tiebreaker, having gotten 25 of the 32 first-round games correct. Far from being a bad bracket, his was sagacious enough to earn Lewis the coveted winner’s Final Four sweatshirt/hoodie and a 32GB iPad with 3G and WiFi capability.

Did Lewis already have an iPad? “No, sir, I don’t,” he said. “This is unbelievable. I’ve never won anything in my life.”

Lewis, 42, lives on …

Continue reading Upset! A sports writer (though not this one) wins the Fiasco! »

Georgia Tech’s new coach: Unsexy-yet-solid Brian Gregory

New man in town: B.G. of GT (AP photo)

Talkin' 'bout the new man in town: B.G. of GT (AP photo)

On Friday night Georgia Tech denied it had made an offer to Dayton’s Brian Gregory. By Monday morning Tech apparently had. The Dayton Daily News reports that Gregory has accepted the job.

And I know what you’re saying: This isn’t the sexy hire. This is actually the anti-sexy hire. Gregory is neither hot not particularly young. (He’s 44.) His teams haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2009. But sizzle is no longer the issue. The question now: Can the guy coach?

The answer: Yeah. He did good work — not great work, but good — at a mid-major that takes roundball very seriously. (Check back and you’ll note that the Dayton Flyers were the NCAA runners-up in 1966-67, Year 1 of Lew Alcindor’s reign at UCLA.) He learned under Tom Izzo, who’s among the very best, and his teams bear that signature Izzo toughness. This is not a terrible hire by any means.

Neither, it  must be said, is it a slam dunk. Gregory’s last Dayton team …

Continue reading Georgia Tech’s new coach: Unsexy-yet-solid Brian Gregory »

Georgia Tech’s thinning search: Is anyone left? Why, yes

Shaka Smith and his VCU victors: Can Tech afford to wait on him? (AP photo)

Shaka Smart and his astounding VCU victors: Can Tech afford to wait on him? (AP photo)

We’ve been saying for a while that Georgia Tech would have to focus on a mid-major coach due to money, or the lack thereof. Trouble is, this looks more and more like the wrong time to be hiring a mid-major coach. Because Chris Mooney just re-upped at Richmond. Because Cuonzo Martin just made the leap from Missouri State to Tennessee. And this leaves the Jackets … where?

Maybe with Gregg Marshall of Wichita State, whose Shockers are still playing in the NIT. Maybe with Brian Gregory of Dayton, although the reaction Friday night to a series of Tweets indicating Tech had already offered Gregory the job was so negative it had to give pause. Maybe even with Doug Wojcik of Tulsa, although I can’t believe he’d be received any more positively than Gregory would.

And what of Shaka Smart? The VCU wonder — no coach in NCAA history has ever had to win five times just to reach the Final Four — has at …

Continue reading Georgia Tech’s thinning search: Is anyone left? Why, yes »