The madness begins today and for the next four weeks, particularly this weekend, the country will be held hostage to fever. Unlike the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, or the College Football Playoff, the NCAA Tournament doesn’t run just in prime time when most fans are home from work, it runs all day and night, moreover it starts during the week not just on the weekends. So throughout offices across the country employees will be glancing at IPads, Phones, and have multiple pages open on their browsers to keep up with all the action, particularly on Thursday and Friday when there will be four games on multiple networks for most of the day. There was a number that came out on CNBC on how much money is lost in regards to production value/opportunity cost when the tournament is on, now how they quantified that is up to speculation and it may not be as high as it was slightly over a billion but one thing is for certain, although it’s great theater, and the greatest show on earth, great for the overall GDP, but may not be the best for individual office productivity.
However, since we are all going to do it, let’s break down our soon to be busted brackets. Now, how most of the country has 3 top seeds in their final four on average. Moreover over 60% have only 1s and 2s, so we’re not going to go in that direction but look at teams that blow up our brackets every year, the sleepers and try to identify them before they do their damage. We start off with the 12 seeds who always seem to take out at least one 5 seed and in a year where parity reigns supreme one could expect at least one to rear its ugly head. Also the 11-seeds are very dangerous this year despite the fact that you’re talking about a school ranked 44th or higher. Among the 12s that could pull off the upset look at Yale, yes I said Yale, for a couple of reasons. Senior leadership and discipline guard play. Two keys components to success in the tournament. Understandably, since they are making their first tournament appearance since the Kennedy administration they may be a dear in headlights and we have Baylor going deep but this will be closer than most think. Also look at South Dakota State vs. Maryland. Now they Terps are a consensus favorite as a sleeper to reach the Final Four and at one point were a top-seed, but SDS has some ballers. Many thought that LSU’s Ben Simmons was the most efficient scoring freshman in the nation this season, but it’s actually South Dakota State’s Mike Daum, a 6’9” power forward who’s the son of an obscure, former NFL tight end. The “Dauminator“ was a no-star recruit out of Kimball, Neb., who redshirted his first season at SDSU and has since emerged as a legit inside-outside scorer with an offensive rating of 124.4 and a usage rate of 31.2%. The Jackrabbits love to use Daum as a ballscreener in their secondary break. One of their staple actions is a Daum ballscreen-and-roll to the post, with the ball passed to the wing before it’s entered to Daum. He can hit face-up jumpers, face up and drive, or simply score on the blocks, and will be a tough assignment for Maryland’s frontcourt.