It’s time! Time to set your brackets, put a few dollars on a Cinderella team you’ve never heard of, and learn that a computer or a turtle did better in their brackets than you did… It’s March Madness!!
The men’s tournament kicks off Thursday, March 16th, and the bracket model, Sportsline, suggests we’re going to see a number of upsets and bracketbusters this year including Florida Atlantic over Memphis in the first round. It also predicts that a feisty #4 Tennessee team beats the oft-winner Duke Blue Devils in the second. The Final Four will meet in Houston April 1st and the championship game will be held on the 3rd. All million games are being streamed on the CBS app or on traditional cable channels like TBS, TNT, and CBS (in case you call in sick).
And don’t forget the women’s tournament runs concurrently with the men’s, starting Friday the 17th and concluding on April 2nd. Although there is less parity among the 68 women’s teams, the top 10-20 teams are always very competitive. Perennial favorites like Stanford, Duke, and UConn are likely to make it to the Sweet 16 without much trouble, but rising stars like Virginia Tech and Iowa may play spoiler. Still, the safest bet this side of Las Vegas is South Carolina to win it all. The Lady Gamecocks are coming off a spectacular undefeated season, so the championship game is theirs to lose.
Favorite stat of the tournament: The Drake Bulldogs men’s team (12th seed in the Midwest) has a starting line-up that is older than five NBA teams’ starters! These “mature” players led the Bulldogs to big wins in the last few seasons over Alabama, Clemson, and Mississippi state so they could be a great bet to bust brackets and win hearts.