Category Archives: NCAA

March Madness Bracket Etiquette

It is quite possibly (with apologies to Christmas) the most wonderful time of the year.  It is the NCAA Basketball Tournament otherwise known as “March Madness”.  Get ready for nail-biters, buzzer beaters and three weeks of one of the things that makes America great.

CBS’ “Selection Show” was not the torture of last year even though once again Charles Barkley showed he has no business talking College Basketball.

This year’s tournament seems to once again be wide open with the exception of Villanova. The defending champions are the overall #1 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.  Plus, the mid-major teams just do not seem to be as imposing as in previous years.

Now, let’s get to the subject of “Bracket Etiquette”.
1) STICK TO ONE SET OF PICKS
That is right.  I don’t care how many “Bracket Challenges” you enter, you must stick to once set of picks.  Actually I believe you should only fill out one bracket, but I know the lure of cash and prizes can be too much.  If you make different picks on different brackets, you have no conviction in your beliefs.  You are a “waffler”, a “flip-flopper” or some other names I probably shouldn’t use in this forum.  MAKE YOUR PICKS AND STICK WITH THEM.

2) DO NOT MAKE FUN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BRACKETS
You know why you shouldn’t make fun of other people’s brackets?  Not because it isn’t cool, no.  It is because we all know how this will play out.  Jill in Human Resources who makes her picks based on team mascots and uniforms will end up winning the office pool.  You know it, I know it.  You may think you are the “Jay Bilas” of your office branch but you will probably end up dead last.  So don’t make fun of other people’s brackets.

3) DO NOT TRASH OR DELETE YOUR BRACKETS
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to throw your brackets in the trash or delete your entry after a rough Thursday & Friday in the tournament.  But guess what?  Most of your friends are flaming out as well.  Don’t give in.  Stick with it. Who knows?  By the end of the weekend you may be back in the mix….or Jill in Human Resources may be kicking your ass. Offer to buy her lunch to keep her from talking trash.

4) DO NOT ALTER YOUR PICKS
If you are like me, you fill out a paper bracket.  You do it in pen.  This shows that you have conviction in your picks. You know (or at least you think you do) which #9 seeds will beat the #8 seeds.  Don’t be a weasel who fills it out in pencil only to try to erase it later.  We can see the spots where something has been erased.

5) DON’T GO “ALL CHALK”
This is the NCAA Tournament.  There will be upsets.  That is what makes the event so much fun.  It is true that a #16 seed has yet to topple a #1 seed.  But you know there will be some #12 seeds who take down some #5s.  Don’t be the guy or gal who picks “all chalk”.  For those who don’t know, “all chalk” is where you pick the top seed in every match up, leading to a Final Four of all #1 seeds.  Sure, your odds may be better off doing that, but where is the fun in that? It just shows your are a very dull individual.

Now that we have that out of the way, here is my one and only bracket. (Filled out in pen, by the way.)
brackets

Enjoy the Madness everyone…and why not follow me on twitter (@HarryFromCBus) as I once again renew my rivalry with truTV for being only worthwhile during the NCAA Tournament.

 

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What’s A ‘Matta’ With Ohio State Basketball?

Image result for thad matta
On July 4, 2002 Thad Matta took the reins of the Ohio State Basketball program.  As of this writing, Thad has a  74% winning percentage (335-119) as Ohio State Head Coach.  He has taken the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament nine times with two Sweet Sixteen appearances, one Elite Eight & Final Four appearance and a runner-up performance in 2007.  The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten five times under his leadership.

So why are the rumblings of getting rid of Matta as Ohio State Head Man growing louder & louder?  For one, Matta no longer seems to be able to recruit top-notch players like the Odens & Conleys of the past and the few he did land recently (Daniel Giddens, Mickey Mitchell & Austin Grandstaff) decided to move on to other programs.  Plus, watching Nigel Hayes from Toledo dominate for Wisconsin still stings.

The Buckeyes fell in the second round of last year’s NIT (to Florida as a road team on their own court) and appear to be headed to a NIT berth at the very best again this season as they languish in the Big Ten with a 5-8 record.

So what is going on with Thad?  Is he just mailing it in as Head Coach?  It is no secret that Matta has been dealing with back issues for a few years now.  And bottom line, the Buckeyes just look flat.  There have been flashes of excitement (a win over Michigan recently gave a glimmer of hope) but for the most part this team just seems to be going through the motions.  Value City Arena has become a mausoleum this season, with many empty seats and less than enthusiastic crowds.

Now, let’s be honest, Ohio State is and always will be a football school.  But Ohio State deserves better than back-to-back NIT tournament teams.  It may be time to send Thad packing.

Last Rites For Jim Rome

rome

I used to be a BIG Jim Rome fan.
Romie used to be a big deal “back in the day”. Talking “smack”, running bad callers & gaining a huge legion of fans…his ‘clones’. Rome even had tour stops (of which I attended three) that drew thousands. The “SmackOff”, which was a competition amongst the best callers, used to generate huge buzz.

But times & people change. The smack now seems stale, the personal appearances now only draw a few & the “SmackOff” is now just cringe inducing. Hell, ESPN even dumped Rome and he is fading away on the now near dead CBS Sports Radio Network. Once in awhile CBS throws Jim a bone and lets him appear on their NFL Coverage but usually those segments are now used by those on social media to goof on “Van Smack”.

It was a fun ride Romie, but it’s over. Time to put away the smack talk & call it a career.
Time to give yourself a ‘manual buzzer’.

What Are Your New Years Sports Resolutions?

resolutions

It’s the beginning of a New Year and with that time once again for each of us to make our New Years  Resolutions.

What are your ‘Sports Resolutions’ for 2016?
Is it to be a better fan of your teams?
Is it to be more critical of your teams?
Is it to actually get off the couch and participate in a sport?
Is it to lessen your sports spectating?
Is it to watch more sports?
Is it to ‘cut the cord’ and go to more streaming services to watch sports?
Is it to give up on sports altogether?
Is it to maybe start watching and following a new sport?
Is it to maybe help in coaching youth sports?

Feel free to share your New Years ‘Sports Resolutions’ with us and tell us how you do as the year progresses.  The Sports Bus cares.

Christmas Wishes for Ohio Sports Fans

It’s the Holiday Season…so why not give our “Christmas Wishes” for fans of Ohio’s major sports teams?

CLEVELAND BROWNS- Hope, any glimmer of hope. All the fans of this downtrodden franchise want is a sign that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train.

CINCINNATI BENGALS- Success on the “big stage”.  This is the season where the Bengals need to show their fans that they can deliver in ‘primetime’. Yes, Andy Dalton is injured…but AJ McCarron should keep the ship afloat until the “Red Rifle” can return in the playoffs.

OHIO STATE FOOTBALL- A convincing win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.  Yes, the dominating victory over Michigan was nice but Buckeyes fans need a big win over the Irish to take the sour taste of no return to the College Football Playoff out of their mouths.

CINCINNATI REDS- A blueprint of a true, concrete plan.  Most reasonable Reds fans probably understand the need for the mid-market team to shed payroll.  But those fans also need to see what is being done to rebuild….or maybe just get some more sweet bobbleheads.

CLEVELAND INDIANS- A sense of direction.  Is this team really in it to win it or just to keep their heads above .500?  The franchise has made some vaguely interesting moves so far this offseason to pique interest among the fanbase but is it enough to compete in the AL Central?

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS- Leadership from within.  Yes, the hiring of John Tortorella as head coach should provide discipline but the team needs leadership from the players themselves.  Nick Foligno was elected captain but it still seems like someone, anyone, needs to start being a bit of an asshole in the locker room.  Nice guys finish last especially in the NHL.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- A NBA Championship. Pure and simple.  This team is the only real hope Cleveland has of bringing a title to the city.  If they fail this season, it doesn’t look possible anytime soon.

OHIO STATE BASKETBALL- A .500 season with maybe a couple of Big Ten Tournament wins would be nice.  Kentucky win aside, this is a very young team and is due to disappoint Buckeyes fans a few more times this season. If they could sneak into the NCAA Tournament, that would be a bonus.

UC & XAVIER BASKETBALL- To use a cliche, “You keep being you”.  Both of these teams exemplify why  the city of Cincinnati is a true college basketball gem.  UC & X are very good teams with great coaches at the helm.  Added bonus, neither coach looks to be wanting to go elsewhere which should mean continued success for a long time.

“Weird Al” Nails Sports Media

I am not a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic.  The only thing of his I even remotely like is “Amish Paradise”.  Everything else of his I find rather annoying.  But I will be damned, Al & Company just perfectly captured the world of sports media in a 3:30 skit.
al

Watch the genius that apparently I have missed all of these years–