On Sunday night after the last conference championship game is decided, printers will work overtime, pools will form, money will be exchanged and inevitably hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people will fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket.Many will choose based on the empirical evidence gathered by watching hundreds of college basketball games, scrutinizing every pick to its core. Others will color inside the lines or hover as close to the chalk as possible. And of course, some (and mind you, this is usually the most successful group) will pick according to mascot partiality and/ or uniform color.There’s no one correct way to fill out a bracket because the NCAA Tournament is so unpredictable, which makes it as exciting as it has become over the last few decades.There are some statistics that may help with “bracketology,” however, especially for first round games when many brackets are substantiated or torn to shreds (literally). Feel free to use them even though; in the end, they’ll likely help very little.Picking No. 1 seeds are a given. In the history of the NCAA Tournament, no No. 16 seed has usurped No. 1 (that’s a 100 percent success rate if you’re scoring at home). Predicting the first ever No. 16 over No. 1 upset is throwing away points (but if you’re in my pool, you can be sure this IS the year it will actually happen; in fact all the No. 1 seeds might lose).No. 2 seeds are usually pretty straightforward, as well. They are 80-4 in first round games (since 1985, when the field expanded to 64 teams). The last time a No. 2 lost in the first round, however, was in 2001, when Hampton took out Iowa State (Marcus Fizer’s career rapidly declined since that day, and how the heck did Iowa State earn a No. 2 seed in the first place?).Three and four seeds are, for the most part, sure things. Lately, a few 13 and 14 seeds have snuck into the second round (Bucknell, Weber St. and Bradley come to mind), but even those upsets are pretty few and far between.Then there’s the pesky 5-12 matchup. Most serious bracketologists wouldn’t dare turn in their bracket without a No. 12 over No. 5 upset. The reasoning behind the strategy is sound, as every year since 1988, except one, a No. 12 seed has taken down a No. 5.Interestingly enough No. 6 seeds have a better record against No. 11 than No. 5 vs. 12. But even still, turning in a finished bracket without a No. 11 over a No. 6 is probably foolish.From there, 7-10 and 8-9 matchups are often tossups. I suggest the “Ask Your Grandmother” technique for these games. Grandmothers are perfect for this kind of thing. They usually know nothing about basketball, sports or really anything else besides baking brownies, knitting sweaters and smelling kind of weird, which makes them eminently qualified for the job at hand.Ask her which mascot sounds friendlier. Show her pictures of the head coaches, and ask her which man has a nicer face (they really like that kind of stuff; trust me). Do anything so that they are the one’s making the ultimate decision, not you.Finally, voila: The first round is complete.Now, there are some very difficult decisions to make in the second round. The first, however, happens to be the most exciting part of the process: picking the one or two Cinderella(s) in your bracket.Everyone loves to see a Cinderella go deep into the tournament. Even more people love to be the ones who knew it would happen the whole time (though they didn’t really know, they just used the Grandmother Technique and are taking the credit for themselves).If a No. 12 seed can take out No. 5, why can’t they do the same against a No. 4 and dance into the Sweet 16? A No. 11 over a No. 3, why not? Remember George Mason?The numbers get pretty crazy past the first round in terms of statistics (how often No. X moves on vs. No. Y because there are so many possible matchups). But the No. 1 seed (assuming they have moved on) will always have to play the winner of the 8-9 game, which can be a really tricky pick.The stats are in the No. 1 seed’s favor since their record against No. 8 or No. 9 seeds is 92-13 or about 85 percent all time.Though, don’t be so quick to assume No. 1 is a sure thing this year.ESPN’s resident bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Ohio State possibly matched up with Missouri (a team that was ranked as high as eighth in the polls this year) or Tennessee, (a team with wins over Pittsburgh and Villanova during the regular season) in the second round.Is it so far fetched that either of these teams could take down the Buckeyes? Heavens no! (Though if Ohio State continues to shoot the three as well as it has lately, maybe it’s an easier pick than it seems).In either case, past the second round, there are no sure things. There is no UNC with five NBA ready players to blaze through the tournament field. It’s wide open this year.Some will go through several brackets, rethinking upsets, overanalyzing the 2-15 games, pestering grandma to no end and still won’t be happy with their finished product.Others will go with their first instinct; fill out the bracket once, and leave it as is without worrying too much about it.But almost all will be wrong about almost everything.
Nigeria’s leading professional golfer, Andrew Oche Odoh has threatened to sue South African Airways for his disappointing play at the ongoing 3e Actuaries Equatorial Guinea Open in Mongomo.Odoh has heavy odds stacked against him in his bid to successfully defend the tournament, despite shooting a six under par 66 last night which left him 10 strokes outside the lead after 54 holes.The player, a member of South Africa based Sunshine Tour, said the non-arrival of his golf bag made him to resort to borrowing an unfamiliar set of clubs from local amateur golfers in Mongomo. He told THISDAY last night that he would be left with no option than to ask for a compensation of $24,000 from South African Airlines being the value of the Equatorial Guinea Open winning prize money.‘’The failure of the airline to deliver a golf bag containing my Titlist set clubs to the agreed destination, made me recourse to borrowing a wrong set of clubs, and this why I have not matched expectations in Mongomo. It is a clear of breach of contract and I will be demanding compensation that equals the exact prize to be won by the winner of Equatorial Guinea Open Golf Championship. The alternative clubs are made for amateur and not professional golfers,” Odoh threatened.It was gathered that the golf bag was only delivered in Abuja, instead of Lagos, where Odoh joined the Nigerian contingent that flew to Malabo enroute Doula on Monday.Odoh, who was on the verge of missing the cut after two poor rounds of 78 and 75, rebounded at the Presidential Golf Course, Mongomo, to occupy the 15th position and will be in the 31 players field that will compete the final round today.Englishman Craig Hinton, took the lead in sterling fashion, with a course record round of seven under par 65 to take two shots lead over Zambian Zambian Muthiya Madalitso and Swede Peter Gustafsson, who are for tied for second place.Hinton drained five birdies on the back, including a chip in on the last hole for a 31 on the home bound play, and an overall 10 under par for the tournament.Mandhu Mohammed of Zimbabwe occupied the fourth position at 4 under par to stay in touch with the leaders, following a round of 71 mixed with four birdies and three bogies.Six of the eight Nigerians that entered for the tournament made the cut.They include Gift Willy (+2 over par), Odoh, Michael Ubi, Sunday Olapade, Mohammed K. Haruna and Francis Christopher. Kamilu Bako and Morgan Atako missed the cut.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Dear Friends,I have been inspired so deeply that I can’t restrain myself but to voice out what I have in mind. Although I am not perfect, but I am trying to work on myself so I can be favored by the Lord.Friends, I am taking the liberty of writing these lines of encouragement, hoping that there will be some positive alterations in our behaviors as young people considered as future leaders.Fellow young brothers and sisters, I noticed that our activities these days have become so secular and we have indulged ourselves in sinful pleasures. I say this with heavy heart, that we have become utterly impious and have no fear at all.To be frank, yes, we talk and behave like people who belong to themselves and not owned by anyone. This is the reason why our lives are been short like a candle light because we are not afraid of anyone including our own parents. We lack civility and sometimes act like we are possessed by some fiends.We give names to ourselves and act according to them, cut our hairs like notorious criminals. I don’t really know what spirit has taken over us these days. Our dress code has become one major problem, too, all is secular.Fellow young brothers and sisters, I beseech you all to please desist. This a time to know that we are owned by someone and that person wants us to do what He likes so that we can live longer as He promises us.My mind is filled with hope and pleasure and very optimistic that there will be some positive changes in our behaviors after the reading of this inspirational note.Finally friends, after reading this note please pray this prayer aloud:Angels east, angels west, north and south do your best and tell your Boss to please help us change our vile behaviors as young people. We know that we have gone against your time without number. We also pray for the immediate stoppage of the secular and sinful pleasures we have indulged ourselves into. We pray for longevity so that we may be able our country to the next level.Thanks you Lord Jesus because we know that we have already been forgiven despite our past problems, in Jesus’ special name, AmenOne of Your Affectionate brothers, Alayea S. CooperContact # 0886-259262Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Indian student Hitanshu Mehta was part of a team from Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) that won the Best Film Award. Related Items