Did Anyone See The SEC's Success Coming?
Sports |  Source: youtube.com

Did Anyone See The SEC's Success Coming?

The ACC and SEC have swapped roles this year.

At the end of the football season, ACC fans were bragging about how their conference was the best conference in college football in the 2016-2017 season (according to the postseason tournament and bowl games). This was exciting for ACC fans and annoying to SEC fans because the ACC usually stays in the realm of basketball and the SEC usually is the one to boast about their football programs. But Clemson won the title this year and ACC fans bragged away.

All of that bragging has come back to bite ACC fans in the ass in the NCAA Tournament over the last four days. At the season's end, six ACC teams were in the AP Top 25 poll including North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, Florida State, and Virginia. Two SEC teams were in that list which were Kentucky and Florida.

Nine ACC teams made the tournament. Wake Forest lost in the "First Four." Virginia Tech and Miami dropped out in the Round of 64, and of the remaining six teams, only North Carolina made it to the Sweet 16. Only four SEC teams made the tournament (Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Vanderbilt). All but Arkansas and Vandy made the Sweet 16.

There were two games yesterday that pitted SEC teams vs ACC teams. The first was North Carolina vs Arkansas. The hogs trailed early, but made a comeback and held a small lead for almost the last 10 minutes. If it weren't for missed tip charge calls that went UNC's way, the hogs could be in the Sweet 16 and there would be no ACC teams left in this year's tournament.

The other matchup of the day was Duke vs. South Carolina. The gamecocks came away with the win, finally giving Frank Martin something to be excited about in Columbia.

Just as the SEC usually dominates football, the ACC has been dominating basketball lately. But when it comes to the postseason play in the year's football bowls and basketball's tournament, the roles have been reversed.

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Sports |  Source: vuhoops.com

Who's Hot And Who's Not: March Madness Edition

Which teams to pick and which teams to avoid

Well the field of 68 has been set and the madness will soon be underway. Every team has taken a very different path to get into the field and only one of these teams will rip off six straight wins and be crowned champs in April.

Before you fill out your bracket, you might want to consider which teams are clicking at the right time and which teams are trending in the wrong direction. Let's take a look at who's hot and who's not.

Hot: Villanova
The Wildcats, led by head coach Jay Wright, continued their magical championship run collecting 14 straight wins to begin the season. With two of their three losses coming at the hands of Butler, not many teams have been able to figure them out.

They are the overall number one seed heading into the tournament and are coming off a Big East Championship. As obvious as this is, Nova is hot at the right time.

Not: Baylor
Well, after starting the season at 15-0 and spending a week ranked number one, the Baylor Bears have had a rough go of it to close out their season. They come into the tournament having lost six of their last 11 and have not fared well in recent tournaments.

It will be interesting to watch as Baylor preps for their matchup against 14 seeded New Mexico State, which won't be a walk in the park. Baylor has been upset each of the last two seasons by 14 seeded Georgia State and 12 seeded Yale, so there is no such thing as an easy win.

Hot: Duke
The Blue Devils just did something no team has ever done: They won four games in four days to capture the ACC crown. In their path stood Louisville, North Carolina (who they've beaten twice), and Notre Dame in the finals.

They were banged up in the beginning of the year and then Coach K stepped aside to get back surgery, but now everything seems to be coming together nicely. The ACC is arguably the toughest conference in the country this year and the Blue Devils ran through its best teams this past week.

Not: Florida State
After a hot start winning 16 of 17, the Seminoles have hit a rough patch at the wrong time. They are just 7-6 in their last 13 games and will take on Florida Gulf Coast in the first round. Remember back to Florida Gulf Coast a few years ago when they won 2 games as a 15 seed. They should not be taken lightly.

Hot: Michigan
After a scary incident where Michigan's team plane skidded off the runway leading up to the Big 10 tournament, many questioned if they would be mentally ready to play. These players instead took this as motivation heading into the long weekend. The eighth seed in the Big 10 ripped off four wins in four days, including wins over Purdue (the one seed) and Wisconsin.

We have seen how dangerous Michigan can be in the tournament when they're hot and this team has a lot of similarities to that 2013 team that went all the way to the finals. It might be tough to move this seven seed too far in your bracket, but keep an eye on the Wolverines.

Not: Virginia
Another case of a team starting out hot and ending somewhat slowly. The Cavaliers began the year winning 11 of 12 including a win against then sixth ranked Louisville. They also lost to the defending champion Villanova Wildcats on a tip-in at the buzzer.

Still, they have lost five of their last nice and do not have a tremendous offense. They are going to look to slow the games down and keep the scoring to a minimum.

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Sports |  Source: scaredmonkeys.com

Tips To Filling Out Your Bracket Using Historical Data

Don't sleep on the Zags.

1. Pick all of the 1 seeds to win.
Since the field expansion, the top seeds are 128-0 against 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. A 16 seed may have its glory one day, but there is no reason to think (or bet on) it will happen this year.

2. Pick all of the 2 seeds to win, but if you have a weird instinct such as Duke blowing it to a 15 seed again, do that for one game in only one bracket.
Historically, 15 seeds are 8-120 against second seeded teams. While it would make logical sense to chalk up all the two seed in the first round, 15 seeds do have their glory.

If you are filling out multiple brackets and want to set one of them apart and have an internal sense (instinct) that a second seed is vulnerable, go ahead and pick it with confidence. Always trust your instinct. Also remember that Duke has struggled against low seeds before. (Let's go Troy!)

3. How to handle to notorious 5/12 matchup.
Everyone always hears about the notorious 5/12 upset that you should be picking. Teams seeded fifth are 99-49 against 12 seeds. This is quite a sudden jump from the 80.3 percent mark that four seeds have against 13 seeds.

Why this is the case? Nobody knows, but it is the weird matchup that you should look out for. Based on the statistics, you should pick one and maybe two 12 seeds to win depending on how risk averse your are.

This year's matches are (5) Virginia vs (12) UNC Wilmington, (5) Notre Dame vs (12) Princeton, (5) Iowa State vs (12) Nevada, and (5) Minnesota vs (12) Middle Tennessee. Of those matchups, I like Princeton beating Notre Dame the best despite the Fighting Irish's success in the ACC Tournament. Ivy League teams, especially Princeton, usually give teams a hard time in the tournament.

If I had to pick a second, I would choose Nevada over Iowa State, but this seems like a year in which only one 12 seed will be victorious, but don't be surprised if there are more.

4. Final Four Profile.
Using KenPom data, the median Final Four team since 2002 has an adjusted offensive efficiency rank of 14, adjusted defensive efficiency rank of 15, an adjusted efficiency margin rank of six, three point rate ranking of 183 (low reliance on three-pointers), and a two-point field goal defensive rank of 36. The teams that best fit this data who are in 5Dimes.com's top 10 odds to win the title are UNC, Kansas, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Louisville.

The top 10 odds teams that do not fit the profile are Villanova (much too reliant on three-pointers and poor interior defense), Duke (poor interior defense and adjusted defensive efficiency), and Arizona (poor interior defense).

If I am picking a Final Four according to these statistics, I am picking Baylor, Florida, or Virginia from the East; Gonzaga from the West; Kansas or Louisville from the Midwest; and UNC or Kentucky from the South.

5. National Champion Profile.
Using the same statistics, the median national champion since 2002 has an adjusted offensive efficiency rank of five, adjusted defensive efficiency rank of 11, an adjusted efficiency margin rank of three, a three-point rate ranking of 257 (very low reliance on three-pointers), and a two-point field goal percentage defensive rank of 24.

The differences are, of course, better offensive and defensive efficiency ranks with the emphasis on offense, a much much lower reliance on the deep ball, and a significantly stronger interior defense.

The team that fits this specific data the best all around is the Louisville Cardinals from the Midwest region with respective ranks of 23, 6, 6, 269, and 22. 5Dimes.com has the odds of Louisville winning the title at 15.75:1. That could be a smart bet if you trust the numbers.

Best of luck and remember that while statistics and number are useful, your gut has more weight when it comes to March Madness!

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Sports |  Source: fansided.com

South Carolina Might Be The Hottest Team In The NCAA Tournament

Watch out for the Gamecocks, y'all.

Well, it's official: the NCAA tournament's East Region is bananas.

The top seed, Villanova, bowed out in just the second round. So did the second-highest seed, Duke. A play-in team, 11-seed USC, won in the first round at the buzzer over 6-seed Southern Methodist.

And the best story of all? South Carolina, which Friday toppled 3-seed Baylor, 70-50, in quite an incredible performance to book a ticket to the Elite 8.

Things started pretty normally on Friday night, with Baylor jumping to a slight 15-13 lead 10 minutes into the game. Typical score, right? Fairly cookie-cutter basketball.

But that's where things exploded: South Carolina went on a GIGANTIC run, scoring 18 straight points to take a 31-15 lead that would prove insurmountable. The Bears went nearly eight minutes without scoring a single point, leading South Carolina fans to lose their dang minds:

The second half was more of the same for South Carolina, which started by hitting its first three shots to take a sizable 49-28 lead. Baylor tried to mount a run and wiggle its way back in the game, scoring 10 straight to draw within 11 points, but man... try and catch this Gamecocks team, and you're just grasping for air. Because they can't miss these days.

The best story on this South Carolina team? Senior Sindarius Thornwell, who is just having an incredible final collegiate season.

A native of Lancaster, South Carolina, Thornwell was heavily recruited out of high school but chose South Carolina because he wanted to make the program great.

He's labored on an often out-gunned team for his entire collegiate career, improving each year before absolutely breaking out this season. He averaged 21.4 points per game, with career-highs in field goal percentage, three point field goal percentage, and free throw percentage, as well as rebounds, steals, and blocks per game.

It's pretty simple: Thornwell is a dang stud, and he's played exactly that way throughout the entire tournament. he scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the gamecocks' opening win over marquette, then turned around and dropped 24 points, six rebounds and five assists on 2-seed Duke in South Carolina's impressive 88-81 upset victory.

Then, Friday night, Thornwell went for his third consecutive 20-point outing, scoring 24 points to lead South Carolina past 3-seed Baylor and into the Elite 8.

The East Region has been possibly the most chaotic, and therefore the most fun, all tournament long so far, and out ahead of it all is a supremely fun South Carolina team.

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Sports |  Source: fansided.com

The SEC Was Enormously Undervalued

They busted almost everyone's bracket.

When you think of the SEC, a powerhouse football conference comes to mind. They've dominated the landscape for years with Alabama at the helm. Not to mention, the conference continues to put out the most talented NFL players, without question.

As basketball season rolls around, the majority of the south takes a back seat to Kentucky. The Wildcats are consistently the cream of the crop from the SEC every year. That was the case this year as well, and when the brackets were released, it was easy to quickly disregard the SEC schools. That turned out to be a huge mistake.

As the Elite 8 tipped off last night, three schools from the SEC find themselves in the thick of the race. Seventh seeded South Carolina continued their improbable run last night throttling Baylor by 20! Two-seeded Kentucky ended UCLA's championship aspirations thanks to point guard De'Aaron Fox's masterpiece. He outplayed fellow lottery pick Lonzo Ball with 39 points and added this sweet slam...

The final SEC team to clinch a spot in the Elite 8 did so in dramatic fashion. The third seeded Florida Gators blew a big lead towards the end of the game. Wisconsin capped off its incredible run with a ridiculous three pointer to force the first overtime game of the tournament...

If it couldn't get any better, Florida responded with their own desperation three at the buzzer. Except this shot ended the

Florida guard Chris Chiozza was the one who buried the tournaments first buzzer beater.

All three SEC teams are scheduled to play on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four. Florida will meet South Carolina for the third time this season. They split the previous two meetings with each team winning on their home floor.

As for Kentucky, they will face top seeded North Carolina in a clash of the blue bloods. These matchups are set to be instant classics and I recommend not missing a second of the action.

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Sports |  Source: static.silverchalice.co

Kentucky Turned The Most Weird, Unlikely Triple Play Against Louisville

Talmbout some weird college baseball!

It's pretty easy to lose it amidst the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, beginning of Major League Baseball, and the impending NFL draft, but there's this great thing called college baseball that you most definitely should not forget about because, like all college sports, college baseball usually results in some wild stuff.

Case in point: this insane triple-play in Tuesday's Kentucky vs. Louisville game.

First of all, this is a matchup between two Top 15 teams in the country, which is doubly exciting because Kentucky and Louisville are always, always, always rivals, regardless of the sport being played. So, big ol' stakes going on here

And then Kentucky is beating the supposedly better team, and they decide to turn this absolutely obscene triple play?!

1. Good defensive baseball, Kentucky.

2. @Louisville: WTF WERE YOU DOING HERE?!

In the end: baseball is always fun, and you should not forget to watch college baseball.