View Mobile Site
 
Posted: April 1, 2014 8:06 p.m.

From the Cheap Seats

Make your final picks, but wisely

There's no better time of the year for a college basketball fan than March - until you get to April.

When the madness subsides after the final two weeks of March, all you're left with is the best of the best come the first week of April.

The Final Four. A destination 300-plus teams fight for, but a mountain only the strongest teams can climb.

As a sports editor, I take pride in my posteason picks. It's an honor to fill out a bracket and compete against family, friends and co-workers.

The upsets are what bring excitement to the game, but I always believed who you pick to make the trip to the Final Four really determined your aptitude for the game.

Anyone can win an upset — it takes a true team to reach the finals.

And, like every sports editor to even put words on paper, my bracket made me look like a fool. A North Dakota State win here, a Dayton run there and let's not even discuss the Mercer/Duke upset — even though that game did leave me with a smile.

But, as we headed into the second weekend, all of my Final Four teams were still in play. I had a chance to achieve a perfect Final Four — my real litmus test for the season.

Again, I came up empty handed. Michigan State let me down. Arizona couldn't handle the pressure. Louisville? Well, they couldn't recapture the magic of a season ago.

Florida was my only pick to advance to the final weekend, but having the No. 1 ranked Gators advancing to the Final Four is not exactly going out on a limb.

Sports have a way to humbling even the most dedicated fan and student of the game.

Just when you think you have it all figured out, it goes and mucks things up.

Without a dog in the fight this weekend, I only hope that the Final Four gives us the same quality games we've seen thus far in the tournament.

On the line this weekend isn't just a national title.

It's the third for Florida coach Billy Donnovan, putting him into a category with only five other men's coaches. A first title for Connecticut without Jim Calhoun, giving the Huskies a chance to cement their spot in the upper echelon of the sport.

The second for Kentucky and John Calipari and his one-and-done factory.

The first for Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, who has spent the last 13 years with the Badgers trying to reach this moment.

For my money, I hope Ryan is able to walk away with a title.

His style of play may not be the most thrilling, but he gets the job done.

If there's anything we can learn from this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament, I really believe it's to not take things for granted.

Dozens of schools expect to reach the Final Four, but only the accomplished few do.

So whether it's in life, or in your bracket pool, know its o.k. to make your picks — just do so wisely.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...