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Still Need Help Filling Out Your Bracket?

With the start of March Madness looming tomorrow, the sports writers here at Onward State have decided to show you our brackets and give you our “expert” advice in case you’re still trying to settle what teams you have going to the Final Four. And just a spoiler alert, after getting robbed of a bid to the big dance for the second year in a row, Penn State will not be one of those teams.

I try to follow college basketball all across the nation in my spare time. Going home over Winter and Spring Breaks allowed me to watch some teams that I would not normally see here on campus (Thank you, DirecTV). Even though I have always followed the regular seasons closely in years past, it has never transferred to success in picking a bracket. But, in any case, here are a few observations I’ve made that might help you out.

1. The Atlantic 10 has been a very tough conference this year. With 3 teams in the tournament, expect one (I’m thinking Richmond or Temple) to make a run into the Sweet 16 or beyond.

2. Northern Iowa and Old Dominion are the 2 best mid-major teams in the field this year. But OD faces a hot Notre Dame team in the first round and Northern Iowa will play overall #1 Kansas in the second round if they get past UNLV. Look at UTEP or Cornell to sneak past some teams though.

3. In the end, talent and experience count. With Kansas being led by senior point guard Sherron Collins (who already has one National Championship on his belt), they should win their 2nd championship in 3 years.


Basketball has never been a huge interest to me. This could be perhaps traced back to my lone season of rec league basketball as a fourth grader, where I was berated by a coach for turning the ball over to the other team during a scrimmage. My coach wasn’t an unreasonable man – he was just infuriated by the fact that I passed the ball to the opposing player because said player convinced me that it was actually their team’s ball. “Do you think Kobe would give the ball to Shaq simply because he politely pointed out that it was his team’s ball?!” I remember him raving. This was confusing to me, because if I’m not mistaken, Kobe and Shaq were both on the Lakers at the time.

Over a decade later, I will only watch basketball for Onward State coverage. I have maybe watched three-eighths of a game outside of the Big Ten. Taking my advice would be akin to picking by which mascots your significant other likes better. Because the NCAA tournament rarely makes sense, I highly recommend reviewing my bracket.

1. You know which teams are usually pretty good? The ones with the low numbers next to their names. I pick those teams often.

2. But then sometimes I pick an upset. Because those tend to happen.

3.  My pick is Kentucky. Why? I’m hungry. KFC would hit the spot right now.

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About the Author

Dan Vecellio

Dan is a graduate student in meteorology, hailing from Bradford, Pennsylvania. His interests include sports, Penn State and commons cheesesteaks. Feel free to contact me through my email or follow me on Twitter.

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