The Top Teams to watch for in the NCAA tournament

The madness that is aptly named March Madness has arrived. Where the teams that have been doing great things all season, look to show why they are the best. The big dance, where the little teams want to show up and make that magical run that places them in the books as the Cinderella story. We know sometimes the best of the best dont win – it is sometimes about who is playing the best at the time, and who gets the matchups that favor the team and their skill set. Be sure to visit for your March Madness Winning action!

But here, we are going to concentrate on the ‘Big 8’ – the top 8 teams in the nation, and who are truly the genuine threats to run the table for the last time this NCAA season and win that coveted NCAA title.

1. Villanova ( 31-3) Ranked 2
ppg 78.5
oppg 63.2
Leading scorer: Sr G, Josh Hart 18.6 ppg
Xfactor: Last years champion. They come in holding their heads high – knowing they are still proven as the team to beat in the tournament this year again. They had a great run last year, and Jay Wright knows how to get the most from his team.
Reason they could run the table: Their accurate and strong ability to close out games.

2. UCLA ( 29-4) Ranked 3
ppg 90.8
oppg 75.0
Leading scorer: Sr G, Bryce Alford 16.2 ppg
Xfactor: They have really good size – and aren’t afraid to body up down low – wearing teams out.
Reason they could run the table: Their non stop offensive attack – with 20 games of scoring 85+ they have firepower that lasts for days. Having never scored less than 74 points, on the season – they are a team that can light up the boards in a hurry.

3. Kansas ( 28-4) Ranked 1
ppg 82.7
oppg 72.4
Leading scorer: Sr G, Frank Mason 20.8 ppg
Xfactor: Their team depth. It has lacked some during the year, if they step up – it could be detrimental in the outcome to how their season ends.
Reason they could run the table: Their deep ball is great. Hitting 41% of their three point attempts on the season, putting them in a position to score points and spread defenses.

4. Oregon ( 29-5) Ranked 5
ppg 79.2
oppg 64.5
Leading scorer: Jr F, Dillon Brooks 16.2 ppg
Xfactor: Who steps in for Chris Boucher? His 2.5 blocks/game and his presence on the offensive glass needs to be accounted for – losing him is a huge concern, and they need someone to do just that.
Reason they could run the table: Their in your face, defensive style buries teams. They swarm teams with tough D – and are not afraid to challenge everything at the rim.

5. North Carolina ( 27-7) Ranked 6
ppg 85.0
oppg 69.9
Leading scorer: Jr F, Justin Jackson 18.1 ppg
Xfactor: How do they bounce back? Losing to Duke was a kick in the guts – will it take the steam out from them?
Reason they could run the table: Having 4 players who can put quiet points up before you notice what they are doing to your defense – and a strong frontcourt in particular.

6. Gonzaga ( 32-1) Ranked 4
ppg 84.6
oppg 61.2
Leading scorer: Jr G, Nigel Williams-Goss 16.9 ppg
Xfactor: Zags region. They are still a mid-major team with big dreams. They are a very good team – but are we going to get a WCC team – that holds off against teams like Santa Clara, and Loyola Marymount – or a big time NCAA basketball program on the court?
Reason they could run the table: They have a swarming smothering defense which has only given up 71 or more only 7 times. Allowing a pitiful 37% shooting to opponents, isn’t a bad stat to carry on your shoulders.

7. Arizona ( 30-4) Ranked 7
ppg 75.8
oppg 64.7
Leading scorer: So G, Allonzo Trier 16.6 ppg
Xfactor: They need to keep opponents turning the ball over. They have struggled at times with making key stops, but if they can cut off passing lanes, force some sloppy play – it would be huge in their favor.
Reason they could run the table: Arizona gets into very smooth rhythms in a hurry. Where everything seems to be clicking for the Wildcats. When they get shooting the ball and their ball movement starts rocking – they cause many problems on the court for teams.

8. Kentucky ( 28-5) Ranked 8
ppg 86.8
oppg 72.1
Leading scorer: Fr G, Malik Monk 21.2 ppg
Xfactor: They need to get up and stay up. They have had times where they look flat – and they are forced to come back to get the W. If they do this too much, it could kick them out earlier than expected. But, as long as they don’t – they could be devastating to handle.
Reason they could run the table: Coach John Calipari. He is a coach with tons of clout, and 25 years of experience on his side. With almost 700 career W’s – the man knows how to win games, it’s been his “thing” for years.

Is Stephen Curry the best player in the NBA?


Stephen Curry and his dominance of the NBA courts this season have been nothing short of awesome. He is a player that should and will remain with this team for a long time. Curry has always been able to shoot the rock with amazing and deadly accuracy. But he has added more to his game. Now he’s getting to the rim more and making plays in the paint as well as breaking ankles with some of his dribbling moves. Drilling 5 and 6 threes in a game, at this point, is astonishingly nothing new for the 26 year old star.
When Curry came out of Davidson, I enjoyed watching him in the NCAA tournament, which was where I think the majority of people were likely opened to his skills. Obviously we aren’t and shouldn’t be at all surprised to see him shoot the way he does.
Curry can score from anywhere on the court. He can make plays for everyone else. He can create his own shot, and what I love most, is he is a team guy, and doesn’t force things in the game, he doesn’t try to play the hero, he let’s the game just flow. Steph has everything you want from your floor leader, including his great footwork. He can facilitate the game like a legendary PG, with 8 dimes/game.
And his defense has gotten better as well. This season he has 17 games with 2 or more steals, I’m mildly surprised at just how good Curry’s defense has been. And with his much improved his defense he can now make the important stops or help out off switches at a higher level. Keeping a belief that his D is just as important, has been excellent, instead of making him solely the offensive specialist, which he has obviously mastered.
He does more for his team than any other PG in the league. CP3 and Russel Westbrook as PGs may get a lot of attention, but comparing them to Curry right now, doesn’t come close. Westbrook cannot shoot the ball like Curry. And CP3 simply cannot take a game over like Curry. The argument is invalid, they are both very good PGs and can be talked about that way, but not best. He is doing everything on the court at the elite level.
Curry is shooting 39% on 3s, 58% on 2s, 92% on FTs. Averaging 23 ppg, 8 apg, 5 rpg. And has a true shooting of 58% not to mention his PER rating of 26.30 which is higher than LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Blake Griffin, all guys that the media gives an awful lot of attention to over Steph.
He has proven with steady leadership, as the Warriors are now 25-5 with only 1 home loss. They have really emerged as one of the league’s true top end teams, and are one to watch for. Curry and Klay Thompson have emerged as the NBA’s best backcourt, with their deadly combination of of speed, athleticism and court smarts that keeps the NBA on their toes, waiting for the explosion from them, when they are on the court.
Curry’s ascendance has given Warrior’s fans a much-needed lift on which to have strong belief their future. And play like that has to start from the leaders of the team. And Curry has set the standard. Golden State and their success is because they play as a team. There are no big egos, they don’t play selfish ball, proven by their 4th in NBA ranking in the NBA in ball distribution.
There is no question, that Curry is the best PG in basketball right now. With the talent on this Golden State team, Curry knows inconceivably, that when he brings his A-game, there is no one else out there who can beat this team. And yes, that includes the Spurs, who have been very average this season so far. It’s all resting on Curry now, this seems to be his title to lose. I think that the rest of the league is hoping he’s not on that game.
Right now, after many years of frustration it’s a good time to be a Warrior fan as they are having a huge winning season.
We all have our own concept as to what a best player is. And there really is no right or wrong answer, which is what makes it the greatest conversation in any sport. Stephen Curry has more than proven what he means to his team, with his leadership, maturity on and off the court, his scoring, passing, and all round play have been nothing short of awesome. As for right now, LeBron and Durant may get the media love as the best player, for their own skill sets and what they bring to their teams. but let’s keep a watchful eye on one guy named Stephen Curry Let’s watch him for the next 8-10 years and enjoy, I know I will be.

College Hoops Focus


March Madness 2014 is just around the corner and now that the NCAA and NFL Football season is long gone, the focus of the college world shifts to NCAA Basketball. Last year, the Louisville Cardinals won the national championship and this year, they’re currently ranked as the 14th best team in the nation. The Cardinals will be there when the Big Dance card is released, but if they want to be crowned as kings for the second year in a row, they’ll have to battle a bevy of worthy opponents such as Duke, Syracuse, Arizona among others.


Another team to keep an eye on – especially if you’re looking for a Cinderella story – is the Wichita State Shockers. Some may point to the undefeated record so far and wonder how an undefeated team can even be spoken of in the same breath as a Cinderella story, but if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that they haven’t beaten a team included in the NCAA Basketball rankings all year long. The Missouri Valley Conference is one of the nation’s weakest and the Shockers have only averaged 74.7 points and 39.8 rebounds per game, so they’re not exactly considered world beaters just yet.

The NCAA Tournament starts on March 18th 2014 with the Conference Tournaments starting on March 3rd. The Cardinals will be there as will the Orange, Blue Devils and Shockers. Will anyone step to the throne and take the crown away from Louisville or will the Cardinals become the first back-to-back NCAA Basketball champions since the Florida Gators in 2006-07. Check out for all of your college hoops action and to enter in some great March Madness Brackets.

March Madness is officially here and it’s time to get your brackets ready!!

This is the most exciting time of the college basketball season and the most anticipated and watched event in sports next to the Super Bowl.
I have correctly pegged 2 of the 4 teams who made it to the FINAL FOUR in eight straight years.
This year I am giving you some of my top advice on what it takes to be a champion. Of course, you can never foresee injuries, suspensions, foul trouble, poor officiating, etc. throughout the big dance.
Everyone likes underdogs and Cinderella teams but you have to look at the team records, their strengths and the conferences that they play in.  There is usually one team that surprises everyone but fails to win it in the end, such as Utah in 1998 vs. Kentucky and Butler coming up short in 2010 and 2011.
Since 1998, the Championship team has not been seeded lower than a #3 and in 1997 Arizona was a #4 seed and won it all. As you can see in the past 15 tournaments, the top teams usually go all the way. Digging even deeper you have to go back to 1988 when a #6 seed Kansas team coached by Larry Brown won it all, but things were different back then as players didn’t bolt to the NBA after one season in college. As much as I like to select a solid #4 or #5 to go all the way, it’s not a smart idea. Nineteen of the last 22 National Champs have been a #1 or #2 seed.
Before I start to bore you with all of my numbers and trends, let me share some of my top tips for picking your brackets. Great teams do not lose more than 7 games in a season, so if a team has 8 or more losses, stay away from them.  Also, each of the past 15 champs were from one of the major 6 conferences (Big East, SEC, PAC-12, BIG 12, ACC, BIG 10). The teams in these conferences play the toughest games night in and night out on a regular basis and have been more battle tested.  Mid majors/small schools tend to make it to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, but not the FINAL FOUR.
So, if you are like me and really like the way Gonzaga, St. Louis, Memphis and New Mexico are playing this season, you might want to think twice about advancing them deep in your brackets.
Looking at the teams who lost 7 or fewer games this season, play in a major conference, and are seeded #3 or better this year, you can narrow down your Final Four selections from this list of nine teams. 
From here, I would look at how these teams faired on neutral courts and on the road during their season. It is also important to consider each team’s starting guards, their defensive strength, team rebounding, and if they can make their foul shots.
From my 20 years of experience, I offer you my professional advice and helpful tips. My hope is that this article has fed your excitement for the tournament while giving you a competitive edge to turn some heads in your company pools!  Enjoy the tournament and remember, pick with your head, not with your heart!
Follow Tony Karpinski for more updates and information throughout the tournament at

March Madness best teams to win it all

With March Madness here, we all need to get our planning and brackets filled out as soon as we can and of course, pick the winner to take home some cash.

There has been a ton of upset games this season, all throughout; this honestly, has been one of the best & most up and down seasons in college basketball I remember, in recent years. Of course UConn’s phenomenal run in 2010-2011 is the most intriguing storyline I have had in recent memory, with their awesome run to win it all, after have a very mediocre season in general. But the man that year was Kemba Walker, and his heroics, lifting them up on his shoulders and leading them to take the title home.

Such great stuff, it can’t be scripted, one of the most magical times of the year for sports. We know for a fact there will be big upsets along the way, some we will always aim and predict, and several that may blow our minds when they happen.

So after scouring and looking and thinking things over, I have come up with my top 5 teams in the NCAA, who have the finest odds to win it all this season. And we begin now, so pay attention.

5- Michigan Wolverines (Record 25-6) PPG: 75.4 OPPG: 62.6 FG% .487 3PFG% .388. Reason why to watch them; their pure talent level is almost unmatched, with Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Glenn Robinson III, all possible 20 point scorers any night, especially with the amazing play of their PG Trey Burke, they are dangerous to matchup against. They can score the ball very well and they have some great shooters, several of their big scoring threats are shooting 47%% or better.

4- Florida Seminoles (Record 24-6) PPG: 72 OPPG: 53.2 FG% .485 3PFG% .382. Reason why to watch them; Florida can straight lock it down on defense, and they do it with quickness. They have held 77% of their opponents to below 60 points, on the season. They also have a sweet shooting team, led behind Erik Murphy and his deep ball threat. They can play with anyone, beating some good teams, like Wisconsin, & Ole Miss down the season.

3- Kansas Jayhawks (Record 26-5) PPG: 74.6 OPPG: 61.3 FG% .473 3PFG% .363. Reason why to watch them; a big powerful team. With Jeff Withey in the middle and his 9 rpg, and also their 6-8 F, Kevin Young who also grabs 7 off the glass, they can hit it hard. The front court alone are monsters on the board. They also can play great defense behind the 4 blocks/game of Withey.

2- Duke Blue Devils (Record 27-4) PPG: 78.4 OPPG: 64.8 FG% .479 3PFG% .416. Reason why to watch them; either love ‘em or hate ‘em. But they can light it up, with great offensive firepower. Behind Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Quinn Cook shooting from behind the arc, they open it up for everyone, and can put points up quickly if you don’t stay with them. Coach K is always a mastermind from courtside.

1- Indiana Hoosiers (Record 26-5) PPG: 80.8 OPPG: 62.2 FG% .488 3PFG% .418. Reason why to watch them; the team to watch, of course, what they don’t do well, is a better question to ask. They have remarkable talent in Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford. Zeller can use his size to maul while they also keep opponents off the glass as much as they assault them. Of the top teams, they are the paramount scoring team in a very good Big 10 Conference. They have played some great talent on the season and have slain loads of teams along the way.

So there you have it, my top 5 best bets to win it all in this years NCAA brackets. So fill ‘em out and make your decisions count.

Written by Mike Anthony of