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NCAA Tournament Credo




2011 NCAA Tournament Picks:
Sweet 16 Redo | East | West | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Winning Tips | 2011 NCAA Tournament Home
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
West | East | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Schedule
2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Breakdowns:
West | Southeast |
2011 NCAA Tournament Preview:
ACC | Atlantic 10 | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Mid-Majors | Mountain West | Pac 10 | SEC

I can be an idiot sometimes. Unfortunately, one of those moments happened to occur when I filled out my brackets for the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

I have a set of rules that I dubbed the NCAA Tournament Credo. They served me well in 2003-2005 when I won the majority of my brackets. But for some reason, I disregarded the Credo and was punished for doing so. For example, one of my rules states: "Always bet against a freshman point guard." Yet, I had Duke going to the championship, and Marquette and North Carolina advancing to the Elite Eight.

To make sure I didn't go against my own rules in 2007, I posted them on my site. I got three of the Final Four teams correct in 2007, and repeated that feat in 2008 (though in 2008, I struggled in the early rounds). In 2009, I had two of the Final Four teams right.

If, for some reason, I challenge the Credo again, please send me an e-mail with a virus attached to it. That way, I can avoid losing money filling out doomed brackets.

  1. Bet Against Freshman Point Guards: Do you honestly want some pimple-ridden kid, who just had his prom a few months ago, commanding your squad deep into the NCAA Tournament? There's a reason why Greg Paulus, Bobby Frasor, Dominic James and Justin Dentmon all failed to reach the Elite Eight.

    Corollary: It's safe to take a freshman point guard if he's a once-in-a-decade prospect like Derrick Rose or John Wall.

    Check out my 2010 NCAA Tournament - Stats, Facts, Trends and Tips for a list of this year's freshmen point guards.

  2. Conference Tourney Heroes are NCAA Tourney Zeroes: Syracuse was unstoppable in the Big East Tournament. Gerry McNamara looked like he wasn't going to let his team lose throughout the month of March. The Orange Men (I refuse to call them the Orange) seemed like a lock to make it to at least the Elite Eight. So, what happened? Syracuse was just too tired to compete with other squads who were now also fighting for their lives. Granted, the Orange Men probably would have been NIT-bound if they lost to Connecticut in the second round of the Big East Tournament, but playing so hard against Georgetown and Pittsburgh just tired them out. The moral of the story? Go against underdogs who won their conference tournaments.

  3. Catch the Early-Bird Coaches: Certain coaches are always a quick out in the NCAA Tournament. For some reason, they cannot handle the March Madness pressure and consequently, their teams are perennial underachievers. Some of these coaches include: Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Al Skinner (Boston College).



  4. Losing on the Road is a Big Deal: If a team can't win on the road during the regular season, how can it possibly be successful in the NCAA Tournament? Wisconsin, Arkansas, Michigan State and Arizona all had trouble winning away from their respective arenas during the 2005-06 regular season. None of them made it past the second round.

    Check out my 2010 NCAA Tournament - Stats, Facts, Trends and Tips for a list of the teams that have sucked on the road this year.

  5. Go Against the Slop: Sloppy teams that have trouble scoring are always among the first to lose in the NCAA Tournament. That's why no Big Ten squad advanced past the second round in 2006; the majority of them were slow, sluggish, defensively oriented teams. Check out who the ten lowest-scoring teams in the tournament were that year: Southern Illinois, Air Force, Monmouth, Northern Iowa, Georgetown, Bucknell, Iowa, Seton Hall, UNC-Wilmington and Penn. Only Bucknell and Georgetown made it into the second round, and only the Hoyas advanced to the Sweet 16.

    Check out my 2010 NCAA Tournament - Stats, Facts, Trends and Tips for a list of squads who had trouble scoring this year.

  6. The One-Man Nightmare: Teams that have only one great player never go deep into the NCAA Tournament. Some 2006 examples include: Indiana (Marco Killingsworth), California (Leon Powe), Syracuse (Gerry McNamara), Kentucky (Randolph Morris), UAB (Marvett McDonald) and Wisconsin (Alando Tucker). Only Kentucky advanced past the first round, and that's because it played UAB, another squad on that list.

  7. No Heimlich Maneuver, Please: Certain players choke every year. It doesn't matter whether they're sophomores, seniors or seventh-year students like Van Wilder. J.J. Redick choked as a sophomore, a junior and a senior. Thus, the Blue Devils wilted away in the Sweet 16. Keep an eye out for players who choked in the tournament this year. If I think of some, I'll post their names.



  8. Bad Conferences Means Bad Tournament Runs: For years, the SEC and WCC (Gonzaga) were infamous for producing teams that disappointed in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, the SEC and WCC produced just eight Sweet 16 teams between 2001 and 2005. Florida, LSU and Gonzaga all made it past the second round in 2006, so maybe that's done with. Keep an eye out on the Mountain West; those teams were awful last year.

  9. Automatic Outs for 16s and 15s: This might seem obvious, but you shouldn't even consider putting a 16 or a 15 seed in the second round. Do you want to be the butt of everyone's joke as your No. 15 seed loses by 30 points?

  10. The Portrait of a Winner: Seventeen of the past 18 teams that have won the NCAA Tournament have shared these traits:

    - Had a head coach who was with the team the year before.
    - Scored 76 points per game.
    - Out-scored their opponents by an average of at least 10 points.
    - Had been seeded 1-4.

    - Participated in the NCAA Tournament the year before.
    Also, make sure they don't fit into any of the other categories I've listed above.

  11. When in Doubt, Take the Better Point Guard: If you're looking at a matchup between two teams and none of the rules seem to fit, just take the better point guard. Doing so doesn't always work, but it usually does.


2011 NCAA Tournament Picks:
Sweet 16 Redo | East | West | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Winning Tips | 2011 NCAA Tournament Home
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
West | East | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Schedule
2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Breakdowns:
West | Southeast |
2011 NCAA Tournament Preview:
ACC | Atlantic 10 | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Mid-Majors | Mountain West | Pac 10 | SEC





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