2014 NCAA Tournament Bracketology (3/16/14)


Happy Selection Sunday!  The NCAA Tournament brackets will be revealed at 5:00 PM CST today.  Here is a projection of the 2014 NCAA Tournament Bracketology.   You will notice on the Bracket Matrix grades that The Sports Bank’s bracketology has been more accurate than ESPN’s Joe Lunardi three of the past four years.  Be sure to check back at The Sports Bank later Sunday for our final Bracketology.

UPDATED: 3/16/14 2:40 PM CST

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Northwestern basketball season review; early look to ’14-15


Celebrate the triumphs Northwestern basketball had this season. Embrace the road victories in the league, a couple upsets here and there, and feel positive about the top 25 ranked recruiting class coming to Welsh-Ryan next year. In Chris Collins, you have a coach that exudes passion, energy and top notch PR skills. However, at the same time, we must not forget all that Bill Carmody accomplished. He broke the school record for wins; three times. He brought them more than half of the school’s postseason appearances and the Wildcats first two 20-win seasons.

The reason I bring up the past is because the local media as a whole did a poor job covering Northwestern basketball this past season. I can’t single anybody out because there’s just so much blame to go around. We start our 2013-14 Northwestern basketball recap, leading into our 2014-15 Northwestern basketball preview on this main point because we have to.

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2014 Big Ten Tournament Predictions and Preview


As we head into the 2014 Big Ten Tournament, every coach’s job is safe. That’s the first time I’ve ever been able to say that during the past five years. I’ve been covering the BTT every year since 2010, and “Championship Week” has meant “Pink Slip Week” as one coach has gotten fired during each tournament in every year since 2011.

On top of job security, the 2014 Big Ten Tournament promises to be wild and unpredictable. They league’s results made no sense all season long, so I’m predicting this conference tourney will be the same. Seeding almost doesn’t matter here.

Match-ups are what matters in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament.

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Five Biggest Ten Tourney Storylines

big-ten-tournament- michigan state

The 2014 Big Ten Tourney is here. Not in Chicago like last year, but moved back to Indianapolis. And the league is nowhere near as strong this year as it was last year. However, it promises to be very unpredictable and interesting. Anything can happen. Here’s our preview and predictions.

Let’s move on to the storylines. The stories within the story.

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Northwestern’s Alex Olah: Potential NBA Draft pick in 2015 or 2016


Northwestern center Alex Olah seems to play his best college basketball versus the best competition. The sophomore 7-footer had one of his best games versus Noah Vonleh of the Indiana Hoosiers; a likely top ten pick in the NBA Draft this June. Olah’s career high in scoring came versus the Wisconsin Badgers, who have the best NCAA Tournament resume of anyone in the Big Ten.

And Alex Olah has shown how tough he is too. NU Coach Chris Collins said before the IU game that Olah had “a walking boot on both feet, I didn’t even know if he was going to play until an hour before tip off, yet he comes out and puts up 17, 11. versus a lottery pick.”

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Penn State basketball 59, Northwestern 32, yes that actually happened

penn state basketball

2009: Penn State basketball 38, Illini 32; in Champaign no less.

TONIGHT: Penn State 59, Northwestern 32 in Evanston. TENACIOUS DEFENSE!!!!

No media travel to cover Penn State basketball when they play on the road. I think you understand the many reasons why that is.

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ESPN hires new on-air talent Britt McHenry, a Northwestern graduate


Britt McHenry, a graduate of the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism, has joined ESPN as a Washington, D.C.-based bureau reporter. She will appear on SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and programs like NFL Live and Baseball Tonight. She starts on St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidental, given her Irish surname.

Britt McHenry leaves  ABC7/WJLA-TV (since 2010) and News Channel 8 (since 2008) where she began her career in Washington as a community reporter and weekend morning-show anchor.


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CJ Bacher and Tyrell Sutton present alternative solution to CAPA

Minnesota Northwestern Football

Former Northwestern QB CJ Bacher is speaking out against another Wildcats starting quarterback, as he’s upset with the way Kain Colter has portrayed the NU football program during the NLRB proceedings. Bacher, along with another former NU star skill position player, running back Tyrell Sutton have fought back against Colter with a PR counter-offensive.

Their message is being spread by a publicity firm and press release. And CJ Bacher was on 87.7 The Game talking about unionization, Colter and much more. He also did The Gottlieb Show and Big Ten Network. So he’s gotten a lot of publicity for his cause. Still, the public just isn’t interested. At all.

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States of Illinois and Indiana to be shut out of NCAA Tournament


Illinois is a state that’s certainly synonymous with the great sport of basketball. Say that you’re from Chicago when traveling abroad, and the first thing people will say is Michael Jordan. Which replaced Al Capone. Before the 1990s, people on planet Earth first associated gangsterdom with the second city. Now it’s the Chicago Bulls.

The state of Indiana is right up there with North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas as places where hoops rules. Yes, even in this great nation where the NFL slaughters everything, roundball comes first these specific states.

Yet this March will be the first instance in my lifetime where both the Land of Lincoln and the Crossroads of America are shut out of the NCAA Tournament. I turn 36 on Thursday. It’s been 42 years since this last occurred.


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In Northwestern vs CAPA, the biggest loser is the local media


Before the battle of Northwestern University versus CAPA and the Northwestern football players seeking to unionize went before the local NLRB, I knew there were a few local Big Ten media members who were kind of unintelligent and/or water carriers for the programs and the league that they cover.

Plus, I knew I was going to have to endure watching sportswriters opine on collective bargaining issues as if they were actually labor law experts. Yawn, and vomit.

Now as the CAPA vs Northwestern “three-day hearing” heads into it’s fifth day on Tuesday morning, the week’s proceedings have exposed the same media I was suspicious off as rather stupid people completely in bed with the conference and or NU.

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How will Northwestern football unionizing effort impact recruiting?

kain colter northwestern football

On Tuesday, attorneys for both the Northwestern football players seeking to organize their labor and Northwestern University presented their case at the first in a number of National Labor Relations Board hearings that will start up again next Tuesday morning. The hearings are expected to end next week.

Kain Colter, spokesperson of the Northwestern football players seeking unionization, will supposedly testify on Tuesday. So how is this affecting Northwestern football recruiting? Positively or negatively? Or is it even affecting it all?

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Ex Bears practice squad QB Zak Kustok to testify in father’s murder trial


Zak Kustok, former practice squad quarterback with the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers has been subpoenaed, and is on the list of potential witnesses for the murder trial of his father, Allan Kustok. He is on trial for murdering his wife Jeanie Kustok. Opening arguments begin today at Bridgeview County Courthouse.

Zak Kustok is the brother of Sarah Kustok, a current Brooklyn Nets presenter formerly of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. According to an exclusive interview I had with Sarah Kustok in January of 2010, Zak Kustok today is…

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