March Madness is Big Business, How Big? Try $10 Billion

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We’re in the midst of what many declare the greatest four days on the American sports calendar- the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Colloquially (and trademarked) known as “March Madness,” it’s a Thursday-Sunday span that sees a field of 64 college basketball teams swiftly reduced to 16.

In order to make this happen, the games start in late morning and run until very late in the evening. It’s a time when work productivity is at its lowest because, at least for these three weekends, just about everybody is a college basketball fan. The sport only enjoys a very tiny niche following the rest of the year, but for this month, it’s front and center.

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How to Pick March Madness Upsets: Top Predictive Trends of Last Decade

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Last St. Patrick’s Day, University of Maryland-Baltimore County shocked Virginia 74-54 to become the first No. 16 seed in the history of the NCAA tournament to ever beat a No. 1 seed.

And with that upset, the Retrievers became media darlings, lovable underdogs, breakers of brackets all over the world. Thanks to UMBC, there were just 25 perfect brackets remaining among the tens of millions submitted before March Madness began.

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Big Ten Has Three National Title Contenders, but None are Among the Favorites

Lots of college basketball pundits have deemed the Big Ten the strongest conference in the nation this season, and the numbers seen to verify this. From top to bottom, it’s the strongest conference in the country, but it’s strongest teams aren’t among the elite of the elite nationally.

The Big Ten has three teams, #6 Michigan State, #10 Michigan and #13 Purdue that have a legitimate shot of winning it all, but none are likely to earn a #1 seed on Selection Sunday. You won’t find any of that trio among the top favorites to be crowned kings of March Madness either. In short, the Midwestern based league, headquartered in Chicago, is just not top heavy enough.

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John Calipari Strongly Conveyed the Christmas Spirit this Week

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After his team beat #9 North Carolina 80-72 at the United Center in Chicago, Kentucky Coach John Calipari gave a postgame press conference that had an important message- one that goes well above and beyond mere basketball. Calipari wished the media Merry Christmas, and then advised any person with the means of taking somebody in this Christmas to do so.

He was speaking about those who won’t have a place to be this Christmas. Coach Cal suggested that if you have the ability to warmly welcome one of these people into your home this holiday season, you should do so.

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#9 North Carolina Tar Heels vs #19 Kentucky Wildcats: Game Preview with @DaggumRoy

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Saturday brings the CBS Sports Classic, a college basketball double header featuring four of the sport’s most storied programs, to the United Center in Chicago. It’s UCLA vs. #15 Ohio State in the undercard (game preview at this link), tipping off at 2pm CST. The heavyweight bout is the #9 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. the #19 Kentucky Wildcats; tipping off at 4:15 local.
Now there are plenty of industry standard game preview articles out there for this headliner match-up, but we decided to go in a different direction. You already know how most head coach press conferences go- lots of cliches, platitudes and corporatespeak.
But what if you were able to do a Q&A with North Carolina Tar Heels Head Coach Roy Williams, and he had absolutely no filter at all during it?

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ESPN College Gameday: How it Went From Transcendent to Unwatchable

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Republishing from 9-16-17

To pinpoint what’s so wrong with ESPN College Gameday in 2017, there are a couple different places from which you can start. You can begin with ESPN’s horrible bungling of the Jemele Hill and Robert Lee situations, and go from there. The same principle, that of “let’s try to never hurt anyone’s feelings ever, no matter what the cost, because hurt feelings means upset sponsors” applies across the board.

ESPN should have never apologized for what Jemele Hill said about Donald Trump.

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College Sports Fans Beware the Nefarious Influence of the Recruiting-Industrial Complex

It’s really astounding when you think about it- in an era when almost no one is willing to pay for news content, recruiting services can survive and thrive off a subscription-based business model.

The year-round extensive coverage of college recruiting, at every step in the process, has destroyed media coverage of college sports. It’s not just the rise of the recruiting-industrial complex itself that ruined it. Recruiting sites flourished at the same time social media exploded and these two phenomena fed off of each other to concoct a toxic cocktail.

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2018 NBA Mock Draft 6-21-18 Final Edition

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Welcome to our fourth version of our 2018 NBA Mock Draft. It’s the first edition post lottery. For more on a given prospect, click his name where hyper-linked, and that will take you to an in-depth feature piece on said player. Team needs were sometimes, but not always taken into account, and the order was derived from Tankathon, who we linked here.

You may not agree with the picks in this 2018 NBA mock draft, and yes, somebody will get left out, but you can air your grievances in the comments section. Just keep it all above board.

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John Calipari on Kentucky Wildcats NBA Draft Prospectus (Audio)

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For Kentucky Wildcats Coach John Calipari, the NBA Draft is like his Christmas and five graduation parties rolled into one. Like every draft during the Coach Cal era, the Kentucky Wildcats will have a very significant presence. Five Kentucky Wildcats are eligible for this NBA Draft: Hamidou Diallo, Wenyen Gabriel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Jarred Vanderbilt.

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Student Loan Debt Rankings of the Sweet 16 Schools

By Liz Richards

Hold on to your brackets, because we are now down to our Sweet 16 in The 2018 NCAA College Basketball Championship! Folks around the nation are glued to their screens watching some of the biggest wins, loses and upsets in college basketball history!

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Man United = Kentucky, Real Madrid = Duke and the Rest of the UCL, Sweet 16 doppelgängers

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There are two athletic competitions in this world that captivate us unlike any other: college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, known as “March Madness,” and the UEFA Champions League. In late winter and early spring, sports fans all across the globe are transfixed by both competitions.

We root for our specific teams first and foremost, and then debate if we should support our primary rivals in our respective leagues/conferences as they take on the rest of the nation/Europe. Let’s say you’re a North Carolina/Liverpool supporter- do you show solidarity for the other ACC/English Premier League teams in the competition? It’s a debate with no right or wrong answer, exactly like the 16 pairings that we’ve made below. So have at it in the comments section. 

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Pick the Kentucky Wildcats in your Bracket? Why and Why Not

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Are you toying with the idea of picking this Kentucky basketball team to win it all in your bracket pool? Well, there’s a strong case both for and against doing so, and we’ll explore each side of the coin here. After all:

The test of a firstrate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This college basketball season we have no elite teams, but a lot of very good ones. There are about 10-12 teams that we can see having a legitimate shot at the national championship, but at the same time no clear favorite. You really can’t even limit the field of favorites down to less than five. It’s looking more and more like a season in which a program will get its first national title and/or a team seeded below #4 and above #8 might win it all.

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