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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Cardinal Couple -- Bracket madness is here



WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- It's picking season. Who ya got?


We tease about the saying from a popular television series around Cardinal Couple...

"Winter is coming."

(And...no...we aren't talking about Notre Dame softball pitcher Laura Winter or the late comedian Jonathan Winters.)  

 This winter...it has been more like "Winter is coming...and coming...yep, still here...still coming." A couple of weeks ago, I altered it.

"Brackets are coming."

Appears to be a strong bracket
Brackets are now here and the hub-hub over the last couple days on selection disgruntlement, philosophy, relevance, strategy and placement rivals any strategy meeting that might take place in boardrooms across corporate America.

Where they're probably filling out brackets anyway.

WE do both the men's and women's brackets and have great fun seeing who can best who. Sonja has kicked my can all over the place the last two years in both the men's and women's brackets and I've pretty much resigned myself to being that defender who shows up a step too late...but on hand to see Shoni drop in a three-ball from 25 feet...or from across the river in Jeffersonville...or Impellizari's.

Sonja's still contemplating her picks...idly and with no apparent sense of urgency. I had mine done within 6 hours of Selection Sunday and Monday revealings.

Would you follow his bracket advice? Nope, didn't think so...
I'm probably not the best source for insider tips on selections...and I didn't take the chance to win a billion dollars...no shot when you are usually 8-8 after the first day...so I've asked Sonja to give me five insights to this year's selections. On either men's or women's brackets.

Here they are:

1) Beware the angry. Both Louisville teams are angry about their seedings. That usually means they'll go far. On the women's side, Stanford is a bit upset about being a #2. Pay attention...

2) Home cookin'. Pay attention to where early round games are being played. For the women...LSU in Baton Rouge, Penn St. in University Park, Maryland at College Station and so on and so forth. Don't be surprised if the host school advances to the Sweet Sixteen the majority of the time.

3) Conference tested. I favor a school from a strong conference in a matchup against a school from a weaker one. Even if the seeds are reversed. You get to be the best by playing the best.

4) #1 seeds will get you far. Especially in the women's bracket. Who doesn't have UConn and Notre Dame in the Final Four? I see the other #1 seeds (South Carolina and Tennessee) losing in their regional finals.

5) Undefeated is good. You can be innovative and try to find someone that will replace UConn and Notre Dame in the women's final game. (Let me know how that search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with your leprechaun friend is going, too). Play brackets, if you are serious about them and want to win cash, bragging rights or prizes, with your head...not your heart.

WE'LL SPONSOR A WOMENS BRACKET CHALLENGE HERE AT CARDINAL COUPLE THIS YEAR. IT'LL BE FREE AND THE WINNER GETS A CARDINAL COUPLE T-SHIRT. ONE POINT PER WIN, MOST POINTS WIN. EARLIEST ENTRY IS YOUR TIE-BREAKER. YOU CAN E-MAIL YOUR PICKS TO:

cardinalcouple@twc.com

OR LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

Paulie's Picks:

1st round:  UConn, Georgia, NC St., Nebraska, Gonzaga, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Duke, South Carolina, Oregon St., Mich. St., UNC, Florida, Penn St., Fla. St., Stanford, Notre Dame, Ariz. St., Okla. St., Purdue, Syracuse, UK, Cal, Baylor, Tenn., St. John's, Texas, Maryland, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, WVU.

2nd round:

UConn, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Duke, South Carolina, UNC, Florida, Stanford, Notre Dame, Purdue, UK, Baylor, Tenn., Maryland, Louisville, LSU

3rd round:

UConn, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Stanford, Notre Dame, UK, Tenn., Louisville

FINAL FOUR:

UConn, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Louisville

SEMIFINALS:

UConn, Louisville

NATIONAL CHAMP:

Albany    LOUISVILLE !!! 4th. time is the charm, baby!!!!

HAPPY HUNTING!! YOU HAVE A SATURDAY 11 a.m. deadline....

paulie
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