Pre Tourney at the Lounge

One of the more entertaining Fantasy leagues I am involved with is the NCAA March Madness League.  I have been involved in this for several years some with more success than others (one win).  

The basics are each member draft’s 10 players from the 68 tournament teams (cannot draft the same player as another team0. The team with the players scoring the most points wins.  League size has varied from a high of 14 to a low of 11 this – last minute cancelations and a boycott due to St. Bonaventure is not making the Dance.  It makes for an interesting tourney – most winning years result in a score in the mid 400’s. 
Here is my drafted team this year.

With the third overall pick- Denzel Valentine and then in a serpentine draft order, Joel Berry II, Trevon Blueitt, Kris Jenkins, Luke Kennard, Gabe York, AJ English, Isaiah Miles, Gary Payton II and Alonzo Trier. 

My basic philosophy is first to figure out the teams that you think will advance the furthest in the Dance.  I take two from each region and then two high scorers with a hope of at least two games.   

And how do I decide my bracket for this Fantasy Madness, well Turk the imported prognosticator developed some data that I basically steal.  He uses an average of 4 measuring tools (PomeroySagarin, Massey and ESPN’s BPI). 

Based on that average I present to you the Frozen Tundra Lounge Top 10 rankings - the final rankings pre-Tourney. 

  • 1 – Kansas
  • 2 - North Carolina
  • 3 – Virgina
  • 4 – Michigan State
  • 5 – Villanova
  • 6 – West Virginia
  • 7 – Oklahoma
  • 8 – Purdue
  • 9 – Kentucky
  • 10 - Oregon
Enjoy your Madness. 


Weekend wrap - up (Friday 1_22 - Monday 1_25)

The Big 12 conference continues to be very entertaining from top to bottom.  That conference tourney will be a beast to conquer for whoever comes out on top.  Many pundits are predicting brackets and such and with no surprise Big 12 teams litter the brackets.  Enjoyable teams, players, coaches and venues filled with passion night in and night out.  

Dan Dakich, ESPN analyst was on  a Twitter banter over the weekend, which could be said on most weekends I suppose, but this weekend seemed a bit different.  He appears to become unleashed over minor disagreements with Twitter users i.e. Hoop Trolls, and comes across as an angry - defensive sort that is clearly disheveled.  I personally enjoy his commentary and take on the game, but he is one edgy Twitter lad.  Cognitive restructuring skills could benefit the polarizing @dandakich. 

Couple of teams that could disrupt some Tourney Journeys if they win their own conference; Stephen F. Austin out of the Southland and UALR lead by Head Coach Chris Beard @CoachBeardLR  have been winning and displaying solid ball throughout this season.  Both could do damage at the Dance if they make it in, another couple of reasons to take time off and watch the conference tournaments - fun teams to watch. 

Court storming has become second nature it seems, and overdone by many home crowds.  Initial take is eventually this will be banned by all conferences, what at one time was a genuine celebration based on a big home win, now has become routine.  I'm not even focusing on the risk to players, fans and overall personnel; the pure point is many court storms don't deserve the hype.  Enjoy your team win, but seriously, save it for major shockers, not games between equals.  

@BillWalton is many things; he now has become a 100% accurate earthquake predictor.  During his call of the California win over Arizona, he noted many earthly things taking place and thought; correctly, an earthquake was soon to occur.  And indeed it did, a 7.1 shook Cook Inlet in Alaska, roughly 150 miles from Anchorage less than 24 hours after his prediction.  Well done Bill, well done.

Just a brief thought, it appears for both good and bad, cameramen are getting many looks at cheerleaders.  Yes they are part of the game, a nice part - but some of these close ups are on the creepy level.  Not sure if they are directed to search for tattoos or not, but they really have upped their focus.  With that said, the almost hidden tattoo on the NC State cheerleader was a nice action shot. 

Roy Williams, first NCAA D1 Coach to win 350+ games with two different teams that is impressive. Scores are up, this appears to make many happy, games are timing out around 2 hours, and changes seem to be taking hold in a positive manner. 

Top 5 teams to win the Title come March - from the guy in the corner at The Lounge.  This could change. But if I was in Vegas, these are the teams I would place the future bets on.  Future odds are from

  1. NC 13/2
  2. Kansas 7/1
  3. Oklahoma 7/1
  4. West Virginia 20/1
  5. Miami 30/1


Curious day with the wintry cancellations of the basketball contests on the east coast.  Should make for some challenging travel days for the schools impacted - a selfish thought focuses on the increased games to watch versus the inability to see all the games on a crowded Saturday schedule.

As the season comes down the stretch no real clear favorite has emerged.  I certainly have found the Big 12 conference games to be especially entertaining this season and that conference tourney should be epic come March.   My early thought it will be West Virginia vs. Oklahoma, certainly dependent on the seeding’s and next few weeks of players staying healthy.  Mountaineers are a very tough team, Coach isn't a slouch either.

While speaking of the Big 12 which at this stage seems to be the clear #1 conference in the land, per  (@kenpomeroy) it was noted during the Texas Tech game not one player from that team has fouled out to this point of the season.  Not sure what the record is but that is an impressive team goal - or they need to step up defensive aggressiveness.

Now with the NFL being done for the year, due to Packers season being over, I am gearing up towards the most exciting sports time of the year.  Yes it culminates with March Madness but the Conference Tourneys are a great spectacle in their own right.  Conferences regardless of size or ranking put on just a passionate effort it is well worth the vacation time many exercise during this time.  One of the best ways to stay up with the Tourney schedule is with which has been my favorite site for all College hoops and Football.  And also during this current blizzard event and game disruption, his site has been updated with most recent broadcasts.  You can also follow him @mattsarz.

Sit back and enjoy - Here comes the Madness.


A new journey.

Nation Wide Sports Assessments is starting off a new way to connect with college basketball fans, the goal will be simple.  To provide insightful and entertaining articles for those that share the common interest that surround the event known as March Madness.  Along the way articles will look at varying topics that cover the landscape of College Hoops and the attached peripherals that encompass this passionate following.  The writer is not a seasoned professional but a fan of many years that has, well, basically found some motivation to seek out a forum to share his thoughts and musings of College Hoops.  The long term goals of Nation Wide Sports Assessments are many; not sure at this time what direction this will lead or to what level and extent the journey will entail, but after a few years of thinking about getting involved, this might be the right time.