March Madness Trivia

March 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Lost on the art of bracket-ology? Not to worry. Here are some March Madness bracket facts and trivia that will make you look like a pro in any basketball-watching party this tournament, or sports-heavy trivia night outing.

Low Seed Facts

  • March Madness Basketball TriviaNo #16 seed has ever advanced past the Round of 64.
  • A #15 seed reached the Round of 32 only six times
  • A #14 seed reached the Sweet Sixteen (Regional Semi-finals) only twice:
  • A #13 seed reached the Sweet Sixteen (Regional Semi-finals) five times
  • A #12 seed reached the Elite Eight (Regional Finals) once, Missouri in 2002
  • An #11 seed reached the Final Four and played in the national semi-final game three times
  • A #10 seed reached the Elite Eight (Regional finals) seven times:
  • A #8 seed  reached the National Championship three times, one of which was later vacated (UCLA 1980)
  • A #8 seed has won the National Championship once. This was the Villanova Wildcats in 1985.
  • Penn’s 1979 Final Four appearance is remarkable in that they entered as#9 seed out of 10 teams in their region. This marks them the lowest seed to make the Final Four in the era before 64 teams.
  • The lowest seeded combination in a National Semifinals game was #8 Butler vs. #11 VCU.
  • Richmond has won first round games ranked as a #12, #13, #14 and #15 seed.
  • Butler is the only team to make consecutive Final Fours without being a #1 or #2 seed either time (#5 in 2010, #8 in 2011).
  • 2012 was the only tournament to feature two upsets by #15 seeds over #2 seeds in the round of 64.

Best Performances by #16 Seeds

No 16th seeded team has defeated a #1 seed since the tournament expanded to 64 teams and beyond. Only 4 times has a #16 seed come within 4 points of winning.

Notable Point Spread Upsets

No #1 seed has ever lost in the first round to a #16 seed. However, while seeding is one way of measuring the impact of an upset, prior to the implementation of seeding, point spread was the better indication of an upset. A loss by a highly favored team remains for many the definition of “upset.” The largest point-spread upset since expansion to 64 teams was Norfolk State +21.5 over Missouri 86-84 in 2012.

Highly Seeded Teams

Cinderella does not have the only story in the NCAA Tournament. Sometimes odd things happen with top seeded teams, too.

  • All four #1 seeds have made it to the Final Four only once, in 2008. That year UCLA, Memphis, North Carolina and Kansas won their regional finals. Memphis’ season was later vacated by the NCAA due to the use of an ineligible player.
  • Two #1 seeds have made it to the Final game six times.
  • On three occasions, no #1 seeds have made it to the Final Four.
  • In 1997, Arizona achieved a record that can only be tied when it became the only team to beat three #1 seeds in a single tournament. Due to the tournament structure, it is impossible to play a team from each of the four regions in one tournament, thus the most #1 seeds any team can play in a single tournament is three.
  • In 2011, the highest seed to advance to the Final Four was #3 seed Connecticut. The 2011 tournament was the only time neither#1 nor #2 seed played in the Final Four. Butler became the first team to make consecutive Final Four appearances without being ranked #1 or #2 in either season.
  • Of the 16 undefeated teams that have entered the tournament, four were from UCLA and those four won each of those tournaments. Of the other 12 undefeated teams, only three went on to win the entire tournament.

Undefeated Teams Not in the Big Dance

Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 48 teams in 1980, no undefeated teams have failed to qualify. It occurred only six times prior to that.

Champions Excluded the Next Year

Winning the tournament does not automatically guarantee an invitation to the tournament the next year. Seven reigning champions have failed to make the cut since 1978.

Point Differentials

The largest margin of victory in a championship game was UNLV’s walloping of Duke 103-73 in 1990, a 30-point differential.

Round of 64 seed pairing results

Since the beginning of the 64-team tournament in 1985, each seed pairing has played 112 games, with the following results:

  1. The #1 seed is 112–0 against the #16 seed (100%).
  2. The #2 seed is 106–6 against the #15 seed (94.64%).
  3. The #3 seed is 96–16 against the #14 seed (85.71%).
  4. The #4 seed is 88–24 against the #13 seed (78.57%).
  5. The #5 seed is 74–38 against the #12 seed (66.07%).
  6. The #6 seed is 74–38 against the #11 seed (66.07%).
  7. The #7 seed is 67–45 against the #10 seed (59.82%).
  8. The #8 seed is 54–58 against the #9 seed (48.21%)

History of March Madness (NCAA Basketball Tournament)

March 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Modern Americans may only know of “March Madness” in the context of the NCAA Basketball tournament. In fact, the term comes from the phrase “mad as a March hare,” which dates back to the 16th century. It references the frantic, wild behaviors of hares during mating season – March and April – which many feel is appropriate given the behavior of fans during the tourney.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament began as an annual event in 1939. The Indiana High School Association originally used the term “March Madness” in basketball for their annual championships. In 1982, CBS sports reporter Brent Musberger used the term to describe the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The term and the tournament have been inseparable ever since. It also sometimes called the “Big Dance” with 68 teams participating.

NCAA LogoThe NCAA Tournament Selection Committee chooses the teams based on each team’s College Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The RPI calculated for each team considers the team’s schedule, which teams they played and how difficult were their opponents. Once the participating college teams have been determined, the tournament is off and hopping for several weeks.

The first NCAA men’s basketball tournament saw the University of Oregon defeating The Ohio State University 46-33 on March 27, 1939. For the first 12 years of the tournament, the limit for participating teams was eight. There are no consolation games but there was a third-place game from 1946 to 1981. Each regional had a third-place game through the 1975 tournament. Before 1975, only one team from each conference could be in the tournament. After several highly ranked teams were denied entrance, this changed. The NCAA began placing “at-large” teams into the tournament in addition to conference champions. In 2001, the field expanded from 64 to 65 teams, in response to the creation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999. This added the “play-in game” to the bracket. The number of teams grew until a 68-team tournament format was unveiled in 2011.

Now that the tournament includes 68 teams, four play-in games occur to eliminate four teams. This leads to the 64-team bracket, with teams ranked or “seeded” from one to 16 within their region. The teams assigned to the play-in games are not automatically the lowest berth (#16) in their quarter of the bracket. The committee on Selection Sunday determines their seeding. Explaining the reasoning for this format, selection committee chairman Dan Guerrero said, “We felt if we were going to expand the field it would create better drama for the tournament if the First Four was much more exciting. They could all be on the 10 line or the 12 line or the 11 line.”

Beginning in 2002, the tournament has used the “pod system” to limit the early-round travel for as many teams as possible. Each regional bracket is divided into four-team pods. Each game site in the second and third round is assigned two pods, where each group of four teams plays each other. A host site’s pods can be from different regions, allowing the winners of each pod to advance into separate regional tournaments.

The Flag Controversy refers to the NCAA ban of the Bi-Lo Center and the Colonial Life Arenas in South Carolina from hosting any future tournaments. These centers are both quite large. However, in 2002 the state refused to take down the Confederate Battle Flag from their state capitol during the 2002 first and second round games. The NAACP and Black Coaches Association request the removal, and when refused, the NCAA banned the centers from hosting the tournament. At the time, the Colonial Center was new and freshly built specifically to host the tournament. 

Since 2004, the semi-final matches during the first day of the Final Four weekend are determined through a procedure based upon the original seeding of the full field. Prior to 2004, the pitting of regional champions in the semi-finals was simply random.  Now that 68 teams are in the tournament, the round of four play-in games is called the “First Four.” The next round, consisting of 64 teams competing in 32 games, is the “second round.” The “third round” consists of the 32 remaining teams playing 16 games.

The tournament is divided into four regions and each region has 17 teams. The selection committee must make each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams.  The names of the regions vary from year to year, and the selected names roughly correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. For example, during 2012, the regions were named South (Atlanta, Georgia), East (Boston, Massachusetts), Midwest (St. Louis, Missouri), and West (Phoenix, Arizona)

Qualifying for the NCAA Tournament

The tournament teams include champions from 31 Division I conferences, which receive automatic spots. Thirty of the thirty-one conferences hold championship tournaments to determine which team receives the automatic qualification. Only the Ivy League does not conduct a post-season tournament. Its automatic bid goes to the regular-season conference champion. The remaining 37 teams receive at-large berths. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single elimination “bracket.” When a team wins a game, the bracket determines which team they will face next.

Seeding and the Bracket

March Madness BasketballThe selection committee seeds, or places into bracket slots, the whole field of 68 teams from 1-68. The committee divides the teams amongst the regions. The top four ranked teams are distributed among the four regions, and each will receive a #1 rank within that region. The next four ranked teams are also spread among the four regions, each receiving a #2 rank with their region, and the process continues down the line. The result is 17 teams in each of the four regions, each with a rank of 1-16. The First Four or play-in games eliminate the four extra teams.

The bracket is thus established and during the semifinals, the champion of Region #1 will play against the champion of the Region #4, and the champion of Region #2 plays the champion of Region #3. The selection committee places teams such that whenever possible teams in the same conference cannot meet until the regional finals. They must avoid any possible rematches of the regular season or previous year’s tournament games during the Rounds of 32 and 64.

Fans have been entering into office pools or private gambling-related contests for decades as to who can predict the tournament most correctly. The filling out of a tournament bracket is called a “national pastime.” Filling out a tournament bracket with predictions now goes by the term “bracketology.” Sports programs during tournament season have plenty of commentators comparing the accuracy of their predictions. Celebrities get in on the act on the shows, and post full brackets and predictions on websites. President Obama’s bracket appears on the White House website.

There are many different bracketology scoring systems. Most award points for correctly picking the winning team in any particular match up, with more points awarded as the rounds progress. Some provide bonus points for correctly predicting upsets or the degree of an upset, and some just award points for wins by correctly picked teams in the brackets.

There are to 2^67 or 147,573,952,589,676,412,928 (147.57 quintillion) possibilities for the winners in a 68 team NCAA bracket. The odds of correctly picking the outcome of every March Madness game and completing a perfect bracket vary depending on your handicapping method. They range from 1-in-100 million trillion (picking the winner at random method) to 35.3 billion to one (picking the highest ranked team in every game). The official odds on the March Madness games will not be available until the field is set on ‘Selection Sunday’ March 17. Although millions of Americans will fill out brackets, they have better odds of being hit by a waterspout (1 in 1,988,000,000) or winning the Powerball jackpot three times.

Rounds

The tournament has seven rounds. They are:

  • The First Four (the play-in games)
  • The Second Round  of 64 teams in 32 games
  • The Third Round of 32 teams in 16 games
  • The Regional Semi-finals containing the winners of the 16 third round games. These teams are the “Sweet Sixteen.”
  • The Regional Finals with the eight teams remaining after the regional semi-finals are the “Elite Eight.”
  • The National Semi-finals are the “Final Four” because they contain the four winners of the Elite Eight round. One team from each region plays in the Final Four.
  • The National Championship matches the remaining two teams from the Final Four round.

The tournament is single-elimination, meaning a team is out of the tournament after only one loss.  This increases the chance of a so-called “Cinderella team” advancing. These lower ranked teams must play stronger teams in the early brackets, but they only need one win per bracket to move forward.  There is no official definition of what constitutes a Cinderella team. Generally, such teams represent small schools, ranked rather low in the tournament, and achieve at least one unexpected win in the tournament. The term became popular because of City College of New York’s run through the tournament during 1950.

The Round of 64 and the Round of 32

During the Second Round of 64 teams,  the #1 rank plays the #16 rank in all regions; the #2 team plays the #15, and so on. The effect of this ranking structure ensures that the better the rank of a team, the worse ranked and presumably weaker their opponents will be. Sixteen second-round games occur on the Thursday following the “First Four” round. The remaining sixteen second-round games occur Friday. At this point, 32 teams remain in the contest.

The Third Round, containing these 32 teams, happens on Saturday and Sunday immediately after the second round. The third round consists of Thursday’s winners playing in eight games on Saturday, followed by Friday’s winners playing in the remaining eight third-round games on Sunday. After this first weekend, 16 teams remain. They are the Sweet Sixteen.

Regional Semifinals and Finals

The Sweet Sixteen teams advance to the regional semi-finals, and then the regional finals called the Elite Eight. These games are played during the second weekend of the tournament, again split into Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday games. Four regional semi-final games are played Thursday and four are played Friday. After Friday’s games, 8 teams -the Elite Eight- remain. Saturday features two regional final games matching Thursday’s winners and Sunday’s two final games match Friday’s winners. After the second weekend of the tournament, the four regional champions are the “Final Four.”

March Madness 2013 Final Four Atlanta LogoFinal Four

The winners of each region advance to the Final Four. Here, the national semifinals occur on Saturday and the national championship plays on Monday. Which regional champion play which, and in which semifinal they play, is determined by the overall rankings of the four #1 ranks in the original bracket, not on the ranks of the eventual Final Four teams themselves. Sometimes, the Final Four weekend falls during the first weekend of April, transforming March Madness into “April Apprehension” for the remaining few teams.

March Madness 2013

The teams playing in March Madness 2013 will be announced on March 17, and the tournament officially begins on Tuesday, March 19 and ends on Monday, April 8

Here is a quick look at the general schedule for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, including who will be hosting and the location of the game.  At least one game in the second and third rounds is yet to be determined (TBD).

First Four: Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20 

  • University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH – Host: University of Dayton

Second and Third Rounds: Thursday and Saturday, March 21 and 23

  • Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI – Host: Oakland University
  • Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY – Host: University of Kentucky
  • Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT – Host: University of Utah
  • HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA – Host: West Coast Conference

Second and Third Rounds: Friday and Sunday, March 22 and 24 

  • Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX Host: Texas
  • University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH Host: University of Dayton
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO Host: TBD
  • Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA Host: Temple University

Regional Semi-Finals: Thursday and Saturday, March 28 and 30 

  • Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA Host: Pepperdine University
  • TBD Host: TBD

Regional Finals: Friday and Sunday, March 29 and 31 

  • Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX Host: Big 12 Conference
  • Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN Host: Butler, IUPUI, Horizon League

Final Four: Apr 6 & 8, 2013

Final Four SCHEDULE OVERVIEW

  • Friday, April 5 from Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 7 from Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Monday, April 8 from Noon to 8 p.m.

Cutting Down the March Madness Nets

SPE_016As a tournament ritual, the winning team cuts down the nets at the end of regional championship games as well as the national championship game. Starting with the seniors and moving down by classes, players each cut a single strand off each net. The head coach cuts the last strand connecting the net to the hoop, claiming the net itself.This tradition is credited to Everett Case, the coach of North Carolina State, who stood on his players’ shoulders to accomplish the feat after the Wolfpack won the Southern Conference tournament in 1947.

Introduction of the Women’s Championships

The NCAA held the first women’s national basketball tournament in 1982. The tournament started with 32 teams and expanded to 64 teams before the 1994 season. Today the women’s format is identical to the men’s tournament. Play begins in four regions and ends in a Final Four held at one location. The women’s championship is played the day after the men’s, and marks the end of the college basketball season. The dominant team in women’s tournament history is the Tennessee Volunteers, who won six championships from 1973 to 2006. The Connecticut Huskies are second, with five. Past women’s Most Outstanding Player winners include Cheryl Miller of USC, Diana Taurasi of Connecticut and Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee. All went on to become stars of the WNBA.

Financial Impact of March Madness 

The March Madness tournament season is one of the United States’ most popular sporting events, falling in between the Super Bowl and the beginning of Major League Baseball season. The tourney is responsible for billions of dollars of economic impact, from advertising costs, to ticket sales and wagers. March Madness moves money.

Since 2010, the NCAA has had a joint contract with CBS and Turner Sports, a division of Time Warner. The current contract runs through 2024 and provides for the nationwide broadcast each year of all games of the tournament. Beginning in 2016, CBS and TBS will split coverage of the Elite Eight. CBS and TBS will alternate coverage of the Final Four and national championship game, with TBS getting the final two rounds in even numbered years, and CBS getting the games in odd numbered years.

All this comes with a hefty price tag. In 1982, CBS agreed to pay the NCAA $16 million per year for the broadcast rights. The recent April 2010 deal with CBS and Turner consists of a 14-year, $10.8 billion contract. It will generate $771 million per year for the NCAA, or about 50 times the size of the 1982 deal. The CBS broadcast provides the NCAA with over $500 million dollars annually, and makes up over 90% of the NCAA’s annual revenue.

The television companies’ motivation stems from the tournament’s draw of millions of viewers. With more viewers, the broadcast companies can attract more advertisers and charge higher advertising rates. Companies wanting to air a 30-second advertisement during round 1 March Madness games pay approximately $100,000 to CBS. The price rockets to over $1 million for a 30-second slot during the finals. During the 2010 games, CBS earned about $651 million in advertising revenue, falling behind only the NFL playoffs, which generated $793.8 million during the same year.

The revenues from the multi-billion-dollar television contract are divided among the Division I basketball playing schools and conferences as follows:

  • 1/6 of the money goes directly to the schools based on how many sports they play, allotting one “share” for each sport starting with 14, which is the minimum needed for Division I membership.
  • 1/3 of the money goes directly to the schools based on how many scholarships they give out, allotting one share for each of the first 50, two for each of the next 50, ten for each of the next 50, and 20 for each scholarship above 150.
  • 1/2 of the money goes to the conferences based on how well they did in the six previous men’s basketball tournaments. Each year counts separately, and each team receives one share for getting in the tournament and one share for each win. The Final Four does not provide a share, and the play-in game did not provide a share prior to 2008.

In 2007, based on the 2001 through 2006 tournaments, the Big East region netted over $14.85 million, and the eight conferences that did not win even a first-round game in those six years received slightly more than $1 million each.

For the five years beginning with the 2005-2006 seasons, the top three earners were the Big East Conference, receiving a total of $86.7 million; the Big 12 Conference, gaining $77.8 million; and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), earning $76.4 million. The Big East Conference has been the heavy weight, with an average of $17.3 million in revenue each year to divide among its 16 member schools, compared with an $8.6 million conference-wide average.

Price TagTicket sales and sponsorships for March Madness games generate more than $40 million each year for the NCAA. Even with the potential for high earnings, each of the more than 300 Division I schools hoping to make it to the tournament must first invest heavily in the recruitment process, world-class training facilities and event venues, superior coaches earning salaries in the millions, and academic tutoring to help the athletes with maintaining eligibility. For some schools, these investments pay off when their team or conference advances in the tournament. For others, this risky investment leaves the program in debt.

Millions of sports fans each year bet on the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Experts have estimated that over $7 billion is wagered on the March Madness games, outpacing the Super Bowl’s estimated $6 billion in bets. People trying to guess the outcome of the games fill out close to 40 million March Madness brackets annually in the United States. A report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas (2010) claims approximately 8.4 million private sector work hours will be lost during the three weeks of the tournament. Multiplied by the average hourly wage at the time of $22.87, the lost productivity equates to $192 million in wages. The figure was based on 58.3 million people participating in brackets, with each person devoting 20 minutes watching games and focusing on their pools.

This year, Challenger Gray notes, wider access to coverage via SmartPhones and tablets may significantly increase workplace distractions. They estimate that total online viewership during work hours may reach at least 8.4 million hours. Staffing services company Office Team reached a different result: 56 percent of 1000 managers surveyed said March Madness does not affect productivity, and 22 percent said tournament involvement actually boosts workers output.

With the beginning of the NCAA men’s tournament each year, marketing tie-ins, authorized and otherwise, abound. Among legitimate tournament sponsors, every new technology advance represents a new marketing frontier. The tournament is now broadcast across four different TV networks (CBS, TNT, Turner Sports, and TruTV) and  dozens of accompanying websites, so sports marketers focusing on March Madness are looking at a more diverse audience than ever before. According to Ad Week, research from Kantar Media shows the NCAA Tournament is the second largest post-season sports opportunity for advertisers. The NFL Playoff series ranks first. In 2011, the trade publication adds, CBS “took in $613.8 million in ad sales revenue,” which “easily eclipsed” both the NBA and MLB.

One offset to lost productivity is the revenue from added consumption. Estimates of the economic impact to the hosting cities for first weekend games are between $4 million to $6 million per city. The Final Four weekend is worth an estimated $13 million to its host city, though there is variation depending on the city and the contestants. Estimates from the Indiana Department of Revenue show that 2006 Final Four host Indianapolis had average annual tax revenue growth of 45% in March and April of 2006, which slowed to about 10% in 2007 and was -1% in 2005. There was a significant, clear and direct economic impact from spending related to the tournament.

Indirectly, more people are hired temporarily and local government raises revenues through local projects preparing for the event. This is a further boost to local economies. Being competitive requires cities to invest 100s of millions for facilities and other NCAA standards for hosting the tournament. We may never know with any precision the real economic impact, but we do know it is arguably one of the greatest annual sporting events. So, fill out that bracket and obsessively track your teams starting in a few short days. Enjoy the start of spring by celebrating the best hoops America has to offer.

 

CONTEST: Preparing for March Madness!

February 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

March Madness BasketballMarch Madness quickly approaching, the CollegiateCamo team wants to get YOU the fans involved! We’re going to hold two contests during March Madness for two $25 gift cards good for the CollegiateCamo store.

The first contest will be Monday, March 4. We’ll post five March Madness history questions on the CollegiateCamo website, and the first person to comment and answer all five correctly, will get a $25 gift card!

The second contest will be Monday, March 25. For this contest, you need to tweet or post your best decked out tailgate photos! You can submit your entries from March 25 until April 5. All you need to do is post your photos on the CollegiateCamo Facebook or Google+ account. You can also tweet your photos @CollegiateCamo. A panel of CollegiateCamo staffers will judge the photos and announce the winner on our website. This is your chance to show off your crazy fan experiences!

What a better time to get decked out in your favorite college’s gear, right? We thought so, too! In the meantime, you can get some game day clothing to go with the gift card!

Best Season Openers

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Pittsburgh Pirates Home Opener

Pittsburgh Pirates Home Opener

Written by Pro-Staff Team Member Matt Truesdale

On Thursday, April 7, I had the opportunity to continue a tradition started by my hunting buddies and me - the tradition of attending the Pittsburgh Pirates home opener.  This is the 3rd consecutive year that we have been to the home opener, and regardless of whether the Buccos win or lose, it is still an extremely enjoyable time. Nothing can compare to a full day of tailgating in the parking lot with the American and Jolly Roger flags flying high, supporting our favorite ball club at one of the best ball parks in the country and throwing down a Primanti’s sandwich with an IC Light.

As the game rolled into the bottom half of the 7th and we sang “take me out to the ball game” I began to wonder what are the year’s best season openers?  Here at Collegiate Camo, we not only get pumped up for the start of hunting and fishing seasons, but for athletic seasons as well!  Because of the bonded love affair of outdoorsman sports and athletic sports being a common trend that we all share, I have put together what I consider to be the most anticipated opening seasons of each year from the least popular to most popular.

12)  NHL and NBA: I understand that these two sports are completely different, especially during playoffs in the post season.  Heck, the playoffs for both of these leagues are an entirely new season and a different more exciting game.  Even though I am a fan of the NHL I just cannot get as excited for the first game of the year like I can other sports.  I’ll just wait for the start of the playoffs…

11) Small Game: Have you ever felt that heart pounding, nervous, exciting feeling as a big fox squirrel slowly comes down the path toward you?  Yeah, neither have I.  Although I do enjoy small game hunting and the camaraderie with my friends, small game is more of a thrown together afternoon activity than anything else.  Even grouse and pheasant are more annoying and frustrating than they are enjoyable to hunt.  But seriously, have you ever heard of “squirrel drives”?  Exactly.

10) College Basketball:  How long is it until March?  This year VCU proved that the college basketball regular season does not matter and the big tournament is the only excitement worth watching.  Yes, the end of the season tournament may possibly be one of the most exciting post seasons in any sport, but the opening game is just a tease until all the madness.

9) Waterfowl: I will hand it to the waterfowl hunters.  I have yet to get fully enveloped into the sport, but these guys are crazy.  Blinds, decoys, boats, face paint, calls, you name it.  This season requires a lot of attention to detail, equipment, management and site location which could only lead to excitement on the opening day.  Seasons in, migration’s cancelled.

8 ) White Tail Deer, Archery: Why did I separate archery and rifle?  If you have to ask this question, than you must only hunt deer with a rifle.  There are not many feelings that come close to having a deer walk within yards from you, and the practice and preparation needed in order to slay a buck with a broad head.  Unfortunately, the first day of archery cannot quite contend with the first day of rifle.  Be sure to bring enough scent eliminator as the first of archery always seems to be too hot, sticky, and muggy.

7) NFL: The NFL opener is similar to a family reunion.  Every year there is a reunion, you generally see the same people, there is usually something or someone new that brings interest and then there is something or someone that embarrasses you.  The majority of NFL fans already know what they have regarding their teams.  The NFL opener is exciting, but the NFL opener lacks some of the glamour and anticipation of other season openers.

6) NASCAR: Yes, NASCAR.  I know you are all wondering how and why NASCAR is as high as it is on this list.  The answer is that the “Super Bowl” of NASCAR is the Daytona 500, the season opener.  You can disagree all you want, but you cannot argue the fact that Daytona 500 is a hugely popular event full of everything needed for a great opening day.

5) Turkey: The elusive thunder chicken is by far one of the most frustrating and fun species to hunt.  Combine this birds characteristics with the preparation it takes to bag a bird and 2 opening seasons throughout the year, you can’t beat turkey hunting.  No other species or sport has 2 openers in a year, and doubling proves this sport aint no turkey.

4) MLB: Our nation’s pastime.  The spring weather.  Smells of popcorn, hot dogs and beer.  9 innings of excitement and a packed house.  The MLB season opener matches and exceeds the excitement, anticipation, and popularity of any sport.  Yes, the 162 game season is long, but every game counts in the attempt of achieving one of the few post seasons spots.  The fact that the MLB opener does not just bring baseball back, but also brings back the warm weather and the thought of summer heralds the MLB opener high in this list.

3) Trout:  The opening day of trout season may be different for many people throughout the country.  But where I come from, the trout season opener is a right of passage for children and a day long family fun event.  Everyone, literally everyone comes out to the streams for the first day of trout, which does have a drawback.  Although some lines may get tangled between those fishing, the trout opener continues to be a spectacle year in and year out.  Each cast of the line holds suspense of the possibilities of pulling back a 24 inch brownie, or just a 8 inch rainbow.

2) College Football: Do I honestly have to make an argument for this one?  College football is simply American and brings an eruption of pent in anticipation into each fall from the past season.  Every year is different in college football.  Unlike professional sports, lineups and rosters change on a routine basis, keeping the game fresh and new.  But most importantly, with the college football comes the tailgating.  Other sports have their loyal and crazy fan base that do provide a spectacle of amazement when showcasing tailgates, but college football fans do it best and on a larger scale.  Every school has their traditions, their massive tailgates and their crazy fans.  Walk around any college stadium on any home Saturday afternoon and you will find the most die hard and loyal fans of any sport.  The fans and tailgaters could only relate to college football as having the best season opener of any athletic sport.

1) White Tail Deer, Rife: I should not have to explain why.  There is no more popular, exciting, anticipated day for any outdoorsman than the first day of rifle season for deer.  There is nothing more important for an outdoorsman than bringing home the venison and bragging about the previous days hunt over the water cooler at work.  The first day of rifle for deer is essentially a national holiday in most areas.  No other season opener is built into work and school schedules, allowing individuals the day off to continue the American tradition and to spend time with family members at camp.

Penn State Basketball – Short History, Current Look

March 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Pro-Staff Team Member Matt Truesdale

Penn State Nittany Lions Logo

Penn State Nittany Lions

When college sports fans hear the name, Penn State, many thoughts may be compiled about the University.  Great atmosphere, beautiful campus, ecstatic tailgating, and surrounding farm land are just to name a few thoughts about the Penn State Nittany Lions.  But subsequently football is the primary focal point.  The Penn State football program built by Joe-Pa has a rich history of tradition and excellence that is never overlooked.  But far from the train of thought regarding Penn State athletics is the men’s basketball program.  As a Big 10 school, and one that is highly regarded in popularity, it is astounding that the Nittany Lions have a history of poor basketball performance.  As a graduate of Penn State and a huge sports fan it is personally upsetting that a relevant basketball program has not been established at PSU.

The PSU men’s basketball program is almost as old as the football program, both establishing inaugural seasons in the late 1800’s, with football first being played in 1887 and basketball in 1897.  Although Penn State has not played a dynamic role in postseason play throughout the team’s history, there are some instances where the Lions have been able to light up the scoreboards.  The following is a list of notable accomplishments that the Nittany Lions basketball team has scratched into the record books.

  • 8 appearances within the NCAA Tournament (1942, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1965, 1991, 1996, and 2001)
  • 1954 was PSU’s best showing by advancing to the Final Four, losing to La Salle 69-54
  • In 2001 the #7 South Regional Bracket ranked Lions upset #2 South Regional Bracket ranked North Carolina to advance to the Sweet 16, only to lose to in state adversary Temple, 84-72
  • Along with the 8 NCAA appearances, PSU also has 10 appearance within the NIT Tournament
  • In 2009 Penn State beat Baylor to win the NIT Tournament Championship

As of March 10, 2011 the PSU Men’s team, led by Taylor Battle, reached the 2nd round of the Big10 tournament by way of a grinding win over Indiana.  The 2010 season has been a mediocre year with missed opportunities as the Lions carry a record of 17-13 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten.  Today, the #6 Big Ten Ranked PSU men walk into Conseco Fieldhouse to face the Big 10’s 3rd ranked Badgers of Wisconsin at 9:00 pm ET.  As the Nittany Lions are still on the bubble for a birth into the NCAA Tournament for the 9 possible time, this game is shaping up to be, by far, the biggest game for their 2010 season.

Will PSU notch another upset, with the opportunity for a win to propel them into the big dance?  Only time will tell.  If fate is on the side of the Lions for a birth into the NCAA tournament, Taylor Battle must continue his dominance and be lights out.  But as the proverb states, there is no “I” in team.  Battle cannot, and I mean cannot, do it on his own.  Fellow team members Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones must provide a big down low presence by scoring and controlling the rebounds in order for PSU to maintain possession and have more shot attempts by Battle and fellow guard Tim Frazier.  It’s too obvious to state that if PSU wants to beat Wisconsin, who routinely owns PSU, the entire team must cowboy up and play with everything on the line.  Why?  Because everything regarding a 9th NCAA dance birth is on the line tonight at 9:00 pm ET.

WE ARE! PENN STATE!

GO STATE, BEAT THE BADGERS!

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