A picky bunch

John
John Browne
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Local hoops experts make choices for NCAA tourney

There's no consensus among some prominent people within the local basketball community when it comes to predicting the winner of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament.

Better known as March Madness, the wildly popular 65-team knockout began Tuesday with the play-in game and begins in ernest Thursday.

There's no consensus among some prominent people within the local basketball community when it comes to predicting the winner of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament.

Better known as March Madness, the wildly popular 65-team knockout began Tuesday with the play-in game and begins in ernest Thursday.

As far as picking the winner, Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association (NLBA) president Bas Kavanagh says he hasn't been following the NCAA closely this season, but offered, "My favourite is always Duke."

NLBA executive director Bill Murphy is selecting Kentucky, but the two Memorial University's varsity basketball coaches see it differently as they are going with the odds-on favorite Kansas Jayhawks.

If you've got a few bucks to spare, the professional oddsmakers like the Jayhawks at 2-1. The Kentucky Wildcats are the 7-2 second choice.

"I'm not that great with the tournament predictions," admits Memorial Sea-Hawks men's basketball coach Peter Benoite, "as I always pick too many underdogs."

His early picks would seem to back up that statement.

"I've got UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) going into the third round, as well as Minnesota, Utah State and St. Mary's.

"However," added Benoite, "I stayed more traditional with the Final Four, as I've got Kansas beating Syracuse, then West Virginia (after upsetting Kentucky) losing to Duke. I've got Kansas over Duke in the final."

As an aside, Benoite says he's got AUS champion Cape Breton making it all the way to the CIS final against Carleton this week, without picking a winner.

Memorial Sea-Hawks women's basketball coach Doug Partridge admits, "I am not much of an NCAA guy. I much prefer professional basketball."

Still, Partridge couldn't help toss in his two cents worth. For the Final Four, he has Kentucky, Kansas, Kansas State and Villanova.

He's picking Kansas and Kentucky in the final, with Kansas coming out on top.

Partridge adds that Tennessee and Notre Dame are his "darkhorse candidates" for the Final Four.

The Telegram prognosticators are either emphatic or on the fence. Tely staffer Sam McNeish, who is also referees local games, including AUS contests, is going with Syracuse, along with Kansas, West Virginia and Duke in the Final Four. Brendan McCarthy figures it will come down to Kansas, Syracuse, West Virginia and Baylor, with Syracuse winning, while MUN hoop reporter John Browne likes Duke all the way.

Score Media Inc. is the exclusive Canadian rights holder of all 64 games of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball tournament which runs to April 5. The championship tournament will be available on The Score Television Network, with NCAA March Madness highlights and coverage on theScore.com, ScoreMobile and The Score's Hardcore Sports Radio (HSR) SIRIUS Channel 98.

The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship will also be available on Rogers On Demand, Shaw Video on Demand and SUN TV.

Local hoops fans can also follow the tournament on CBS (Channel 22 on Rogers Cable in the metro St. John's area).

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: NCAA, Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association, Jayhawks Kentucky Wildcats University of Texas at El Paso Hardcore Sports Radio Score Media Inc. The Score Television Network SUN TV CBS Rogers Cable

Geographic location: Kansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse West Virginia Minnesota Utah Villanova Tennessee Notre Dame St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    You should have interviewed Chris O'Dea from Mount Pearl. This is not a 'gag' or joke posting. This guy has religiously followed NCAA basketball for over 25 years. Not only can he pick the winner of the Final Four, he can predict how much popcorn will get sold over that weekend! Big Duke fan. He picked Duke over UNLV when they were on a 2 year undefeated run. Cost me my lunches for a week! Enjoy the tournament everbody.

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    You should have interviewed Chris O'Dea from Mount Pearl. This is not a 'gag' or joke posting. This guy has religiously followed NCAA basketball for over 25 years. Not only can he pick the winner of the Final Four, he can predict how much popcorn will get sold over that weekend! Big Duke fan. He picked Duke over UNLV when they were on a 2 year undefeated run. Cost me my lunches for a week! Enjoy the tournament everbody.