The Week: Most Recent Sports:"March Madness" Madness recent posts.en-usThu, 15 Mar 2012 14:54:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Sports:"March Madness" Madness from THE WEEKThu, 15 Mar 2012 14:54:00 -0400Obama's NCAA tournament bracket: 4 ways it panders to voters<img src="" /></P><p>It's "Baracketology" time. For the fourth straight year, President Obama has filled out a men's college basketball tournament bracket, even filming the endeavor for ESPN. This go-round, the First Fan likes North Carolina to win it all over heavy favorite Kentucky. And because this is an election year, commentators are paying extra close attention to the president's picks, dissecting his every selection to see what it reveals about Obama and his campaign. Here, four takeaways:<br /><br /><strong>1. Obama is eager to court North Carolina voters</strong><br />Surprise, surprise, says Michael A. Memoli at <em>The Chicago Tribune</em>:&nbsp;Obama...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 15 Mar 2012 14:54:00 -0400How March Madness distracts workers: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>"Cyberloafing" &mdash;&nbsp;workers' profit-sapping habit of surfing the web instead of being productive at the office &mdash; will be hitting critical levels as March Madness gets into full swing this week. How much time will American workers spend updating tournament brackets, tracking office pools, checking scores, and watching games? Here, a numerical breakdown of just how distracting &mdash; and costly &mdash; March Madness is to gainfully employed college basketball fans: <br /><br /><strong>86 </strong><br />Percentage of employees who will devote at least part of their workday to updating brackets, checking scores, and following...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kevin-fallon" ><span class="byline">Kevin Fallon</span></a>Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:10:00 -0400March Madness 2012: The 6 biggest snubs and surprises<img src="" /></P><p>It's time to get your bracket ready and jump into the office pool. With Selection Sunday behind us, the 68 teams that will vie for the NCAA men's basketball championship are no longer a matter of speculative argument, and the tournament itself kicks off with two play-in games Tuesday night. And while there's little dispute over the merits of&nbsp;top seeds&nbsp;Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Michigan State, many&nbsp;fans across the country are furious, as some fans inevitably are every year, that their teams were left out. As you get ready to ink in your bracket, a look at the 2012 Final...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 12 Mar 2012 16:40:00 -0400Kemba Walker's 'ridiculous' reading admission<img src="" /></P><p>Earlier this month, Kemba Walker led the University of Connecticut Huskies to victory in the NCAA men's basketball championship. The hardworking star guard is now slated to go pro, and is expected to earn a degree after just three years at UConn. Given the number of college stars who turn pro without graduating, Walker's academic commitment had been widely celebrated... until now. In a <em>Sports Illustrated</em> interview, the 20-year-old made a "ridiculous" admission: He's just finished his first book, William C. Rhoden's <em>Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 20 Apr 2011 13:28:00 -0400Connecticut beats Butler: Worst final in NCAA basketball history?<img src="" /></P><p>Butler's improbable sprint for the NCAA men's basketball national title ended Monday night &mdash; with a flop. The Bulldogs, who fell to Duke in last year's national title game, lost again on Monday, to the University of Connecticut Huskies in a painfully low-scoring 53-41 rout &mdash; a score that "might have made for an exciting football game," says<em> The New York Times</em>' Mark Viera, but "was an unsightly evening of basketball." UConn wasn't great, but Butler's 18.8 percent shooting &mdash; just 12 of 64 shots &mdash; was the worst ever in an NCAA title game. In all, it was the lowest-scoring final...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 05 Apr 2011 10:52:00 -0400Is VCU the biggest Cinderella story in March Madness history?<img src="" /></P><p>This year's NCAA tournament has been packed with improbable upsets &mdash; of the 5.9 million people who filled out brackets in ESPN's contest, only two correctly picked the Final Four. Exemplifying this lack of predictability, Virginia Commonwealth University on Sunday managed a shocking 71-61 victory over Kansas, who'd been considered the championship favorite after other powerhouses fell. VCU's run is particularly impressive because they were one of the eight teams that had to compete in a pre-tournament "play-in game" to even make it into the 64-team field. Commentators are comparing them to...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 28 Mar 2011 13:04:00 -0400NCAA upsets: What was the weekend's biggest surprise?<img src="" /></P><p>This year's NCAA basketball tournament, now whittled down to the Sweet 16, has already been a good one for the underdogs. This weekend, a No. 1 seed and a No. 2 seed fell, loads of last-minute thrillers unfolded, and Virginia Commonwealth, this year's "Cinderella" team, shocked skeptics and delighted fans. Commentators outdid themselves trying to determine which upset victory was the most wow-worthy. Here, four top contenders:</p><p><strong>1. No. 8 Butler beats No. 1 Pittsburgh<br /></strong>Butler, which barely lost to Duke in last year's championship game, bolstered its reputation as a "giant killer" Saturday, says Shawn...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 21 Mar 2011 11:11:00 -0400What Obama's NCAA picks say about him<img src="" /></P><p>For the third year in a row, President Obama, a famously ardent college basketball fan, joined Andy Katz of ESPN to reveal his picks for the NCAA tournament, which tips off in earnest today. The president's picks went in a decidedly conservative direction. Obama did predict a few upsets &mdash; #12 Richmond over #5 Vanderbilt in the first round, for instance &mdash; but he played it safe by picking all four #1 seeds to advance to the Final Four, with only #5 seeds or better even making it past the Sweet Sixteen. And for the second year in a row, Obama tapped Kansas to win the title (last year,...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 17 Mar 2011 14:25:00 -0400Obama's NCAA bracket: Inappropriate amid global chaos?<img src="" /></P><p>As crises in Japan and Libya worsened, President Obama disappointed many observers by taking a break to fill out his NCAA basketball tournament bracket. Sportswriters griped at Obama's lack of daring &mdash; he reportedly picked all four No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four &mdash; while conservative bloggers leveled a more serious charge: How could Obama occupy himself with such frivolous diversions, they demanded, while international disasters are unfolding? (Watch Obama discuss this year's NCAA bracket)<br /><br /><strong>What a disgrace:</strong> Japan faces what may be an "unprecedented crisis," says John Podhoretz in ...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 16 Mar 2011 10:51:00 -0400Does college basketball really matter anymore?<img src="" /></P><p>Perry Jones III is the kind of basketball player who can turn a good college team into a powerhouse, says Michael Sokolove in <em>The New York Times Magazine</em>. At just 19, the Baylor University freshman is nearly 7 feet tall, with the explosive speed and ball-handling skills of a much-smaller point guard. Yet "just about everyone assumes that he will be a one-and-done player... a pure rental who stays for a single season." That's just the way it is these days. College teams are being torn apart before they cohere, and the N.B.A. is becoming "at times, utterly unwatchable, because the rosters...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 14 Mar 2011 14:48:00 -0400March Madness: Is 68 teams too many?<img src="" /></P><p>The NCAA has made your office's March Madness pool a lot more complicated this year, with a new 68-team college basketball tournament. Before the actual tournament even starts on Thursday, there will be four "play-in" games pitting two types of teams against each other: low-ranked schools which won their small conferences; and teams from larger conferences (like the Big 10) which had been on the edge of tournament eligibility. The winners will move on to the traditional 64-team field. The change is a response to complaints that some big schools had been unfairly shut out of the competition in the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 14 Mar 2011 13:04:00 -0400Why everybody hates Duke: 5 theories<img src="" /></P><p>With March Madness in full swing, basketball fans and sports writers are indulging in an annual ritual -- the venting of hatred for the Duke University Blue Devils, a perennial college basketball powerhouse. "You hate Duke. Just admit it," says Pete Prisco at CBS Sportsline. Duke's frequent successful runs in the NCAA tournament earn it widespread TV coverage that only fuels the fire, which might explain why Duke hatred is as strong as ever even though the team hasn't reached the tournament's Final Four in six years. Duke plays Purdue in the "Sweet 16" round on Friday night, and is considered a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 26 Mar 2010 10:30:00 -0400March Madness: Why not 96 teams?<img src="" /></P><p>In December, rumors surfaced that the NCAA was considering expanding its national basketball tournament from 65 teams to 96&mdash;and squeeze even more ad revenue out of the already lucrative televised games. Though this year's March Madness will remain relatively modest, fans and commentators&mdash;including those at the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>&mdash;haven't given up on their super-sizing dream. Would 96 be even sweeter? (Watch Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany share his thoughts)<br /><br /><strong>Expanding March Madness would ruin it:</strong> This "awful idea" would dilute the tournament's quality and strain the already limited...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 17 Mar 2010 09:30:00 -0400