Can We Define The March Madness Terms Of "Upset", "Sleeper", and "Cinderella" Please?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Now that Sunday's Selection show is past us and we're in the midst of the guessing and Bracketology of the Tournament, I wanted to take the time to bring up something that's been bothering me. No one really cares what the "experts" say in the grand scheme of things, but this years collection of talking heads is just annoying the crap out of me. No not because Bobby Knight is inexplicably picking Pittsburgh to win it all (I guess they could), but because none of them have any idea what an "Upset" is or what defines a "Sleeper Team".

Let's start with sleeper teams. The first "expert" that brought up his sleepers was Clark Kellogg on Selection Sunday when he picked Notre Dame, Clemson, Michigan State, and WVU. I'm sorry, but those are not sleepers. If you're scoring at home that's three 5 seeds and a 7 seed. If Indiana is an 8 seed don't you think you would have to pick someone lower than them. They're not really sneaking up on anyone this year are they? Since 1979, out of the 116 teams that made the Final Four....nineteen of them were a 5 seed or lower. That's 16%!

We need a number and I submit that the number is 10 or lower.

Okay now onto upsets. A 9 seed beating an 8 seed is NOT an upset! Hell I'm sure most people are picking Davison (10 Seed) to knock off Gonzaga (7 seed) in the Midwest. That's not an upset either. If you go out to the 11 Seeds would you really be shocked if Kentucky beat Marquette or St. Joes beat Oklahoma? Of course you wouldn't. That's why a win can only be considered an upset if it comes from a 12 Seed or lower.

I guess all of this is debatable, but there are two things I know......A 5 seed is not a sleeper (*ahem* Clark) and Gonzaga beating Davidson is NOT an upset (*AHEM* Skip Bayless!)....



Come on! Arkansas beating Indiana is NOT an upset either. Is it really that hard to get people to talk about Sports that they actually watch?

P.S.- Anyone know when Skip Bayless' contract is up???

P.P.S.- I'm thinking about Live-Blogging/Open Threading the Play-in game tonight. Anyone with me???

14 Comments:

Re: Bayless - is "not soon enough" what you were looking for?

Fred Morlan said...
Mar 18, 2008, 2:45:00 PM  

Those three are listless & disinterested because Steve Phillips didn't try hard enough to get them back on amphetamines.

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:05:00 PM  

You had me at "Cinderella" AA. Well, if I can watch more then 7 minutes of Coppin State that is.

Mez said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:13:00 PM  

Here's one for you...Western Kentucky. Discuss...

GMoney said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:24:00 PM  

I hate Pitt. but they're legit. 17-1 with Levance Fields playing

Doug the Punter said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:27:00 PM  

Wait, people still listen to what Skip has to say to begin with? News to me..

I also remembering him talking about how the play-in game tonight offends him and cheapens the entire tourney. Yeah, because these Mount St. Mary's and Coppin State really can't help where they are playing. This is their National Championship game, because we all know UNC is gonna beat whoever it is by 40.

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:28:00 PM  

I'm picking Kansas to upset Portland State....I'd put my life on it.

ssreporters said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:31:00 PM  

I go by the Rule of Gus Johnson. If Gus calls a win an upset, or a team "Cinderella," then it's so. Period.

Big Al said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:39:00 PM  

Thanks for finding that video, AA, I thought I was dreaming this morning when he said Gonzaga was an upset pick.
And I'd join you along for a live blog/open thread, just for the hell of seeing a 20 loss team get a shot at winning a tournament game

Sam said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:59:00 PM  

Oh thanks for mentioning that earlier Sam...I couldn't find who said it to give them credit.

Mar 18, 2008, 4:01:00 PM  

One man's opinion:

Upset = if a team getting points wins the game outright, regardless of seed.

Sleeper = team that you think will pull off one or more "upsets."

Cinderella = team that will pull off one or more "sleepers" in winning the entire tournament. Can be used prematurely, such as "George Mason's CINDERELLA run continues!"

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 5:27:00 PM  

A 7 over a 10 as an upset??
Yeah, and UCLA is my sleeper pick.

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 6:08:00 PM  

Bayless makes me "chuke" on almost a daily basis. I start to get that little bit of warm acid in the back of my throat, that just wants to come out every time I hear his voice. Nails on the chalkboard.

Wesley said...
Mar 19, 2008, 3:46:00 AM  

Could we also get a firm definition of the term "run"? It seems like every time a team scores 2 or 3 baskets in a row, the announcers have to declare that a "run" so it gives the guys/gals running the graphics on TV a chance to put something on the screen. Personally, I don't think anything should be considered a "run" if it involves less than 10 points.

Anonymous said...
Mar 23, 2008, 8:26:00 PM  

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