How to Win Your NCAA Office Pool: Take North Carolina | NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

How to Win Your NCAA Office Pool: Take North Carolina

Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed and the defending national champion. It's tough to repeat — no one has since Florida in 2006 and 2007

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, March 13, 2017)

    Whittling down 68 candidates and deciding who will be the last one standing is a tedious task. But enough about what seemed like a never-ending presidential election cycle.

    Take a break, America.

    It's Bracket Time again.

    The field for this year's NCAA Tournament was revealed on Sunday night, and by the time the games start in earnest on Thursday millions of people will fill out tens of millions of brackets in an effort to pick the national champion. There's no Electoral College to select, no "deep state" either, not even Syracuse. And most hopes will be dashed before the end of the first weekend.

    Hawaii Prepping for Possibility of N. Korea Missile Attack

    [DFW-NATL] Hawaii Prepping for Possibility of North Korea Missile Attack

    The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is kicking off an educational campaign aimed at helping residents and visitors figure out what to do if the state becomes a target of a nuclear missile attack from North Korea.

    (Published Monday, July 24, 2017)

    Let us help.

    The painstaking facts and exacting analysis offered below will help you win your pool, unless you have a better system to use, such as blind luck, team colors or neat nicknames. In this field alone, there's the Norse (Northern Kentucky), Jackrabbits (South Dakota State), two sets of Gaels (Iona and Saint Mary's), and hawks of all sorts (the Jayhawks of Kansas, the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota and the Seahawks of UNC Wilmington).

    Region-by-region, here's a breakdown of what will happen over the next three weeks — and most importantly, how you can cut down your own nets by holding best-bracket-bragging-rights in your office for the next year.

    ___

    First, a few trends that are worth noting.

    DUMP THE DOUBLE DIGITS: No one since Kansas in 1988 lost more than 10 games and still cut the nets down. There are 26 teams in this field with at least 10 losses; at least four will make the second round this year, but history says it's difficult for those clubs to last too long.

    TOUGH BREAK: Gonzaga enters this tournament with the best record in the field, 32-1. Sorry, Zags — None of the last 24 teams to come into the NCAAs either undefeated or with just one loss won it all.

    EXPERIENCE MATTERS: Of the last 22 players to win Most Outstanding Player honors at the Final Four, 18 of them were juniors or seniors. So even in this one-and-done era, having some veterans who have gone through the tournament grind once or twice seems to be invaluable to championship hopes.

    DON'T TAKE FIVE: If you like a No. 5 seed — Notre Dame, Virginia, Iowa State or Minnesota — to win it all, stop. Since the tournament was first expanded to 40 teams in 1979, no No. 5 seed has ever cut down the nets.

    PICK SOME UPSETS: All four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four only once, in 2008. In the last six years, six teams seeded No. 7 or higher made Final Fours.

    BUT NOT TOO MANY: No team seeded No. 12 or higher has made a Final Four.

    AND NOT TOO EARLY: Since 1979, 130 of the 152 possible No. 1 seeds all made the Sweet Sixteen.

    Twins Born Conjoined at the Heart

    [NATL] Twins Born Conjoined at the Heart

    Twin baby girls Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez were born conjoined at the chest, with their hearts fused together. Doctors from University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital used groundbreaking technology to separate them.

    (Published 47 minutes ago)

    ___

    BRACKET BREAKDOWN

    EAST

    Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed and the defending national champion. It's tough to repeat — no one has since Florida in 2006 and 2007 — and if the Wildcats are going to buck that trend they'll likely have to beat the Gators along the way.

    First-round winners: Villanova, Wisconsin, UNC Wilmington, Florida, USC, Baylor, Marquette and Duke.

    Second round: Villanova over Wisconsin, Florida over UNC Wilmington, Baylor over USC and the teacher beats the student, Duke and Mike Krzyzewski oust Marquette and Steve Wojciechowski.

    How Would the East Coast Hyperloop Compare to World’s Largest Tunnels?

    [NATL] How Would the East Coast Hyperloop Compare to World’s Largest Tunnels?

    Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop from New York to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., would stretch over 250 miles. If built, how would that compare to the world’s largest tunnels?

    (Published Friday, July 21, 2017)

    Semifinals: Villanova over Florida, Duke over Baylor.

    Final: Villanova over Duke.

    MIDWEST

    Kansas got no favors from the selection committee here. But the Jayhawks almost seem as though they've been undervalued all season, maybe because winning the Big 12 regular season has become an annual rite in Lawrence.

    First-round winners: Kansas, Miami, Iowa State, Vermont, Creighton, Oregon, Michigan, Louisville.

    Second round: Kansas over Miami, Vermont over Iowa State, Oregon over Creighton, Michigan over Louisville.

    OJ Simpson Granted Parole

    [NATL] OJ Simpson Granted Parole

    O.J. Simpson has been granted parole by a Nevada Parole Board. He will be eligible to be released from prison as soon as Oct. 1.

    (Published Thursday, July 20, 2017)

    Semifinals: Kansas over Vermont, Michigan over Oregon.

    Final: Kansas over Michigan.

    SOUTH

    The marquee region, without question. North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA are seeded 1-2-3 here. They're also 1-2-3 in all-time Final Four appearances: North Carolina has 19, Kentucky 17 and UCLA also 17 (because the 1980 appearance was later vacated).

    First-round winners: North Carolina, Arkansas, Middle Tennessee, Butler, Cincinnati, UCLA, Wichita State and Kentucky (though don't be surprised if the Wildcats struggle with Northern Kentucky).

    Second round: North Carolina over Arkansas, Butler over Middle Tennessee, UCLA over Cincinnati, Kentucky over Wichita State.

    'No Excuses': OJ Simpson Expresses Regret in Parole Hearing

    [NATL] 'No Excuses': OJ Simpson Expresses Regret in Parole Hearing

    O.J. Simpson was remorseful at his parole hearing on July 20, 2017, saying he has never made excuses in the nine years he has been in prison. He said he would not have been arrested if he did not bring armed security guards.

    (Published Thursday, July 20, 2017)

    Semifinals: North Carolina over Butler, UCLA over Kentucky.

    Final: North Carolina over UCLA.

    WEST

    And here's the wild region. If chaos strikes one corner of your bracket, it will be this one.

    First-round winners: Gonzaga, Northwestern, Princeton, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida Gulf Coast, VCU, Arizona.

    Second round: Northwestern over Gonzaga, West Virginia over Princeton, Maryland over Florida Gulf Coast, Arizona over VCU.

    US Sen. McCain Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

    [NATL] US Sen. McCain Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

    U.S. Sen. John McCain, R., Ariz., has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. McCain had surgery on July 14 to remove a blood clot over his left eye. Subsequent tests revealed the tumor.

    (Published Thursday, July 20, 2017)

    Semifinals: West Virginia over Northwestern, Arizona over Maryland.

    Final: Arizona over West Virginia.

    ___

    FINAL FOUR

    So that leaves us with three No. 1 seeds — Villanova, North Carolina, Kansas — and a No. 2 seed in Arizona.

    Villanova over Arizona in the all-Wildcats semifinal. North Carolina over Kansas in the all-Roy Williams other semifinal.

    Top 10 Donald Trump Google Searches During His First 6 Months in Office

    [NATL] Top 10 Donald Trump Google Searches During His First 6 Months in Office

    Google shared their top U.S. searches involving President Trump heading into his six-month anniversary in office. Can you guess the most-searched term or phrase?

    (Published Thursday, July 20, 2017)

    For the first time since 1961 and 1962, that means a title-game rematch awaits. Villanova vs. North Carolina, once again.

    Repeat?

    Nope. This time, North Carolina wins it all.