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Madness: Who's Gonna Win -
How You Can Tell © 1998 by Sidney Goldstein
of March Madness presents what many think is the best basketball
of the year. Enthusiasts watching the tournament often root with
much hope, but without realistic expectation of the final outcome.
For those who want more than the ramblings of sportscasters and
sportswriters I present insights that may help you predict the
final outcome of the game and the tournament. In any case you
will better know how your team is doing.
1-The number one principle of basketball is that basketball is not a game of finesse: basketball is a game of brute strength, height, speed, and quickness. Finesse teams rarely do well because they depend on outside shooting. And shooting percentage readily goes south against good defenses. Physical characteristics are constant and can be depended on for important chores like rebounding and defense. Just noting the height of the players on one team, compared to the opponent, gives you a valuable clue about how well your team can do. Look for speed, agility, and strength differences as well.
2-Another factor easy to notice is from where the team shoots. A team shooting from one foot, even if they miss, will eventually do better than a team shooting from the 3-point line. Expect a team regularly shooting one-footers to either keep the lead or readily catch up to a team shooting outside shots
3-What goes on in the "blood and guts" area under the basket is a most important factor. Take your eyes off the ball for a minute to look at the battle under the boards. Notice which teams:
a. rebound well on offensive and defensive boards
b. box out and get rebounding position
4-Another very important
factor is team defense. Since
any one offensive player can usually score on any one defensive
player, all defensive players must help out move to cover
the ball. To do this defensive players must continuously watch
the ball, a skill that is easily noticed. Good team defense makes
all shots in the "blood and guts" area difficult and
keeps the score low.