Advertisement

March Madness: Going 'Chalk' a recipe for disaster

In any NCAA March Madness basketball office pool fans play in, there is always someone who “goes chalk” – picking the higher-seeded, favorite team to win every game. Teams have earned their No. 1 seeds, but going “all chalk” has been a death-knell for amateur bracketologists in the NCAA tournament for decades.

Since expanding to 64 teams in 1985, only once has a Final Four included all four No. 1 seeds (2008 – Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis). On the flip side, only twice have no top seeds made it to the Final Four (2006, 2011). In those 34 years, only five times (15 percent) have three or more No. 1 seeds advanced to the Final Four. In 14 years (41 percent), just one top seed has made it out of regional play and, in 13 years (38 percent), two No. 1 seeds have moved on. The odds greatly favor just one or two top-seeded teams making it to Minneapolis in April.

As is typically the case, it’s hard for fans filling out brackets to find a way that 2019’s top seeds – Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Gonzaga – won’t advance into the Final Four. The rationale makes sense. Between them, they have a combined record of 116-17, but it should be noted that eight of those losses came in games when they played against one another. When they weren’t going head to head, they combined for records of 108-9.

The layout of the No. 1 seeds with three teams coming from the ACC adds a unique level to this year’s field because just one of the No. 1 seeds (Duke) won its conference tournament, typically the stamp of approval for No. 1 seeds.

For most of those filling out brackets, the inevitable question will be asked – “Who can keep Duke/UNC/Virginia/Gonzaga out of the Final Four?” That question is posed every year and, almost without exception, those teams have emerged, making “going chalk” an exercise in futility.


More Stories

National Championship Game: Gonzaga vs. Baylor odds, picks and prediction

Previewing Monday's National Championship Game odds and lines, with Gonzaga vs. Baylor picks and predictions.

Read the full article

From The Web Ads by Zergnet

NCAA Tournament National Championship Game - How to watch Gonzaga vs. Baylor

How to watch the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Championship between Gonzaga and Baylor, with TV schedule, start time, odds and lines.

Read the full article

Baylor at Gonzaga NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Odds, Picks and Prediction

The national champion will be decided when the Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-0) and Baylor Bears (22-2) square off in the final game of the NCAA Tournament on Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium, beginning at 9:00 PM ET. Bookmakers expect Gonzaga to win it all, naming the Bulldogs as 4.5-point favorites.

The Bulldogs were led by Drew Timme's 25 points last time out in a 93-90 win against UCLA on Saturday. They failed to cover the spread as 14.5-point favorites, while the teams scored a combined 183 points to hit the over on the 147 over/under.

Jared Butler led the way for the...

Read the full article
More March Madness betting odds, lines, picks and predictions