How to Win Your NCAA Office Pool: Take North Carolina | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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

    Every March when the NCAA Basketball Tournament arrives, millions of people grab a bracket and try to correctly pick the winner of every game. Many have hopes of a perfect bracket. But is that a realistic thought? We reached out to Jeffrey Bergen, Professor of Mathematics at DePaul University to get the actual numbers.

    (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.

    Airport Officer Stabbed

    [NATL] Airport Officer Stabbed

    A man stabbed an airport police officer Wednesday morning at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan. The man is in custody and being questioned by the FBI. The airport officer was in stable condition. The FBI has said it is too early to determine if this incident is a terrorist act.

    (Published Wednesday, June 21, 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.

    Milwaukee Cop Found Not Guilty In Shooting That Sparked Riots

    [NATL] Milwaukee Cop Found Not Guilty In Shooting That Sparked Riots

    Jurors found former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Sylville Smith after a traffic stop and a short pursuit. Smith was carrying a gun when Heaggan-Brown opened fire. Smith's family plans to sue Heaggan-Brown and the city of Milwaukee.

    (Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017)

    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.

    ___

    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.

    Watch: Mother, Aunt Elephants Save Baby From Drowning

    [DFW-NATL] Watch: Mother, Aunt Elephants Save Baby From Drowning

    A baby elephant was saved from drowning by a group of its family members at a South Korean Zoo. In a video recorded by the Seoul Grand Park Zoo, a baby elephant named Hope tried to drink from a pond, but somehow lost its balance and fell in. The calf's mother and aunt came to the rescue, first trying to reach it with their trunks, then going in the water and holding the scared calf up. They eventually brought the calf back to land. A third adult elephant was seen pacing back and forth in a separate enclosure, appearing alarmed by the situation.

    (Published Wednesday, June 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.

    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.

    Released Dashcam Video Shows Philando Castile Shooting

    [NATL] Released Dashcam Video Shows Philando Castile Shooting

    Warning: This video contains graphic content.

    Newly released dashcam video shows Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez firing seven shots at Philando Castile during a 2016 traffic stop.

    (Published Tuesday, June 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.

    Barflies Order Drinks During Armed Robbery

    [NY-NATL] Barflies Order Drinks During Armed Robbery

    Barflies appeared not to notice as armed robbers were sticking up a Florida bar with a shotgun Sunday, with some patrons even trying to order more drinks as the robbery was in progress.

    (Published Wednesday, June 21, 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.

    Tiny Grads: NICU Nurses Hold Graduation for Babies

    [NATL] Tiny Grads: NICU Nurses Hold Graduation for Babies Leaving Intensive Care Unit

    Babies leaving the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are getting their own graduation ceremony, complete with miniature caps and gowns, courtesy of their nurses at the CaroMont Regional Medical Center.

    (Published Tuesday, June 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.