SRJC Men’s basketball team weighs in on March Madness

courtesy of NCAA

Matthew Wreden, Sports Editor

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In just a few weeks, 68 Division I college basketball teams will compete in the big dance that is March Madness. The single-elimination tournament starts March 13 and ends April 2.

32 Division I schools receive automatic bids and 36 schools are awarded at-large berths for their performance over the season.

The NCAA will release the brackets on the famous “Selection Sunday” on March 11, sending college hoops fans in a frenzy to fill out the perfect bracket. Members of the Santa Rosa Junior College men’s basketball team told The Oak Leaf their thoughts on this year’s March Madness.

Second-year guard Beau Keeve said, “My money is going to the Duke Blue Devils. They are always hot. Grayson Allen is a senior and is going to put on a show you heard it here first.”

Allen, who is also a guard for Duke, is Keeve’s favorite player.

“If I were a Division I player, I would love to play for Coach K. at Duke,” Keeve said. “I don’t know how my mom would feel though, because she is a huge North Carolina fan.”

The Duke Blue Devils are currently projected as the number two seed in this year’s bracket.

Second-year guard Jordan Graves said, “I really don’t watch Division I ball but if I were to pick a team, it would be North Carolina.”

North Carolina is currently a number three seed in this year’s bracket.

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has been very public about giving large amounts of money to anyone that could predict a perfect bracket. The odds for a perfect bracket are an estimated 1 in 128 billion.

“I would get that billion dollars from Buffet and take my team out for a dinner. Who knows, I would invest it,” Keeve said.

Head coach at the JC, Craig McMillan, played basketball with current Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and former NBA star Sean Elliot on the 1988 Arizona Wildcats team that made it to the Final Four. In high school, McMillan was an all-American, who led Cloverdale High School to the CIF-III state championship.

“Arizona is my alma-mater, so I would love to see them win,” McMillan said. “I am also a huge fan of Virgina. Tony Bennett is doing a great job there.”

Teams that earn a low seed in the 13-16 range are known as Cinderella teams and prized by gamblers. These teams are generally small-market unknowns that shock big-name schools in the tournament.

“Our local team here in San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, is a huge dark horse. Hopefully they can make a run,” McMillan said.

The St. Mary’s Gaels have never won a national title.

“If were to place a bet right now, Michigan State would get my money,” said assistant coach Ryan Cook. “I also really look up to head coach Tom Izzo. What he has done in Michigan is incredible.”

McMillan said if he was a Division 1 coach he would ask his boys to take it one game at a time. “Just figure out what the individual game plan is and execute.”

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