Why Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State and VCU Will Reach the Final Four


Many people across America are filling out brackets for the 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Many analysts claim to know what upsets will happen, what teams will advance to the Sweet 16 and what schools will reach the Final Four.

You don’t need to understand anything about college basketball to know what schools will go to the Final Four. Five 2013 facts indicate the four schools that will reach Atlanta on April 6. Since 1985, the first year the tournament included at least 64 teams, there’s only been one year that matches these five 2013 circumstances.


1. This year’s Final Four will take place in Atlanta, the state capital of Georgia, a former Confederate state.

1985, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012



2. The Final Four will be played in the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons, a National Football League team.

1987, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012



3. Will Smith will star in two films this year: After Earth and Winter’s Tale.

1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007



4. The Western Conference won this year’s NBA All-Star Game, 143-138.

1993, 2002, 2003, 2007



5. Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday this year.




In 2002, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta hosted the Final Four, Will Smith starred in Men in Black 2, the Western Conference won the NBA All-Star Game, 135-120 and Christmas Day fell on a Wednesday.

That year, Maryland (the No. 1 seed in the East Region), Kansas (the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region), Oklahoma (the No. 2 seed in the West Region) and Indiana (the No. 5 seed in the South Region) reached the Final Four.

This year, Indiana is the No. 1 seed in the East Region, Louisville is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, Ohio State is the No. 2 seed in the West Region and Virginia Commonwealth is the No. 5 seed in the South Region.

Therefore, these four schools will reach the Final Four in 2013.







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Super Bowl XLVII analysis everyone can understand


Super Bowl XLVII

Baltimore Ravens (13-6) vs. San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1)-Feb. 3-6:30 p.m.-CBS

Perhaps you know the Baltimore Ravens, the AFC champions, will play the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC champions, in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday. Perhaps you’ve heard brothers Jim and John Harbaugh will coach against each other, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will be playing in his final game and that neither team has lost in the Super Bowl. Perhaps during the past two weeks you’ve seen commentators on television giving their “expert” opinions about what team they think will win.

You don’t need to know anything about football to figure out who will win Super Bowl XLVII. Bryan Paul’s Puzzling NFL Predictions presents 47 obscure Super Bowl, historical and pop culture facts with a running score that indicate the team that will win on Sunday. This unconventional method will be tested against Chuck Pollock of The Olean Times Herald, who will use traditional prognostication to determine his Super Bowl prediction.




This is the 47th Super Bowl. Baltimore has won one odd-numbered Super Bowl. San Francisco has won three.

San Francisco, 1-0





New Orleans, La. hosts the Super Bowl for the tenth time this year. The NFC champion is 5-4 in Crescent City Super Bowls.

San Francisco, 2-0





Six of the nine New Orleans Super Bowls have been played inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The NFC Champion is 4-2 in Super Bowls played at the New Orleans Saints’ home stadium.

San Francisco, 3-0





The Superdome opened in 1975, the year Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC.  Since the show’s debut, the NFC champion is 22-15 in the Super Bowl.

San Francisco, 4-0





Adam Levine, lead singer of the band Maroon 5, hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend. Since the band formed, the NFC champion is 10-9 in the Super Bowl.

San Francisco, 5-0





Maroon 5 formed in 1994, the year Steven Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List. In years he’s been nominated for the Oscar, the NFC champion is 4-2 in the Super Bowl. This year, Spielberg received his seventh Best Director nomination for Lincoln.

San Francisco, 6-0





President Abraham Lincoln led the United States during the American Civil War. Louisiana, the state where Super Bowl XLVII will take place, was part of the Confederacy. The AFC champion is 16-13 when the Super Bowl is played in a former Confederate state.

San Francisco, 6-1

CSA Map w- Flag




Richmond, Va., the Confederate capital during the Civil War, is the birthplace of actor Warren Beatty. Since Beatty married actress Annette Bening, the NFC champion is 11-9 in the Super Bowl.

San Francisco, 7-1





Beatty married Bening in 1992, the year the Washington Redskins, wearing white jerseys, defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI. Since that game, the team that wears white jerseys in the Super Bowl is 13-7. Baltimore will wear white jerseys in Super Bowl XLVII.

San Francisco, 7-2





The New York Giants wore white jerseys in their 21-17 Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New England Patriots last year. The NFC Champion is 2-1 in Super Bowls following a Giants championship season.

San Francisco, 8-2





The Giants won their first Super Bowl in 1987 as quarterback Phil Simms won the Super Bowl XXI Most Valuable Player Award. After retiring following the 1993 season, he became a football commentator. The AFC champion is 4-2 in years Simms has been part of a Super Bowl broadcast team. Simms will provide color commentary for the CBS Super Bowl XLVII telecast.

San Francisco, 8-3





Jim Nantz will be the play-by-play announcer for the CBS Super Bowl XLVII broadcast. The AFC champion is 3-1 in Super Bowls that Nantz has had a role with CBS’ game coverage.

San Francisco, 8-4





Nantz joined CBS in 1985. Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as President of the United States for a second time on Jan. 21, 1985. With President Barack Obama’s second inauguration taking place on Jan. 21 this year, it’s the second time in the Super Bowl era that Inauguration Day has fallen on Jan. 21.  In 1985, the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers defeated the AFC champion Miami Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX.

San Francisco, 9-4

Ronald Reagan, Nancy ReaganBarack Obama, John Roberts




The 49ers made their second Super Bowl appearance in 1985. The Ravens are playing in their second Super Bowl this year. Teams playing in the Super Bowl for a second time are 11-7.

San Francisco, 9-5





1996 marked the first season of the Baltimore Ravens franchise. In the team’s 17-year history, Baltimore is 3-1 against San Francisco.

San Francisco, 9-6





Jonathan Ogden, the first player the Ravens drafted, played college football at UCLA. San Francisco doesn’t have any former UCLA players on its roster. Baltimore has one, linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo.

San Francisco, 9-7

Brendon Ayanbadejo, Baltimore Ravens




Ayanbadejo was born in 1976, the same year as basketball player Tim Duncan. The AFC champion is 9-6 in the Super Bowl since Duncan became an NBA player.

San Francisco, 9-8





The Spurs drafted Duncan in 1997. Madeleine Albright became the 64th United States Secretary of State in 1997. In years the United States Senate confirms a nominee to the Cabinet position, the AFC champion is 8-5 in the Super Bowl. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 94-3 that Sen. John Kerry will become the 68th United States Secretary of State on Feb. 1.

Tied, 9-9





Since 1985, Kerry has represented Massachusetts in the Senate. While he served on Capitol Hill, the NFC champion was 19-9 in the Super Bowl. Luckily for Baltimore, Kerry will resign from the Senate before Super Bowl XLVII. When he hasn’t been a senator, the AFC champion is 12-6 in the Super Bowl.

Baltimore, 10-9





The Democratic Party selected Kerry as its nominee in the 2004 presidential election. Louisiana State, coached by Nick Saban, won the BCS National Championship in 2004. The NFC champion is 2-1 in the Super Bowl when a Saban-coached team wins the championship. On Jan. 7, Saban guided Alabama to a 42-14 victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.

Tied, 10-10

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Alabama vs Notre Dame


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Bryan Paul’s Puzzling NFL Predictions: Week 11


In 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School in Springfield, Mass., created a new indoor game. In this game, players dribbled a soccer ball around a court and earned points by shooting the ball into a peach basket. Today, basketball remains one the world’s most popular sports.

Football and basketball are different. Football stadiums are large structures. Basketball arenas are smaller, more intimate facilities. Football players, shielded by helmets, face masks and pads, perform like Roman Empire gladiators. Basketball players wear a simpler uniform consisting of a jersey, shorts and sneakers and display their talents and skills with the same dramatic flair as Broadway actors.

There is less parity in basketball. Since David Stern became commissioner of the National Basketball Association in 1984, eight different franchises have won NBA championships. Fourteen different National Football League teams have won the Super Bowl.

There are similarities. Lucas Oil Stadium, the Georgia Dome and Ford Field have hosted Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four games. NFL players Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Julius Peppers played college basketball. Football and basketball coaches both have a range of interesting characters from the wise Vince Lombardi and Phil Jackson, to the stern Tom Landry and Larry Brown to the zany Jimmy Johnson and Bob Knight.

In honor of slam dunks, steals, three pointers and technical fouls, the Week 11 predictions theme is basketball.


Miami Dolphins (4-5) at Buffalo Bills (3-6)-Nov. 15-8:20 p.m.-NFL Network

The Los Angeles Clippers, formally the Buffalo Braves, played in Western New York from 1970-78. Since the Braves moved away, the Bills are 271-294. Imagine, Buffalo sports fans: Chris Paul and Blake Griffin playing at First Niagara Center. Oh well.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Miami

Pollock’s Pick: Buffalo


Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Detroit Lions (4-5)-Nov. 18-1 p.m.-Fox

The University of Kentucky won its fifth national championship in 1978. This year, the program won its eighth title. The school’s triumph will doom Green Bay this week. The Packers are 1-6 in Week 11 games in years Kentucky wins the national championship.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Detroit

Pollock’s Pick: Green Bay


New York Jets (3-6) at St. Louis Rams (3-5-1)-Nov. 18-1 p.m.-CBS

John Calipari coached this year’s Kentucky national championship team. He has coached four teams that reached the Final Four. The Jets are 6-7 in November games during those seasons. The Rams are 2-11-1. However, the National Collegiate  Athletic Association vacated two of those appearances due to player eligibility and academic issues.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: St. Louis

Pollock’s Pick: St. Louis

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Syracuse University should reassess the state of its men’s basketball program

Syracuse University needs to address the lack of institutional control in its men’s basketball program.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association defines a lack of institutional control as failure to follow compliance or NCAA rules on issues such as players receiving improper benefits, player eligibility and recruiting.

Institutional control should mean more.

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