We started with 351 schools and we’re now down to two. Wai Sallas, breaks down the non-basketball factors that will drive who will win the NCAA Championship game.
Let’s be honest. Between today and tomorrow, there will be hundreds of websites that are going to try and analyze this championship game.
The so-called “experts” on ESPN will talk about Wisconsin’s efficiency, Jahlil Okafor’s length and Duke’s inside presence.
Everyone will give you their prediction of who will win this game, but maybe one percent actually predicted this championship game match up.
(Editor’s Note: Full disclosure, I had Duke against Arizona so I was half right. Jake Kasdan, son of Mike Kasdan, and thus our Jr. Sr. Sports Editor, correctly predicted Duke vs. Wisconsin. Props to Jake!)
So can you really trust anything written about who’s actually going to win?
These are kids playing a game. Anything is possible. Anyone can rise to the occasion. Anyone can choke under the spotlight. But there is more to the game that what goes on between the lines. The set up for both of these schools goes well beyond Indianapolis.
It’s no easy task to predict what will happen. The basketball Gods are tugging in opposite directions. As I mentioned in my March Madness preview,
3) Pick Blue.
In the last 10 years, a school with blue in its school colors has won all but one national championship. The top 8 teams, only Wisconsin doesn’t have blue, just saying.
4) Don’t Pick Duke.
Since 1980, only three number one picks in the NBA draft have won the NCAA National Championship in the same year. Many predict Jahlil Okafor to take home that honor. Wikipedia has already made it official.
See what I mean?
So how do we decide? We take a look at the key off-the-court factors that will clearly drive who will win:
What wins basketball games? That’s right. Famous people, of course.
In today’s fame-obsessed world, everyone knows that what really matters is this, what famous people will be there. Duh.
Duke has had its fair share of supporters over the years, but you have to be concerned when you look into the crowd and see these faces:
Wisconsin, on the other hand has had really only two recognizable faces cheering on the Badgers:
US News and World Report ranked Duke eighth, Wisconsin 47th. In case you are wondering, “The U.S. News ranking system rests on two pillars. The formula uses quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and it’s based on our researched view of what matters in education.”
3. Other stuff
There’s more to college than academics, however, The Princeton Review ranked Wisconsin the eighth best party school in America.
For you Dawson’s Creek fans, you recall Joey and Audrey attending Worthington University, which was supposed to be in Boston. Spoiler alert: It was actually filmed at Duke.
MTV’s Short lived reality series College Life featured eight Wisconsin freshmen, trying to make this crazy thing called college work for them. During production, the University pulled its support, probably due to the fact they didn’t want to be associated with the social aspect that is associated with Madison.
5. Comedic Chops
Without Duke University we would never have gotten The Hangover. Ken Jeong is an alum of the school, and a huge Duke basketball fan.
Without Wisconsin we would have never gotten Airplane or The Naked Gun. David and Jerry Zucker produced those movies and there should be a statue in their honor somewhere in Madison.
The Final Results!
By my count, the edge goes to the Badgers.
On the court, they took down the once-perfect Kentucky Wildcats, the Arizona Wildcats, and Goldie Hawn’s Wildcats.
Off the court, they rank amongst the top party schools in America annually, Olivia Munn shows up for their games, and they gave us Airplane and Naked Gun.
Either way the game should be exciting:
“Like a blind man in an orgy, [Duke and Wisconsin are] gonna have to feel things out.”
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