Did you Know? – March Madness Edition

Chip Brown, nationally known sports reporter and on-air host, joins us again to talk March Madness. In this “Did You Know?” segment, Chip shares some lesser-known facts and stats about the the tournament, as well as tips on what to expect if you plan to attend some of the early round games.

TicketCity’s Top 10 Conference Tournaments

kentucky-celebrate-2012-ncaa-mfjpg-c5b1974510e1ce41 Conference tournaments can mean one of two things for basketball team: improving a seed for the NCAA Tournament or a last shot at a miracle birth into the big dance by winning the whole thing. We’ve taken a look at the tournaments nationwide  and found 10 that stick out as ones you don’t want to miss. If you head to one of Las Vegas, New York City or Nashville, you can see multiple conference tournaments. Plenty of basketball all over coming up!

10. WCC - Las Vegas, NV (tickets)

Gonzaga is 29-2 and #1 in the country for the first time in school history, so while they will headline this tournament there are a few other interesting teams that will be looking to knock the Zags off their perch. Saint Mary’s, BYU and Santa Clara are all trying to punch their tickets into the NCAA tournament with a strong tournament showing.

9. Pac 12 – Las Vegas, NV (tickets)

No team has come out and called the Pac 12 championship theirs yet, and we’ll see about five teams that easily have a shot at winning the tournament. Oregon and UCLA find themselves at 12-4 in conference play and you can be sure Ben Howland will have his Bruins ready for every game in Sin City.

8. Missouri Valley – St. Louis, MO (tickets)

Creighton and Wichita State are both going to be popular picks to knock off top teams in the NCAA tournament, and you can catch them and Northern Iowa battle the rest of the Missouri Valley in St. Louis for the title. There’s a ton of talent in this conference and the rest of the country will be seeing it soon enough.

7. SEC – Nashville, TN (tickets)

We could see six SEC teams in the NCAA tournament… or we could only see two. It’ll be up to this tournament to decide who gets up off the bubble and who is left just out. While Florida and Mizzou are definitely going to be dancing come late March, what will happen to Kentucky, Ole Miss, Alabama and Tennessee? Go to Nashville and see dreams come true and hearts break.

6. Atlantic 10 – Brooklyn, NY (tickets)

There are five teams in the Atlantic 10 with over 20 wins with St. Louis and VCU looking like the two favorites going into the tournament. Butler and La Salle are also hoping to break through and win the tournament, so get your tickets to see which cinderella gets to put on her slipper in Brooklyn.

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5. ACC – Greenboro, NC (tickets)

Miami has shocked the college basketball world with a 23-5 record and Top-10 ranking, sitting atop the ACC. Of course, Duke and North Carolina will have something to say when they tip off in Greensboro as the Canes try to prove they’re worth a #1 seed and a conference title.

4. Big 12 – Kansas City, MO (tickets)

It’s the state of Kansas in a battle once again in the Big 12, as the Jayhawks and Wildcats are the top two seeds in the conference tournament. Kansas’ neighbor to the south will have something to say about that, as Oklahoma State and Oklahoma try to force their way into the March madness in any way possible.

3. Mountain West – Las Vegas, NV (tickets)

New Mexico could prove to be a very high seed by the time selection Sunday comes around, but it’ll need to prove itself against the likes of UNLV, Colorado State and San Diego State in the conference tournament first. Can the Lobos do the unthinkable and make a run at a national title?

2. Big East – New York, NY (tickets)

In the last time you’ll see the Big East in its current form, the conference tournament will help both settle some seeds and decide who is sneaking into the NCAA tournament. Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse look to be locks while UConn and Villanova will be trying to show the selection committee they belong.

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1. Big Ten - Chicago, IL (tickets)

In what looks to be the toughest conference in basketball, the Hoosiers have reigned supreme thus far. There have been buzzer-beaters, multiple OTs and just great basketball played in the Big Ten this season and this conference tournament should be no different. This is the best tournament out there and if you’re looking for bang for your buck, it’s right here in Chi-town.

The Madness is Approaching

As March approaches, college basketball fans across the country are preparing for the madness. From the conference tournaments to the NCAA Tournament the time between March and early April is a college basketball fans dream. With 300+ games taking place from the first conference tournament contest to the National Championship, it truly is March Madness.

As always, the NCAA Tournament will take its madness to arenas, centers, and pavilions all over the nation. The second and third rounds are scheduled for March 21-24 at the following venues:

The second and third rounds are always exciting as it is a massive amount of basketball played in just a short span of time. After four days of competition at these various venues only 16 teams will remain in the NCAA Tournament.

Commonly known as the Sweet 16, the Regional Semi-finals will venture off to another set of venues. These venues will also host the Regional Finals, or as it is better known, the Elite 8. The tournament is broken down into four regions (West, South, Midwest, East) and each is played at a separate location. Two of the four venues are ones that normally sanction a sport other than basketball and will require a face lift before the NCAA Tournament can set forth. Home to the West Regionals, the Staples Center is more than familiar with the basketball setup as it is the home of the Lakers and Clippers. The East Regionals hangs on to the basketball venue theme as well taking over the Verizon Center home to the Washington Wizards.As for the remaining two, both are normally filled by football fans and will take on a whole new perspective as basketball fans fill the seats.

The South Regionals will take place at the one and only Dallas Cowboys Stadium. In order to accommodate to a much smaller field of play floor seats will be brought in to surround a wood court that was once 100 yards of turf.

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The Midwest Regionals will take a similar approach moving in on the field of the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. However, for this set up the basketball court will go up surrounded with floor seating in the south end-zone leaving only a portion of the stadium available for seating.

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From here the NCAA Tournament will pack up once again and travel to Atlanta, Georgia to transform yet another football stadium for the most anticipated span of the tournament — the Final Four. The Georgia Dome, home to the Atlanta Falcons, will undergo similar changes to that of Jerry-World. Floor seating will be brought in to surround the court that will be placed in the middle of the field.

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The most exciting time in college basketball is upon us so don’t get caught watching the games on television wishing you were there instead. Tickets won’t last forever so act fast and get that front row seat to be a part of all the Madness and don’t forget to follow the March Madness bracket at TicketCity.

MJ vs. LJ

With the 50th birthday of the legendary Michael Jordan right around the corner there has been a lot of comparing in the air between MJ and LJ. Is LeBron the next Jordan? Who would win in a one-on-one game between the two? Is LeBron better than Jordan? Is LeBron the best…ever? From ESPN to your local sports news station it seems that this has been the talk ever since LeBron James stepped on to the court. At this point in both players career they have produced similar as far as winning percentage, MVPs, and Finals appearances. There is however one huge distinction — MJ won all three visits to the finals while LeBron only took home one.

I am not here to take anything away from the “King,” he is a great basketball player and will surely leave a huge mark on the game, but he is no Michael Jordan. If you look at the way the two play the game there are few similarities. In fact the aspects of LeBron’s game fall more in line with that of Wilt Chamberlin and Magic Johnson. If anyone on the court today plays MJ-esque it would have to be Lakers phenom Kobe Bryant. Jordan hit the court with the mindset that he was going to beat you single handedly a mindset that seemingly found its way into the head of Bryant. Watching LeBron and his charismatic approach to the game immediately reminds me of a Magic Johnson. James does have more of the scoring ability that Chamberlin possessed but when it comes to generating the offense James is almost a spitting image of Magic. In a sense comparing MJ and LJ is like comparing Nolan Ryan and Babe Ruth or Joe Montana and Ray Lewis. All amazing athletes but have completely different roles in the game. No one has attacked the goal like Jordan, not LeBron and not Kobe; it was the aspect of Jordan’s game that made him the Jump-man Air Jordan.

To compare any player to Jordan is somewhat irrelevant especially someone with only one ring. Maybe the time will come when LeBron’s game takes more of an attacking type style but for now the two can’t be categorized in the same class. LeBron said it best in a twitter response to all the commotion about the comparison; “I am not MJ, I’m LJ.”

When it comes to ranking players as the best it has to come down to who you want on the court to win a playoff game. Though LeBron’s current stretch of at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting is impressive it’s not the playoffs and Jordan did it in the ‘90s but at 46 points at 60 percent along with 10 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Besides Game 6 against Boston, LeBron’s playoff performance is still hanging in limbo waiting to be seen. Jordan was born for the playoffs. When the game is on the line you wanted the ball in his hands without question. In college Jordan hit the game winning shot to win the NCAA championship, he put up 63 points in the Garden against the legendary Celtics team in 86, and sunk the game winner at the buzzer against Utah with the flu. Where LeBron has lost three years in a row, Jordan never lost a playoff series when he had home-court advantage.

There is no doubt LeBron has the potential to be something great but to be the next Michael Jordan, not likely, nor will anybody else for that matter. With 6 NBA championships, 6 NBA Finals MVPs, 5 NBA MVPs, 14-time All-Star nominations, 10 scoring titles, 10 All-NBA First Team selections, 9 All-Defensive First Team selections, a Rookie of the Year award and a Hall of Fame enshirement, there is and always will be only one Michael Jordan.

After the Weekend: Is Miami the Best Team in College Basketball?

What a great weekend as the first weekend without football. The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to South Beach and Lebron James was phenomenal as the Heat took down the Lakers.

Notre Dame beat Louisville in 5 overtimes, this is not your father’s Kansas basketball team and the University of Miami might just be the best basketball team in the country. Yes that’s right ‘The U’ might be getting it done in hoops.

The NBA All-Star Game is also heading to Houston.

The University of Texas gets their best player Myck Kabongo back against Iowa State on Wednesday after a 23 games suspension or hijacking by the NCAA, take your pick. Texas is 10 – 13 overall and 2–8 in Big play with 8 games to play. They could go on a massive run to end the season and go 18–13 and 10–8 in conference play. Would that be enough to get them in the NCAA tournament?

Probably not, but it is going to be really interesting to see what he brings to the Longhorn team on Wednesday.