Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

March 20, 2013

Dueling Brackets: Braden Layer

The hallowed week is finally upon us. The wonderfully chaotic, stress inducing madness of March began on Tuesday, and a full slate of 16 games starts tomorrow. Luckily for me, I don't have to perform the juggling act of appearing to work while also using my iPad, iPhone or computer to religiously check scores or watch the craziness live, fortunately it's in my job description.

Which is why Ryan and I have decided to use our combined expertise, and I use that term loosely, to share our picks in a "Dueling Brackets" segment. We'll go through each region and highlight who we have advancing to Atlanta, along with a little upset special selection at the end. With no further ado, here is your winning bracket...

MIDWEST- This bracket runs through Louisville, and it should. I'll admit that Pitino has duped me before, but I'm doubting they do it again. The Cardinals are playing their best basketball at the best possible time, winning the Big East tournament title on Sunday against Syracuse. If you took away anything from that contest, it's that the Cards are never out of a game. Syracuse led by double digits at halftime before Louisville awoke from its slumber to win in convincing fashion.

Louisville plays fantastic defense, and I'm finally ready to watch Peyton Siva without being consistently scared of a turnover. Siva may still cough the ball up a few times, but he's been noticeably better and has a career high average of 5.9 assists this season. Count on Siva to provide some flashy highlights, Russ Smith to score consistently, and the stable of Louisville big men to get the job down on the boards down low. I can comfortably say I see no signs as to why the Cardinals won't be heading to Atlanta, and they're my pick from the Midwest.

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Sports
  • Groce.jpg Illini coach Groce stops in Effingham; Speech focuses on team building

    A crowded ballroom met for "An Evening with John Groce” Thursday inside the Thelma Keller Convention Center.
    Groce has been the men's basketball coach at the University of Illinois since March 2012. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012.
    His speech was focused on team building and Groce said it was the a variation of the same speech he will give Sunday evening at his beginning-of-the-year players' meeting.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MadisonBushue.jpg St. Anthony second at Charleston scramble

    In their first meet of the season, the St. Anthony Bulldogs came out firing, taking second place at the Charleston Invitational Thursday afternoon.
    The tournament was a scramble at Charleston Country Club, and the hosting Trojans took home the tournament with a combined score of 72. St. Anthony was five shots back, shooting a 77. Effingham finished fourth with an 88, and Teutopolis took ninth with a 98.

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Lunt the right man at QB

    There haven't been many times I've put pen to paper — or I guess more fittingly finger to keyboard — and written about the Illinois Fighting Illini.
    Part of it is due to their football team's struggles, as it's hard to have an opinion on them outside of "man, they went 1-7 in the Big 10 last year" or "I remember that one time they went to the Rose Bowl, but that's about it." Part of it is staying in my wheelhouse, which is MAC football and my alma mater Central Michigan Chippewas, a topic that doesn't concern many, if any, around here.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NeogaGresens.jpg Neoga prepares for upcoming volleyball season

    Another area team finds themselves with a new coach holding the clipboard this season.
    Susan Hutchinson is the new volleyball coach for the Neoga Indians, but she isn't new to the game of volleyball. Hutchinson coached at Mattoon for seven years when they were still in the Big 12 Conference. She said her new players had to get used to her coaching style very quickly.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bulldogs fifth at ISU

    St. Anthony took to the links for the second-straight day and had a strong showing at the Raider/Redbird Classic.
    The Bulldogs finished fifth among a 20-team field, shooting a 318. East Peoria shot a 312 to win it, Normal U-High and Lincoln each shot 315s with Normal winning the tie-breaker, and Bloomington took fourth with a 317.

    August 21, 2014

  • DonovanHammer.jpg St. Anthony will lead with speed

    For the last five years, Eric Morales has been the assistant coach of the St. Anthony Bulldogs soccer team. But this season he will have his chance at the helm and try to help lead the Bulldogs to their first regional title since 2010.
    St. Anthony is missing six seniors from last years team, including its leading goal scorer and starting goalie.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • JakeLinders.jpg Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational

    The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Willenborg.jpg Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More

    Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
    And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • callawaysmith.jpg Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today

    The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
    The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndrewBingham.jpg Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season

    Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
    It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
    Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

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