Cap Space: March Madness with NBCLA’s Michael Duarte

In the this episode of the Cap Space Podcast: Tony Capobianco and NBCLA’s Michael Duarte put the “madness” in March Madness by filling out a NCAA Tournament bracket based on team names.


Today begins March Madness, arguably the most exciting part of the college sports year. Most of the arenas look the same with each having two games a day until the tournament field narrows down to eight. It’s basically a virtual non-stop battle between gladiators in the Colosseum with the fans shifting their attention from game to game while following their individual brackets hoping that it turns into a prophecy fulfilled.

I’ve personally had little success with my brackets over the years. The first time I legitimately tried was during my junior year of high school in 2007 and I correctly picked Florida to beat Ohio State. A lot has changed since then. I became an Arizona fan and have been filling out every bracket with the Wildcats winning it all. I was close to having a perfect region in 2011 until UConn ruined everything.

In recent years, I’ve found myself going chalk and sometimes picking different teams in different brackets (no more than three), which made following the game difficult because I was unsure who to root for.

This year, I have created my very own bracket formula in which I will permanently use. It is a three phase system on filling out my one bracket year.

The first phase is my top priority teams: Arizona, Miami, Purdue, Philadelphia school, local school in that order. These are the teams that I will always root for in the tournament and pick over anyone else in the tournament. This is where picking Arizona to win every year falls into place. A winning bracket is just not worth it if it doesn’t involve head coach Sean Miller finally holding the trophy. Villanova is the lone Philly school and Oklahoma State represents this year’s local rep (next year will be Boston bases teams). I actually covered a few OSU games and am bullish enough of the backcourt duo of Phil Forte and Juwan Evans to put the Cowboys in the Elite Eight, where they lose to the Hurricanes.

The second phase is teams with Wildcat mascots. I already have Arizona and Villanova playing each other in the Final Four. Under the Wildcat rule: Northwestern, in its first ever appearance in the tournament, makes a Cinderella run all the way to the Elite Eight, where the clock strikes midnight against Arizona. in the event that Kansas State and Kentucky have a battle of the Wildcats, chalk prevails.

The third and final phase of my formula is known as the blue phase. After my top teams and Wildcat teams, I fill out the rest of the bracket by picking teams that wear blue uniforms. Blue is the most dominant color in college basketball. Each of the No. 1 seeds wear blue, as well as three of the four No. 2 seeds. There are only five first round games in which my formula doesn’t cover. In the event of such, go chalk.

The Final Four is in Glendale, and there is no more of a fitting time and venue for the Arizona Wildcats to finally prevail.

Tony Capobianco’s bracket


About: Tony Capobianco


A graduate of the University of Arizona (2008-2013), Tony Capobianco covered sports from preps to pros since 2011 from the Tucson Citizen to Miami Herald to most recently with the Enid News & Eagle. The "Cuban Cowboy" took a first pitch to the nuts and lived to laugh at the viral video. Follow him @TonyCapobianco

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