Turf experts make their NCAA picks

By |  March 16, 2011

Great news! SubAir is going to co-sponsor this March Madness Bracket Challenge with us! Thank you SubAir!

Here’s the email that just went out to all the subscribers of Golfdom’s e-newsletter Chip Shots:

Think you’re the biggest college basketball fan in the industry? Golfdom and SubAir want you to prove it.

There are so many turf schools in the NCAA tournament — 17 schools by our count — that we know Golfdom readers have caught March Madness. That’s why Golfdom and SubAir – maker of TurfBreeze fans – are hosting the first ever Golfdom March Madness Bracket Challenge! Click here to enter your bracket (join group # 19161 — no password needed, but you’ll need a Yahoo! account) and compete against your fellow turf professionals. Golfdom and SubAir will be providing prizes for the best brackets in the industry.

SubAir’s TurfBreeze fans got a lot of greens through last year’s awful summer. They know all about big fans. But are you a big fan? Prove it, and win some cool stuff!

To help you with your picks, we consulted with some fellow fans who are also turf experts to see who they’re taking in their bracket…

Karl Danneberger, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

“Listen, nobody’s going to beat us. We’re awfully good. We’re the best team in the nation, just like we’re the best athletic program in the nation!

But we are in a tough region. Oh boy, we’ve got a lot of tough teams. We’ve got Kentucky, we’ve got North Carolina… you’d think we’d have gotten an easier road to the championship since our athletic director was in charge of the selection committee!

Ohio State is a nice mix of people. We’ve got the best freshman in the nation in Jared Sullinger, and we’ve Jon Diebler, who is a three-point sharp shooter, and he’s been really hot lately. But this team is a nice mix of personnel, they’re not too young, not too old.

The key to beating Ohio State is if you can guard Sullinger 1-on-1. Because if you double-team him, he’ll kick it out and we’ll hit the three-pointer.

I think it will come down to us and Kansas. That’d be a great game, wouldn’t it?”

Jack Fry, Ph.D., Kansas State University

“I’m a season ticket holder for K-State basketball, so I follow the team closely.

For us, it depends on which team shows up. If we get the team that beat Texas on the road, then we’ll be just fine, but if we get the team that managed to lose to Colorado three times, well, we’ll be in trouble.

Some people in Manhattan have high hopes, and they’d tell you we’ve got a shot at making it to the Elite Eight. Me? Well… I have them getting knocked out in the second round by Wisconsin.

If Jacob Pullen is hitting his threes, and if he gets some support, we’ll be fine. But Pullen has to be “on” for us to have any success.

The best turf school in the tournament? I can’t say Ohio State, because I just can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t give Ohio State or Michigan State, those Big Ten schools, any credit! So I guess I’ll take K-State… or maybe Purdue, even though Purdue is a Big Ten school as well.”

Clark Throssell, Ph.D., Golfdom magazine (former head of Purdue University’s turf program)

“Purdue is going to get to the Sweet 16 for sure, and, it depends on how you’re feeling, they could be an Elite Eight team, too. They’ve got a good big man and a good guard, and that’s what it takes to make it in this tournament. JaJuan Johnson is their big man, he’s awfully good, and they’ve got E’Twaun Moore, and he’s tough.

You know, I won the office pool twice when I was with GCSAA, so I’m looking forward to being in the Golfdom pool that’s been set up… those two wins may have been total luck, but I think I do know a thing or two about basketball. I’m not crazy for the Jayhawks like they are in Lawrence, but I do think this will come down to the Jayhawks and the Buckeyes.

And I’m taking the Jayhawks to win it all. They’re tough to beat, and they have a great coach. Plus, last year when they lost to Northern Iowa? That was a tough lesson. That will only help them this year.”

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