Mark Bradley blog 

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The 2014 Fiasco champ is Ronnie Turner of Vidalia

  • 3:49 pm Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Our fabulous Fiasco winner. (Photo courtesy Ronnie Turner)

The 27th edition of Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco was true to its name. For most of the 3,253 entrants, predicting the winners was indeed a forlorn hope. For Ronnie Turner of Vidalia, an NCAA tournament that all but defied prognostication somehow became easy pickings.

Turner, 57, picked 25 of the 32 second-round winners correctly, 11 of the Sweet Sixteen, five of the Elite Eight and three of the Final Four. He tabbed Kentucky, a No. 8 seed, as the 2014 national champion, which didn’t seem likely when the Big Dance began but darn near happened. For such inspired forecasting, Turner is [More]

How Aaron Craft symbolized a wild NCAA day

  • 9:33 am Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Aaron Craft's last dash as a collegian. (Bill Wippert/AP)

Florida, the team I (and a few others) picked to win it all, was tied with 16th-seeded Albany in the second half. Louisville, the team I (and others) picked to finish second, trailed 13th-seeded Manhattan inside the final four minutes. That the Gators and Cardinals wound up winning did nothing to fill me with confidence in my powers of prognostication, but you know what?

In the Big Dance, all that matters is that you survive and advance.

Tournament schedule / results | Photos: 2014 NCAA Tournament action

The first full day of the 2014 NCAA tournament was wild — four overtime [More]

It’s the last chance to dance in the Bracket Fiasco

  • 8:28 am Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
The Big Orange had a big night in Dayton. (Al Behrman/AP)

Fair warning: If you haven’t entered our Bracket Fiasco, you have a few hours — a scant few hours, I stress — to do so. In addition to the traditional Final Four sweatshirt, this year’s winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone and accessories from Verizon. (Total value: $950.)

Already the NCAA tournament has produced three eye-opening results in its First Four: Tennessee, which wasn’t a lock to make the field, surged from 12 points down to beat Iowa in overtime; North Carolina State, which almost nobody thought would make the tournament as of 6 p.m. Sunday, beat [More]

In this Bracket Fiasco, I like Florida over Louisville

  • 8:32 pm Sunday, March 16th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
They'll be celebrating again soon, I say. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The 27th annual edition of Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco begins with a sigh. Had Georgia State not wasted an 11-point lead over the final 5:10 of regulation Sunday, I’d be picking them to beat Creighton in the NCAA tournament. That’s assuming the Panthers would have been placed where Louisiana-Lafayette, to whom they fell in an excruciating overtime, landed in the bracket.

Oh, and about that bracket: It’s terrible. To use a phrase in vogue this time of year, it doesn’t pass the eye test. Of the 12 teams seeded Nos. 1-3, how many would be favored over No. 4 Louisville [More]

After a wild win, UGA gets to play Kentucky

  • 12:47 am Saturday, March 15th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Georgia's Mark Fox exults after a difficult victory. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Georgia, which has been figuring out ways to win since SEC play began in January, figured out another late Friday and into Saturday. In a game wrecked by overzealous officials, the Bulldogs made one basket over the final 6:49 — that coming on Charles Mann’s third-chance shot from the lane with 17 seconds remaining — but that one was the game-winner.

In a game that saw 51 fouls called and 73 free throws taken and both coaches and many players fly into rages, that one Mann basket carried the long night. The Bulldogs fell into foul trouble in the first half. [More]

Coming soon: Our 27th annual Bracket Fiasco!

  • 2:03 pm Friday, March 14th, 2014 by Mark Bradley

Not trying to sound like Clark Howard, but if you’re going to enter only one NCAA pool this year, you should make it the one that’s paying $1,000,000,000 for a perfect submission. (That’s be the Quicken Loans Bracket Challenge, as backed by Warren Buffett.) But if you’re up for entering another, might I suggest Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco, which offers some fairly fabulous prizes its ownself?

In addition to the traditional Final Four sweatshirt, our winner will receive — courtesy of Verizon, our sponsor — a Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone and accessories valued at $950. Plus you’ll also be entered in [More]

Mercer’s in. Will UGA and Georgia State follow?

  • 8:22 am Monday, March 10th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Dancin' Bears: Jakob Gollon and coach Bob Hoffman. (Corey Perrine/AP)

The Mercer Bears beat Florida Gulf Coast, recently known as Dunk City, to win the Atlantic Sun tournament Sunday. The automatic bid means that Mercer will grace the NCAA field for the first time since 1985, when it was led by Sam Mitchell and when the Bears were part of an extraordinary subregional at the old Omni.

Of the eight teams playing on that Georgia court that March Friday, three were from, ahem, Georgia. In the afternoon session, Georgia beat Wichita State, which was led by Xavier McDaniel. In the long day’s nightcap, Mercer was beaten by Georgia Tech. (Georgia [More]