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Hickok SportsThoughts

Sports historian and author Ralph Hickok of www.hickoksports.com sometimes meanders on about current happenings in sports and sometimes looks back in languor.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Who Are the Experts?

King Kaufman, who writes the Sports Daily column for Salon.com, annually conducts what he calls the Pool o' Experts contest. The experts are people who have, in one way or another, put together a bracket of selections for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
His winner this year: CBS.SportsLine.com users. That was actually the consensus bracket of users who entered the Bracket Challenge contest at the website.
Second was Yoni Cohen, who has become pretty well known because of his college basketball blog, which landed him a spot on Foxsports.com. Kyle Veltrop of The Sporting News was third and Tony Mejia of SportsLine.com finished fourth.
Sportsline lists all of its experts' picks, with the consensus of Bracket Challenge entrants. The visitors were 43-20. Three of the Sportsline experts were 38-25 and the fourth was 36-27.
Some kind of irony is at work here. Presumably, those Sportsline users visit the site to gather knowledge and wisdom that will help them make their picks. But, by some alchemy, they transmute that knowledge and wisdom into a better job of forecasting than that site's resident experts.

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Incidentally, North Carolina and Illinois finished 1-2 in the final AP poll. This was the first time since 1975 that the top two teams from the poll were matched up in the championship game. In that game, #1 UCLA beat #2 Kentucky. It was the last game John Wooden coached.