The worst month in sports activities is over, and the exceptional months are quickly approaching. Every month of the 12 months was ranked based on one component and one most effective issue: the nice and to-be-had sports activities.
NFL schooling camp does not create the excitement as soon as it did, and the preseason is caught somewhere awful and okay. The end of the month gives an awesome weekend of college soccer … occasionally.
The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting occasion in North America, but February is pretty blah in sports after that. The NBA exchange closing date is a laugh but regularly unimportant. The NBA All-Star sport is first-rate.
This year’s NCAA basketball tournament did not disappoint basketball fans. There were some great games, exciting plays, and surprising upsets.
Psychology and math can help fans, coaches, and bettors pick major sporting event winners. A model for analyzing big games is presented in a book I co-authored with my friend and colleague, Carlton Chin.
In Who Will Win The Big Game? 50 Characteristics Of Winning Players, Teams, And Coaches, we examine the psychological and statistical factors that have proven important in big games across various sports, including basketball, baseball, football, golf, and tennis.
We have been right with our predictions, and the information in our book is now being shared with coaches and players around the country who want to perform better in big games and during the regular season.
Our predictions and analysis have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times several times.
So, who will win this year’s college basketball championship?
Our data and research favor The University of Connecticut. Here’s why…
Coaching is a significant factor in these contests. While John Calipari is a fine coach who wins big and will win more big games, Jim Calhoun’s experience, record, motivation to win three championships, and big-game appearances seem to give the Connecticut Huskies headman the edge in this category.
Jim Calhoun is a time-tested and proven leader and winner. It is tough for another coach to overcome Calhoun’s wisdom and experience. Second, Connecticut beat Kentucky earlier in the season by seventeen points. While some will say the tournament is different than a regular-season game, this kind of victory is a confidence builder for Connecticut. This kind of loss may be in the minds of the members of the Wildcats.
Connecticut has the advantage in free throw shooting, which is very important, particularly in close games. And this contest does look like it will be a close one. Connecticut also seems to outrebound their opponents more convincingly than does Kentucky. Rebounding and second-shots are another important element in a tight championship basketball contest. Based on our research, the Connecticut team is a bit older, and this maturity and experience are important in games like this one. Assists, which reflects teamwork and coaching, also favors Connecticut.
Kemba Walker is a genuine superstar. Jeremy Lamb has shown he can shoot the three-point shot well in tournament conditions. These two players can create problems for many defenses.
If you plan to wager on this game, Connecticut with points looks like a good bet. Kentucky is not without its strengths. For instance, they tend to protect the ball better than Connecticut. That is, they have fewer turnovers per game. A turnover can be considered a mental error, and our research shows that championship games are often won or lost due to these mistakes.
In addition, Kentucky appears to be a better three-point shooting team than Connecticut. The ability to make the three-point shot has been a significant factor in this year’s tournament. And this game could be decided by a late three-pointer.
In short, we like the University of Connecticut in a close game. What about VCU and Butler? This, too, looks like a close contest. Take the points and VCU in this one, too. Jay P. Granat, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com. He has written several books and developed programs to help people perform their fullest potential at sports, work, and school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC, and The CBC. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sports Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sports Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways Break Out Of A Hitting Slump, and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America’s Top Ten Mental Gurus. He was recently featured in a documentary film on long-distance running. Dr. Granat writes a weekly column for three newspapers. Want your basketball team to perform better? Contact Dr. Granat now.