search this site
SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Get the eNews

* indicates required
Email Format
communicate
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    find ben simpson on facebook
    twitter updates
    resources

    Entries in NCAA Tournament (7)

    Monday
    Mar162015

    2015 Simpson Bracket Challenge :: Join the Community, Make Your Picks, Have Fun, and Win

    Three years ago, I had a little fun and launched a bracket challenge for readers of my blog.

    That makes this the fourth annual Simpson Bracket Challenge.

    Let's play.

    No weird rules.

    March Madness is a great time a year for sports fans and my family.  My wife becomes interested in college basketball and I love it.  Many people fill out brackets and follow along, even though their picks might be based on mascots and jersey colors rather than matchup analysis or overall record.

    Last year I was flat out broke and this was all for fun.

    This year, I'm offering some modest prizes, as follows:

    • Third Prize: $5 GC to Amazon.com
    • Second Prize: $10 GC to Amazon.com
    • First Prize: $20 GC to Amazon.com, and a surprise shipment from me.

    Another quick note on prizes. In 2013 (I think), Matt Lipan wanted me to pay it forward on his prize when he ended up with a first place finish. So every year henceforth, I'll give Matt a nod and tell everyone to check out his blog. Read his work. And follow him on Twitter.

    Now, click here and join my bracket challenge.  Have some fun.

    Here is the bracket password: readtheblog.

    So, how do you sign up?

    The first way is to click the link above.

    But do me a favor.

    I'm serious about this. I want to know what you think.

    Comments are rare on blogs nowadays.

    With all the trolls out there, I don't blame folks.

    But this blog is different.

    I punt trolls. It's one of my hobbies.

    Answer this question in the comments. Use a valid email address:

    Who do you think will win the NCAA tournament?

     

    When you comment, an email will drop in my inbox.

    If you haven't signed up with the link above, I'll send along the league information and password.

    The Bracket Challenge is hosted this year by CBSSports. Last year, I went with Yahoo!

    Invite your friends. Make it a crowd. Follow the tournament. Have fun.

    If you are new to the blog and joining the challenge, connect with me here:

    Spread the word.

    Wednesday
    Mar192014

    David Ubben on Baylor Basketball, Transformation

    Baylor's Postseason Uniforms, Image via ESPN.com

    David Ubben has done a nice job of sports journalism and religion reporting. You should read his piece at FoxSports.com.

    I'm a Baylor alumni. I'm also a huge basketball fan. When Baylor hoops is on television, I watch. If I can't get a feed, I listen to the radio.

    This season has been filled with ups and downs. Baylor had an early run that I didn't expect, having great success against quality opponents during non-conference play. Looking at the roster prior to the season, I knew Kenny Chery was the unknown quantity who would define this season; Baylor squads in the recent past have depended on excellent guard play to find success. Most pundits have marveled at Baylor's frontcourt in recent years, but the production on the court hasn't come in ways traditional to big men. We haven't played inside-out, or exhibited strong back to the basket skill.

    When conference play hit, like most I was shocked by the 2-8 start. But I was not overwhelmed. To open the year, I thought we played beyond our talent level. Over the first ten in conference play, I thought we swung back and underachieved. This year, when Baylor has played their best ball, and their worst, I've been mystified not because of the performance, but because of the lack of consistency.

    The last eight games of conference play were surprising--I thought we were dead in the water. I was in attendance on February 15 at the Ferrell Center, when Baylor prevailed in 2 OTs versus Kansas State. I knew that was a must win game. But I also thought we'd have to get to 8-10 to have any hope at an NCAA bid. At 9-9, I thought we'd be a lock, even before the nice run to the Big 12 Tournament Final in Kansas City.

     

    The Baylor team we've seen over the last 12 games has been fun to watch. I still don't think we play pretty ball. But Jefferson and Austin have done a great job or protecting the rim, and the rotation up top from Chery and Heslip has been surprisingly effective. On the offensive end, the combination of Chery and Jefferson has been dependable. Strong guard play from the PG, plus the athletic inside presence of Jefferson at PF has yielded success. Every night Jefferson has a double-double, Baylor has a great shot a victory--during the 10 game dry spell, he virtually disappeared.

    As for Ubben's report, it's well written, and theologically informed. And I'm excited for Chery, Franklin, O'Neale, Wainright, and Prince. Scott Drew seems to be setting the right tone as well--one that fits with Baylor's overall ethos as a university committed to a distinctly Christian identity, but welcoming of all people. I'm glad to hear of chaplains like Scott Brewer and Mark Wible doing good work.

    This is definitely an "up" for the year, and for the program. Regardless of what takes place this weekend, what has taken place with these young men evidences with what college athletics, and specifically my alma mater, are committed to. Changed lives.

    From Ubben's column:

    After a Tuesday practice on Feb. 25 -- 17 days after the loss to Kansas -- Drew and his team boarded a charter bus bound for Highland Baptist Church in Waco before traveling to face Texas on Feb. 26. Wible stepped into the baptistry waters at Highland Baptist in front of Baylor players, coaches, support staff and various others around the program. In front of about 50 people, he baptized Chery and teammates Gary Franklin, Royce O'Neale, Ish Wainright and Taurean Prince.

    Baylor enters the NCAA tournament as a 6 seed in the West region, opening on Friday against Nebraska. I've picked Baylor to make the round of 16, losing to Wisconsin. I hope I'm wrong. This team has made two Elite 8 appearances in the last 5 years. It'd be great to see them surpass that barrier, and play in nearby Arlington.

    Sic'em.

    Saturday
    Mar082014

    Simpson Bracket Challenge 2014 :: Join the Community, Make Your Picks, Have Fun, and Win

    Two years ago, I had a little fun and launched a bracket challenge for readers of my blog.

    We did it again last year.

    And we're doing it again this year.

    Let's play.

    March Madness is a great time a year for sports fans, and for my family.  Suddenly, my wife becomes interested in college basketball, and I love it.  Many others fill out brackets and follow along, even though their picks might be based on mascots and jersey colors rather than matchup analysis or overall record.

    Last year I set aside a little bit of money, and provided some incentive for everyone to play, take their picks seriously, keep track, and stay engaged.

    But this year, I can't do that. Our family has moved to a new city, I've begun a new work, and we're still working to sell our house in Kansas City.

    I won't ask anyone to pay to get in. I want to keep it fun, and open to everyone.

    But some of you might have an idea to motivate the crowd.  Last year, the prize pool consisted of Amazon Gift Cards. If you have an idea, email me and let me know what you're thinking. If I think it is a good fit for the ethos of my blog, then we'll work together.

    So, how do you sign up?

    Answer this question in the comments, and make sure you use a valid email address:

    Who do you think will win the NCAA tournament?

     

    When you comment, an email will drop in my inbox, and I'll send along the league information and password. Then, you'll be all set. We're playing through Yahoo! again this year.

    Invite your friends.  Make it a crowd.  Follow the tournament. Have fun.

    If you are new to the blog and joining the challenge, connect with me here:

    Spread the word.

    Thursday
    Feb282013

    Simpson Bracket Challenge 2013 :: Join the Community, Make Your Picks, Have Fun, and Win

    Last year, I had a little fun and launched a bracket challenge for readers of my blog. We're doing it again.

    Let's play.

    March Madness is a great time a year for sports fans, and for my family.  Suddenly, my wife becomes interested in college basketball, and I love it.  Many others fill out brackets and follow along, even though their picks might be based on mascots and jersey colors rather than matchup analysis or overall record.

    Last year we played for a $20 Amazon gift card to the overall winner, along with bragging rights. My friend Justin is the defending champ. What are the prizes this year?

    • Overall Winner: $50 to Amazon
    • 2nd Place: $15
    • 3rd Place: $10

    If there is a tie, we'll split the pot.

    I'll be up front with the community: the prizes from Amazon are coming straight out of my pocket: I like to give and think that by providing some incentive, everyone will take things a little more seriously and have a little more fun. But why limit the prizes to what I can churn up?

    If you'd like to sweeten the collective pot for everyone, email me and let me know what you're thinking. If I think it is a good fit for the ethos of my blog, then we'll work together.

    So, how do you sign up?

    Answer this question in the comments, and make sure you use a valid email address:

    Who do you think will win the NCAA tournament?

     

    When you comment, an email will drop in my inbox, and I'll send along the league information and password. Then, you'll be all set.

    Invite your friends.  Make it a crowd.  Follow the tournment.  Drink deeply of life.  Give all the glory to God.

    If you are new to the blog and joining the challenge, connect with me here:

    Spread the word.

    Monday
    Apr022012

    Overheard on the Bus :: #21 (NCAA Championship Edition)

    CIMG0198

    In light of today's game:

    Third Grader: Ben, are you going to watch the championship game?
    Me: Yes sir.
    Third Grader: I'm going to stay up and watch it, even though we have state assessments tomorrow.  We're not supposed to stay up! 

    Click here for entry #20.

    Click here for entry #22.