They don’t call it March Madness for nothing: taxes, a top seed getting upset in college basketball, and the latest and greatest amateur football league trying to draw fans. Sometimes a lot of skill is needed to have success in these seemingly impossible to win moments. The superstitious ones of the world will tell you that luck definitely plays a factor. It’s time to measure what in March will find you a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and what will give you seven years of bad luck. The scale will be measured from 1 to 7 where the lucky number 7 is the luckiest duck in the pond and 1 is a black cat running around that organization.
Utah Jazz: The Jazz tend to be lucky around this time of year. Last year they went 12-3 in the month of March, including a win over the Sacramento Kings on St. Patty’s day. Their only weird loss was to the Atlanta Hawks who swept them last year. The Boston Celtics certainly brought their Shamrock socks to Salt Lake City as they beat Utah on a game winner without any of their top starters. The Spurs were also a good team that beat the Jazz in a close overtime game.
This year the Jazz have a favorable schedule throughout March. On St. Patty’s Eve, they host the Nets which is a very winnable game. Most of the games going forward are ones the Jazz should win. The jury is still out on whether they actually will, but if history is any indication, there might be a couple of freak losses. They might drop their last game in February at the second best Western Conference team in Denver. After that, there is no game in March that they shouldn’t win. There might be only be one head scratching loss and one good team loss for the Jazz in March.
The Jazz might lose only 2 of their 15 games in March: One at the Atlanta Hawks again because it is on the second night of a back-to-back on their Frozen Flight Trip (Disney on Ice equivalent of San Antonio’s annual Rodeo Road Trip), and at the Pelicans, 48 hours after beating them in Utah. We witnessed that the Jazz can beat the same team twice in a row when it’s a “Butler-less” TWolves team, but back to back luck is not easy. There are home games the Jazz could lose such as when they host good teams like OKC or LA (11th and 27th, respectively). However, the Jazz play well at home.
Jazz Luck-O-Meter: 7 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀
Ever since 2016 the Beehive state has been a no show in the NCAA March Madness tournament. The Utes lost to Gonzaga in the second round that year and since then the Cougars and Utes both had successful runs in the National Invitational Tournament (more colloquially known as the “Not-In Tournament”). While they both have high hopes of getting back into the Big Dance after having squads whose teams made it all the way to the Final Four of the NIT in Madison Square Garden in New York City (BYU 2016, Utah 2018), it is a school up North that has the highest ceiling for the postseason.
The Utah State Aggies currently boast a record of 22-6 which is the best record in Utah and second best in the Mountain West Conference respectively. They are currently living life on the bubble as ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has them at one of the First Four Out of the Big Dance. That would give them a #1 seed in the NIT but they would rather have a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio than make it to the Final Four of the “Not-In Tournament”. If the Aggies keep winning they could secure themselves an automatic bid but it would probably take getting to the championship game. They dominated Boise State for most of the game last Saturday and yet found a way to almost lose the game. Thankfully, the clutch and-one shot of Sam Merrill sent the game to overtime.
USU Luck-O-Meter: 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀
With a BPI of 49, the Aggies don’t have a bad loss on their record. They’ve only lost one home game and haven’t lost to the same team twice in this season. If their fortune continues they will either be one of the top dogs in the NIT or a dangerous dark horse in the NCAA tournament. Until they prove they can hang with the big dogs I’ll put them at one shamrock short of a leprechaun. This team isn’t going away as long as Craig Smith is the coach.
BYU Luck-O-Meter: 🍀🍀🍀
While BYU did beat USU in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center, they have several bad losses which give them a record of 18-12 and make them the 90th best team in the BPI rankings. Is it possible we see the Cougars face the Aggies again in the NIT? It’s not outside the realm of possibilities.
Utah Luck-O-Meter: 🍀🍀
Their luck is about as good as Arizona’s right now which is not good. Historically the Utes and Arizona Wildcats are both great but the difference is the Wildcats won a national title in 1997 and the Utes weren’t so lucky when it counted in their national championship game in 1998.
The other college basketball teams: 🍀
Weber, UVU and SUU don’t look like the teams that will bring the Beehive State back to the promised land. They are victims of the smaller mid major conferences. Unless you’re Montana in the Big Sky or New Mexico State in the WAC, the CBI and CIT are where you live.
Salt Lake Stallions: 🍀 and a half
Outside of the NFL, only college football has been a successful business which is due to the much cheaper overhead cost of providing students free tuition instead of an actual salary to match the revenue they are making for the school. Salt Lake has had a few successful franchises but many have come and gone. Less than 10,000 showed up for the home opener which was most likely due to a cold day.
The big government wins on this one, particularly with state taxes. The Beehive state is refunding more “honey” than money this year. It just may affect the luck of future winners and losers come next election time.
If you’re a college student: 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀
If you have kids: 🍀🍀🍀🍀
If you withheld a good amount during the year: 🍀🍀
If you didn’t withhold anything: Good luck.