From now until the moment March Madness tips off, if you’re anything like us, you’ll be buried in any information you can get that’ll help your bracket. Stats. Trends. Maybe sneakers and mascots. There’s no proven science here. The well-informed don’t always take home the top spot in the office bracket. But a lil’ analysis can’t hurt right?
With that, we give you an exclusive conversation we had with ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb. The former college hoop star at Oklahoma State, Gottlieb will be all over the NCAA Tournament, and spilled the beans with us recently on everything from Twitter to all of the best draft prospects to even who needs to start using Rogaine.
Here is part one of the conversation…
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Gottlieb on Twitter fans.
“I am alone in my basement with a couple of TV’s and I need some to talk to. I need an outlet. One thing about Twitter, we live in a world where people hide behind the veil of secrecy, they will say anything to you. It is really incredible how vile people can be. Things you would never say to another human being they will say on Twitter. It still surprises me. I guess I was raised differently.”
What is so special about March?
“First, everyone thinks they know their team. None of these people have ever gone through the process of putting together a bracket. When you go through the process of putting together a bracket you have to understand is one thing the people on the committee have a tough time doing, but do as good a job as any is have perspective. They do not just watch one team or one conference. They watch everything, ingest everything. When you do you get a much better sense of things. You can tell me that you think a team is great or a team is bad, but I am going to be honest with you I got way more perspective than you do because I am not way too close to the forest where I cannot see the trees, you know? Generally fans lack perspective. I love when they ask for your opinion and then you give them an opinion they do not like and then you are the worst person on earth, (says laughing) then don’t ask for my opinion. It’s an opinion. It is an educated opinion. I will put my work ethic and knowledge up there with anyone, it doesn’t mean it is right, it’s just opinion. I’ve never understood why people get so bothered by opinions they do not agree with. You have every right to have an opinion. I will tell you that my opinions come from an educated background of a guy who played it, a guy whose brother is an assistant coach at a high level, his dad was a coach at a high level, and of a guy who has been through the process twice over of putting together a bracket with the NCAA guys. You know, if you think have a better, a deeper amount of knowledge and perspective than I do, good, great, I will disagree with you. If you don’t like my opinion that is ok, however much you value mine is up to you.”
On his style of analysis.
“I also think college basketball, for whatever reason, is a sport where, maybe it’s because Dick Vitale‘s passion for it he is the voice of college basketball. His passion was always to be positive, he tends to ere on the side of positivity. Which I generally agree and write, but maybe it was a flaw in the way I was raised. I was raised by a basketball coach. I played for a guy who is a basketball Hall of Fame coach, well should be a Hall of Fame coach in Eddie Sutton (Oklahoma State). The way we watch games and the way coaches watch games is different than the way fans watch games. Players, coaches, and basketball teams watch games and find the flaws and the errors, the mental and physical lapses and mistakes that are made. And try and find out what is correctable. What schematically works and doesn’t work? Whereas if all you want to hear is these kids are great, but that is not an opinion or analysis. Sometimes analysis is negative. It is hard in college basketball where it was a belief for probably 30 years that these are college kids and lets just try and be as positive as possible. Tell the coaches and tell the kids they are great. And we did. It is weird what happens in college sports where you can say 60 great things about a kid about a program, but you say one thing “that was a dumb play, that was a selfish play” and suddenly you are the worst guy on earth. I think that is something we have struggled to get out of.