How the Bulls fill out their NCAA brackets

  • Luol Deng likes his Duke Blue Devils' chances to cut down the nets in Atlanta.
Luol Deng likes his Duke Blue Devils' chances to cut down the nets in… (Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune )
March 14, 2013|By Bryan Crawford | For RedEye

If you're a fan of college basketball, then this is your favorite time of the year: March Madness! You fill out your brackets, then they turn into worthless pieces of paper as the tournament advances and your picks get taken out one by one.

Well, hopefully not. Regardless, it's fun to see how well you and your friends know college hoops. Bulls players are no different; all the guys keep up with their alma maters. The team also has an NCAA tourney pool, and most players participate.

RedEye talked to the Bulls to get their takes on how their favorite teams will fare and what their bracket strategies are.

Jimmy Butler — Marquette

Why do you think your team can win the tournament?

"Because that's where I went! But seriously, I like my guys' chances, though. Those are a bunch of no-name kids, like I was at one point in time – I still look at myself that way now. They just fight to the very end and it's going to be a dogfight whether it's a ranked opponent or not, they're going to fight to the very end."

What are the chances they go first-round-and-out?

"None."

What strategies do you use when you fill out your bracket?

"I don't fill out a bracket but if I did, I wouldn't fill out any other teams except Marquette."

Daequan Cook — Ohio State

Why do you think your team can win the tournament?

"We've got a chance, for real. We defend very well, but we can't focus on playing the other team's game. We've just got to focus on defending and being effective on the offensive end and executing, and not getting out of our element."

What are the chances they go first-round-and-out?

"I mean, it's very slim, man. I don't see us losing and the only team that can beat us is ourselves."

What strategies do you use when you fill out your bracket?

"I don't get into brackets. Things never happen like you want them to happen. None of the teams win like they're supposed to, so there's no reason. I just sit there and look at the tournament and think to myself that I'm glad I didn't do it."

Carlos Boozer — Duke

Why do you think your team can win the tournament?

"Our chances are as good as anybody's. We've got a pretty good team that's obviously well-coached, so we've always got a chance to win it all."

What are the chances they go first-round-and-out?

"Slim. Slim to none."

What strategies do you use when you fill out your bracket?

"I watch a lot of college basketball, so I pick the teams that do well in the regular season and do well in conference play. Some of the teams don't play on TV a lot so I don't get a chance to see them as much, so for those I just go with their history because I know they have experience and they've been there before."

Kirk Hinrich – Kansas

Why do you think your team can win the tournament?

"I think we've got a chance. Coach [Bill] Self's teams are always built for the tournament. They're always tough and very good defensively. And I think that's why even when they're not expected to be one of the better teams, they've always been one of the teams that surprise some people."

What are the chances they go first-round-and-out?

"Slim to none!"

What strategies do you use when you fill out your bracket?

"Sometimes I do one. I used to be good at picking teams when I was younger and wasn't that far removed from it. But now it seems like I've been struggling more. But with me, it's Kansas all the way."

Luol Deng -- Duke

Why do you think your team can win the tournament?

"Because we’re Duke!"

What are the chances they go first-round-and-out?

"First round and out?! That’s not gonna happen. I would bet you, but I’m not allowed to bet."

What strategies do you use when you fill out your bracket?

"Well, I do follow college basketball. I also watch ESPN, so that kind of helps me cheat a little bit because I see what everyone else is picking and I go with it."

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