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Senior Players Give Big Boost in NCAA Tournament

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

By John Borelli

Duke’s surprising loss to Mercer illustrates the vulnerability of highly ranked teams being led by freshman.

It is no secret that this year’s college basketball season has been highlighted with one of the most talented and exciting freshmen classes in recent memory. Potential NBA lottery picks Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Julius Randal created much of the media buzz this year. However, the media spotlight on young talent certainly does not translate into NCAA tournament wins.

College basketball has dramatically changed in recent years with the most talented college athletes jumping into the NBA after their freshman year. The new “one and done” culture provides an extreme advantage for teams, including schools with less name recognition, lead by seniors in the NCAA tournament.

Take for example that the almighty Duke fell yesterday to a 14 seed Mercer. Everyone is saying this was a dramatic upset but in my eyes it’s no surprise when you factor in experience. Mercer is lead by five seniors with an average age of 22 years.

On the other hand, Duke is led by 18-year-old freshman Jabari Parker. Not to mention two other sophomores are also in the starting five. While Duke’s players might have more talent individually, Mercer’s team has been playing together for four years. In the end, it was a game of experienced veterans versus untested teenage boys.

If the seduction of exciting freshmen drove your bracket selection, be prepared for disappointment. Next year, make sure experience is a factor in your bracket selection.

Accordingly, I expect senior led squads Florida, Michigan State, and Louisville to continue to win. Kansas, on the other hand, is my prediction to go down next.

Stay tuned!

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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