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The scramble for the 1 seeds intensifies

The Duke Blue Devil wants to hear: are they a 1 seed?

With the conference championships and Selection Sunday closing in, talk of who’s getting the coveted 1 seeds is heating up. Kentucky remains battered but unbowed after a bunch of close calls, and is back on track with hearty blowouts. Many observers expected the no 18 Arkansas Razorbacks to test the Wildcats on Saturday, but instead they were buzz-sawed to the tune of 84-67. coach John Calipari has his team locking in just in time for the postseason! Meanwhile, second ranked UVA continues to hold serve despite battling the injury bug. They, too, had what looked like a testy matchup on Saturday: they went to visit the Virginia Tech Hokies, who had just taken no 4 Duke to overtime earlier in the week. The Cavaliers didn’t make it pretty, but they rarely do, and they handled the Hokies with a decisive 69-57 win. The Blue Devils keep showing they’re up to a challenge, surviving battle after battle. Their standout victory in recent days wasn’t the 91-86 overtime defeat of Virginia Tech but the February 18th 92-90 instant classic against North Carolina!

With the top two holding serve, it still looks like the last two spots are up for grabs. Despite their record, the Gonzaga Bulldogs weren’t necessarily regarded as a sure thing, manly because they don’t play in a ‘power conference.’ They didn’t help their case on Saturday, getting handled by BYU in a 73-70 game that was mostly under BYU control. This opens the door for teams like the Villanova Wildcats, who clobbered no. 25 Providence 89-61 earlier this week then handled a tough Xavier team 78-66. The Wildcats are guard-heavy and there are ways to beat them, but their strength of conference might be the deciding factor if it comes down to a virtual tie with them and the Zags. And the 5th-ranked Wisconsin Badges also went down on Saturday, though their 59-53 loss to no. 14 Maryland looks better than the Gonzaga defeat.

The final week of the regular season is just around the corner, and the conference tournaments will help build the final bracket. But the top seeds in each region are highly sought after in a year with a lot of strong teams at the top! It looks like there are two spots left for four or five teams to scrap for. Let us know your predictions, show your enthusiasm for your team and tell us why you think your squad deserves a top seed! Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter, and you can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. Of course, log into the FanCheer app if you really want to show your stuff and win cool prizes while you support your team! Let the madness begin!

May the brackets bust in your favor,

The folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

March must be around the corner!

Denzel Valentine hit a game winning three ON Valentine’s Day!

College basketball fans were going crazy this week, as the mid-February edition of #rivalryweek had some real doosies!

Saturday began things in style, with a handful of buzzer beaters, over half a dozen one-point games and a gaggle of 2-3 point games. The shot of the weekend was hit by Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. Mr. Valentine drained the go-ahead three against Ohio State on–wait for it–Valentine’s Day! Twitter went bonkers, and Mr. Valentine may have been the most popular man on campus for the rest of the weekend.

Elsewhere on the Valentine’s Day slate, the Pittsburgh Panthers played tough at home and upset the North Carolina Tar Heels (we’ll get back to them in a bit). The undefeated kentucky Wildcats finally won an easy one, hammering South Carolina 77-43. And Tulane his a buzzer beater of its own, downing Cincinnati in its own gym with a long-range three! Second-ranked Virginia got a heck of a test in Charlottesville, stopping Wake Forest 61-60 thanks to stout defense on the last possession. And in the upset of the day, NC State went on the road and beat Louisville 74-65! There was also a double-overtime AND a triple-overtime game on Saturday…and believe it or not, the week got better as it went along.

Tuesday night, Baylor hung on in a tough one against Texas Tech. No. 10 Notre Dame hung on against Wake Forest, who lost another tough one to a top ten opponent. No. 17 Oklahoma hung on against Texas, who’s also lost some tough ones. And then on Wednesday, Syracuse thrilled its home fans by upsetting Louisville, who dropped its second in a row! The Xavier-Cincinnati crosstown rivalry stayed hot, as Xavier won 59-57 in a thriller.

The latest edition of Duke-UNC was an instant classic!

Oh, and the latest edition of the Duke-UNC rivalry happened.

The night began with a nice display, as both teams paused for a moment of silence to pay respects to the recently departed Dean Smith. And that’s the quietest Cameron would be for the rest of the night. There was some shoddiness early on, but both teams settled in and went to battle in what became an instant classic. When it was all said and done, the Cameron Crazies went home happy as Duke won a 92-90 overtime thriller!

The February edition of Rivalry Week began and ended with a bang. With march around the corner and Selection Sunday just a few weeks away, college basketball fans have a lot to get #FanCrazy about! Let us know your predictions, show your enthusiasm for your team and tell us why you think your squad will win this weekend! Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter to sound off.  You can also send us #FanCrazy photos, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall. Of course, log into the FanCheer app if you really want to show your fandom and win cool prizes while you support your team. Enjoy the games!

May the brackets bust in your favor,
The folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

Rest in peace, Dean Smith

The sports world lost a great figure today. Dean Smith, the legendary coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels, died at age 83 last night, surrounded by loved ones. Called “a second father” by Michael Jordan, Dean Smith was remembered for his positive influence on and off the court. Smith was a strategic pioneer, but he was also known as a man who strove to improve the lives of everyone he coached and came into contact with. He was known to mentor former players well after their last college game. He was on the front lines of integrating college basketball at a time when the country was still struggling to acknowledge the importance of civil rights. He won two national titles, and since his retirement in 1997 he remained in the college basketball world as analyst and purveyor of wisdom.

To a man who touched the lives of so many…rest in peace.