HALL OF FAME BASKETBALL COACH DENNY CRUM AND HIS WIFE SUSAN SWEENEY CRUM SHARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU FILL OUT YOUR NCAA BASKETBALL BRACKET.
By Angie Fenton | Photo by Tony Bennett
March Madness is almost upon us, so who better to ask for a few bracketology basics than legendary University of Louisville coach Denny Crum and his wife Susan Sweeney Crum, WFPL News afternoon host. And as an added bonus, the duo let us take them into overtime and offered a bit of insight into their marriage and how they pick their Derby horses.
TIP OFF: BE GRATEFUL FROM THE GET-GO.
DENNY CRUM: If you’ve got a team (in the NCAA basketball tournament), ﬁrst of all, consider yourself lucky. If you’ve got a team that makes it to the Final Four, it’s a great culmination of a lot of fun. Even at my age, I still really look forward to it and enjoy it. [Note: Coach Crum was born March 2, 1937.]
LISTEN TO THE COACH (AFTER ALL, HE IS DENNY CRUM).
DENNY: The ﬁrst thing is, don’t get hung up on where they’re seeded because it will not turn out the way that they’re seeded. … If you’re all hung up on seeding, the (top) seeds aren’t necessarily better than some of the ones that are seeded below them, so you just kind of have to put that out of your mind and look at the track records: who they’ve played and who they’ve beaten, how they did in their own league and know who is in the league.
SUSAN SWEENEY CRUM: My advice would be don’t (ﬁll out a bracket) because you’ll make yourself crazy when they start losing. Every year I say I’m not going to do this anymore because then you get really hung up on how you’re doing. I keep telling myself I’m not going to do it – I’m just going to enjoy the ball game. And yet I do because I enjoy the punishment, apparently. I listen to (the advice given by Denny and guests) at Bracketology 2016 [Note: See page 43 for event details].
PLAY WITH YOUR HEAD, NOT YOUR HEART – IF YOU CAN.
SUSAN: I can go with my head over my heart and usually do.
DENNY: It’s a hard thing to do. Everyone has their own favorite team and it’s hard to leave your own team out of (your bracket), and a lot of times it’s really hard to put them in there because you’re thinking they’re only so good they could get beat in the ﬁrst round. … There’s always going to be some teams that have third and fourth year players on them. That’s one of the things you need to look at. So many of these top kids today go one year and they’re gone, but those teams that have kids that maybe aren’t quite the top but they’re real close – and they end up spending three or four years (in college) – make their teams really good. There are so many factors and you pick one way thinking this is the right way to do it and that doesn’t work either and then you look for something else. It’s a crapshoot at best.
CHEER ON YOUR TEAMMATES (OR AT LEAST HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR).
DENNY: We don’t compete with our brackets. I root for her and her picks.
SUSAN: That’s because they usually get so bad and have those big red X marks from all of the losses.
CAN YOU APPLY THESE BRACKETOLOGY BASICS TO PICKING YOUR DERBY HORSES?
SUSAN: I pick those with my heart.
DENNY: But I don’t.
SUSAN: He has a lot of science involved with his.
DENNY: There’s a lot of factors that go with selecting Derby horses.
OVERTIME: YOU’RE WORKING ON 15 YEARS OF MARRIAGE. WHAT’S THE KEY TO YOUR LONGEVITY?
SUSAN: He travels all summer. (Laughs.)
DENNY: She’s pulling your leg on that one. We do great when I’m here.
SUSAN: He takes good care of me.
DENNY: I think a lot of it has to do with what your expectations are and you’re always going to have some dealing s that you probably wish, in my case with her, she’s the easiest person to get along with that I’ve ever known. She’s just a gem. That’s all there is too it. I’m a lucky, lucky guy here.
SUSAN: He just wants me to be happy, and I know he does whatever it takes to make me happy. A little sense of humor always helps, along with respect and love.
CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION CELEBRITY DINNER PARTY
Hosted by Denny & Susan Crum
6 p.m. March 5
Louisville Marriott Downtown
For ticket information, call 502.454.8435 or go to https://celebritydinner.eventscff.org Dinner, open bar, live and silent auction, entertainment
Hollywood Glamour attire encouraged; black tie optional
Hosted by Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Denny Crum 5 p.m. doors open; 6 p.m. event begins March 14 Freedom Hall
Join Coach Crum, along Hall of Fame coach Dale Brown (LSU Tigers) and legendary University of Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson, as they help you prepare for the excitement of the NCAA Tournament. Guests will enjoy access to a buffet and non-alcoholic beverages (cash bar available), and a beneﬁt auction, as well as several rafﬂe opportunities. Proceeds from the event beneﬁt Spalding University’s athletics department.