2021 Palestra Back’s Constantly Updating March Madness Headquarters

Thanks for visiting Palestra Back during college basketball’s most exciting time of year! I’m glad you chose this blog as a resource for information, opinions, and silliness during March Madness. While you’ll continue to find a wealth of information here at PB, I’ll also be contributing my work at *four* other sites this season. This post will include links to every meaningful thing I write that could possibly help you better fill out a bracket or simply enjoy the games this month. Check back or bookmark this page since it will update with new content through the Final Four!

Palestra Back

This website will be my “home base” for all my work this month, hopefully providing all of the content you’re craving in the chaos of March. To follow along live during the games and to stay up to date with everything posted here, follow @PalestraBack on Twitter. If you have a question you’d like to see answered in a mailbag post, tweet at me or email PalestraBack@gmail.com. And yes, the Palestra Back Fantasy Shootout has returned. Enter now!

Here are all the Palestra Back posts from this season that should be relevant in March:

Quick Keys to All Eight Games in the Sweet Sixteen (3/26)

Running through the bracket to find the most important quirks and qualities that could decide the big games this weekend.

The Most Important Individual Match-ups of the First Round of the NCAA Tournament (3/17)

Helpful if you’re stuck on a game in your bracket. Also great for those of you looking for specific nerd stuff to watch for during the games.

The Highly Ranked March Madness Teams to Worry About (3/15)

I’ve got concerns about Michigan, Iowa, and Oklahoma State.

The Players and Coaches with the Most to Gain During March Madness (3/5/21)

Includes deep dives on Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu, Arkansas’ Moses Moody, a few coaching notes, and some NBA Draft thoughts.

A Pre-March Madness One Question Mailbag: Looking for Cinderellas to Make a Run (2/25/21)

Answering a reader question about 11-14 seeds capable of being our Cinderella this season. A must-read before you fill out a bracket.

Are We Positive Luka Garza Should Win National Player of the Year? (2/19/21)

Although the overall message here is no longer debatable (Garza deserves the award), it’s a nice exploration of his limitations as he leads the Hawkeyes into the postseason.

Placing Gonzaga and Baylor into Historical Context Helps Us Find Our 2021 National Champion (2/11/21)

Another great one to re-visit in March. Digging into the analytical profile of past champions to see if Gonzaga, Baylor, or anyone else fits the bill.

The Casual Fan’s Welcome Guide to the 2020-21 College Basketball Season (2/4/21)

It’s OK to admit you haven’t been watching much college hoops this season. This post was created as a catch up for the casual fan. It’s a bit out of date now, but still has tons of good baseline information.


I’m back for another year of tournament previews with Joe Lunardi and his Bracket Bunker team!

Joe Lunardi’s ultimate March Madness 2021 tournament guide (3/18/21)

This year I covered 10 teams (Gonzaga, BYU, UConn, Creighton, Georgetown, Houston, Wichita State, Norfolk State, Hartford, and Grand Canyon) as part of Joey Brackets’ giant preview of all 68 teams. You’ll need to be an ESPN+ subscriber to read.

The Action Network

I’m happy to join the team over at The Action Network this season! It’s a perfect place for bettors to receive all the content they crave, but it’s also good for those without any skin in the game. Even though all the previews will include odds and spreads, they will still be chock full of information about the best teams, the ins and outs, and the things to watch. I’ll be contributing previews of individual games, best bets for the day, and a variety of other content. There’s a lot more of my work at the Action Network than is listed below, but most of it is previews of games that have already happened. Follow @OnTheShaneTrain for the latest.

Sweet 16 Cinderellas: Which Double-Digit Seeds are Due for Shooting Regression This Weekend? (3/25)

This is a fun one. I took a look at the double-digit seeds still hanging around in the NCAA Tournament to see if their luck will run out.

2021 NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks, Predictions: Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma Betting Preview

What’s the recipe to beat Gonzaga? Does Oklahoma have the answers?

Baylor vs. Wisconsin NCAA Tournament Odds & Pick: Bet the Bears to Roll Over Badgers

Previewing this Round of 32 game that could be a classic.

2021 NCAA Tournament Bracket Reaction: Real-Time Betting Analysis for Every First-Round Game

I joined in with the rest of the Action Network staff to cover every First Round game and every region as a whole. Nine of the blurbs are from me, but that document is a must read for anyone before filling out a bracket or watching the games (especially for gamblers).

Mountain West Conference Tournament Preview

Big XII Conference Tournament Preview

Two very exciting conferences that should have super interesting tournaments, sending multiple teams to the Big Dance.

College Basketball Mid-Major Betting Report: Breaking Down Winthrop, Grand Canyon & Davidson

If you looked at your bracket and don’t know anything about Winthrop or Grand Canyon, here’s a handy little guide.

College Basketball Mid-Major Betting Report: Finding Value in WCC’s Second Tier of BYU, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco

Saint Mary’s and USF are done for the year, but BYU is dancing. This is a good primer on the Cougs.

Larry Brown Sports

We’re back for another year with our friends at Larry Brown Sports! Every week I’ve checked in on a different aspect of the college basketball landscape.

5 X-Factor players to watch in the Sweet Sixteen (3/26/21)

Which players can swing the Sweet Sixteen without being a big name star?

5 possible breakout stars for March Madness (3/18/21)

Which mid-major players could be household names this month?

5 teams most likely to win the NCAA Tournament (3/12/21)


Breaking down college basketball’s biggest conference tournaments (3/5/21)

A favorite and a dark horse for every power conference crown.

5 mid-major teams poised for Cinderella runs in March Madness (2/18/21)

Belmont sadly won’t be dancing, but the other four are prime candidates to upend the bracket.

5 best performing freshmen in college basketball (2/3/21)

Four of these five will be making a big impact in March.

5 NBA draft prospects on the rise in college basketball (1/19/21)

All five will be in the tournament. All five will be interesting to track.


I’ve been chipping in over at Rotoballer this season with mostly NBA stuff, but when March arrives, it’s all about the Madness.

Midwest Region Picks: March Madness Bracket Predictions (3/18/21)

South Region Picks: March Madness Bracket Predictions (3/18/21)


Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and senior writer at PalestraBack.com. He has also contributed to ESPN.com, The Action Network, Rush The Court, Larry Brown Sports, RotoBaller, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain. You can find every post from this blog on Twitter by following @PalestraBack.

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