Every year in March, normal men and women who would otherwise be pre-occupied with their work and families spend hours computing elaborate game-theory scenarios. They take this copious research and carefully complete mathematical equations which (they hope) will lead to an elegant conclusion.

These people, scientists really, have a highly contagious disease that can only be described as madness. No doubt, this “March Madness” will infect you or someone you love and the physicians at Texas Back Institute have a professional duty to help you overcome this malady, inextricably tied to the NCAA college basketball tournament!

They Know Backs and Basketball

Several of the highly trained physicians at Texas Back Institute are not just experts on back pain, herniated disc treatment,artificial disc replacement and spine fusion. No. Some of them even know college basketball and we’ve asked for their help.

We’ve also asked the CEO of Texas Back Institute and an outstanding college player whose career may have been saved by the skill of two skilled surgeons at TBI to give us their insights to help you with your March Madness. They’ve all generously agreed to share their opinions on which teams they expect to make the Final Four to be played in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on April 5th and 7th, 2014.

While these recommendations are based on complex scientific theory and offered by highly intelligent professionals, they are fans just like you and they put their sneakers on one foot at a time, just like you do. These predictions are offered as a public service to help you through this tough time. Needless to say, they should not be used for the purposes of wagering!

The Experts Weigh In

When putting together a NCAA Basketball Championship strategy, it’s always a good idea to get someone who knows the game from the inside out. Who knows more the strengths of the teams in the Big Dance than a very talented college player?

Dr. Guyer and Dr. Hisey of Texas Back Institute were pleased to treat Arkansas State, All Conference forward Kirk Van Slyke last spring when his play on the court led to a herniated disc.  You will be reading more about Kirk in future posts. However, his surgery and treatment were successful and he had a great senior year.

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Kirk Van Slyke

Senior Forward
Arkansas State University

Kirk knows a lot about what it takes to win at the collegiate level, so his picks for the Final Four carry considerable weight. Here are his thoughts.

“Because of their balance, Florida is clearly the team to beat in this tournament. They also have talent and they’re experienced. Most likely, you see them in Dallas.

The other three teams could certainly be cutting down the net after the final game. These teams include: ArizonaMichigan State and Louisville.”

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Dr. Andrew Block 

College: Haverford College
Specialty: Clinical Health Psychology

Dr. Block is a very contemplative man in his practice but when it comes to college basketball, he has the nerve of a riverboat gambler. He has a sleeper in his predictions for the winner of the Big Dance. We think he’s been doing some research. By the way, the best three-point average in college basketball belongs to the Creighton Bluejays and this fact was not lost on Dr. Block!

“I believe KansasVirginiaCreighton (yes, you read that correctly!) and Duke will make the Final Four.”

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 Dr. Stephen Tolhurst

College: University of Chicago
Specialty: Spine surgery

Dr. Stephen Tolhurst has the calm demeanor of someone who knows something about round ball. If you’re looking for some good picks for your brackets, you might want to seriously consider his picks.

“These are my thoughts on the NCAA Final Four:

University of Florida – They are clearly the strongest overall team

Michigan State – They always play well in the tournament and I want to see Michigan beat them in a big 10 tournament rematch

San Diego State University – Hey, my parents are big fans and that’s good enough for me!

University of Michigan – This is where I did my orthopedic surgery training and I have been a big fan of watching their resurgence the past few years. Go Blue!

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Trish Bowling

College: Texas A&M University
Chief Executive Officer Texas Back Institute

March Madness affects everyone on the TBI team, including the CEO, Trish Bowling. She believes Wichita State is for real and has this to say about this year’s Final Four.

“I have to say Kansas will make it to the Final Four for my Aunt Kay who is the biggest Jayhawk fan of all time (even though I am a K-State fan). I also like Virginia, Arizona and Wichita State for the championship bracket. Since I have not followed college basketball at all this year, these predictions should probably be taken with a teeny, tiny grain of salt!

Let the games begin. Whoop!”

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Dr. Renato Bosita 

College: Stanford University
Specialty: Spine Surgery

There few physicians with the breadth and depth of knowledge that Dr. Renato Bosita has about medicine, sports and pop culture. You might remember he was our go-to guy for our blog post on the “Best TV Doctor” shows of all time. The guy is a wealth of information!

Because of this, serious college basketball aficionados should pay close attention to Dr. Bosita’s learned opinion.

“Here are my predictions (and reasoning) for the Final Four this year:

Arizona will be there. Although the Cats tend to choke a lot, this year they have just too much talent not to make the Big Dance. It would be a shame to see them fall short again, but I would like to see the moms of their players crying after an upset loss to someone like Kentucky, especially because Julius Randle from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano plays for John Calipari.

Louisville will be around for the final tip-offs. You can’t bet against Rick Pitino’s hair. In the tournament, guard-play dominates the opening 2 rounds while frontcourt play separates the real teams from the pretenders in sweet 16 and elite 8. Louisville has the tradition and the balance needed to avoid the early upset and then make the big push through to Dallas.

Wichita State is undefeated and you can’t top that. I love the fact that they are a non-traditional team from a small conference that is having a great season and proving last year was not a joke. They deserve a #1 seed. I hope their run continues to get to Dallas and beat Arizona, until the Shockers’ glass slipper is shattered by an even darker dark horse in the Final Game . . .

STANFORD wins it all! Every year a team comes out of nowhere and makes it to the Final 4 or Elite 8, like George Mason, Villanova, Butler, Providence, and Virginia Commonwealth. This Stanford team is loaded with seniors and is playing for respect. Stanford also has three experienced game-changing players, a scoring point guard Chasson Randle who can neutralize the SEC and ACC press defenses, Dwight Powell in the post, and Josh Huestis who can block any shot inside the paint. I hope they beat Duke and Harvard and any other school with average SAT over 2000 on the way to the Final 4. Stanford will win their first NCAA basketball title since 1942! Go Cardinals!

So, there you have it. The basketball experts at Texas Back Institute have once again made their annual predictions and the games can officially begin. Oh yeah. They still have to PLAY the games and that’s where it gets a little trickier!

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