Friday, March 17, 2006

Bracketology: Day One

So, I got to watch a lot of today's Tourney action. My bracket, still largely intact in the deep stages--where it counts. So much for all those sexy upset picks, though, huh? I think I rolled the dice on many of them, and came away wanting. (Though, my irrational exuberance only cost me on one occasion.)

Went 4-0 in the ATL. Duke pounded the unremarkable Southern. If you're looking for a sign of doom where Duke is concerned, I'd say worry about the fact that Williams and Redick basically scored every point. In fact, the two of them shot 37 of Duke's 49 points. Maybe that's just how they drew it up, but you have to figure that you'd like more than your two superstars to get some offense in against a 16 seed.

GWU went waaaaaay down to UNCW to begin the second half of their game. The Seahawks didn't miss a single shot they took in the first four minutes of the second half. And they took some doozies. You could have mistaken it for CGI trickery. Just when you thought it was over for the Colonials, though, they went on a comeback run the likes of which I have never seen. They covered 18 points in what seemed to be two minutes. It included two series where Dubs scored, stole the ball before UNCW could advance, and scored again. Foggy Bottom is sleeping happy tonight, but man, those guys had better not decide to catch some z's of their own this weekend, because Duke won't get run back on like THAT.

LSU handled Iona and Texas A&M pulled away from Cuse toward the end. I figured the Orange to be out of gas after their crazy ass Big East run, and I was right--G-Mac: 0-6 from the field, 2 points.

Went 2-2 in Oakland. Picked sexy upset fave SDSU against my better judgement (which is to basically hate on smallish Cali schools). Also wrongly picked Marquette. CBS kept looking in on that game, and, to my eyes, it always looked like Alabama had waaay more intensity than Marquette. Marquette just looked lost, and Bama was jacking over 50% from three. I'm stunned this game was decided by only 5 points.

UCLA pounded the snot out of Belmont and Gonzaga won, but had trouble, of course, because they play in a shitty conference. Why is it everyone remembers GWU's shitty conference but nevertheless thinks Gonzaga's shit doesn't stink? Don't know. Anyway, I had them beating SDSU in the second I think they'll have trouble against Indiana.

3-1 in the DC bracket. Illinois may as well have had the second round giftwrapped...I'm surprised they didn't trample the AFA underfoot. Washington won as well...a YouDub/Illini second round matchup is about as inspiring as a reenactment of the invasion of Grenada.

Naturally, I went straight sexy on the bottom bracket's two games, and went one for two. I got Wichita, far from this opera for evermore. But I couldn't work the Winthrop. I picked Winthrop to win this game simply because of the fact that the opponent was Tennessee. Tenn is a weak 2 seed--they really shouldn't be seeded that high. But I figured, if you know a team is going to go out early and they're a two seed to boot, then have some balls and just pick 'em out from jump. I came close to getting it, too. That shot Lofton took in the corner was Un Bee Leev A Bull. No way should that have gone in. Winthrop had it defended perfectly, and Lofton had not been shooting well prior to that shot. No shame when you lose to a shot like that. I still feel pretty comfortable with Wichita in the Round of 16, though.

Minnapples was killing me today. I went only 2-2 here, getting the upset-that's-not-really-an-upset pick--UWM--right and also betting correctly that this would be the year the Florida got out of the first round. Florida can suck my balls though. I drink deeply of the Gatorhaterade, I have them going fairly deep this year but will root against them nonetheless. Billy Donovan is a scumbag, low-rent clone of the Original Scumbag Pitino. If Donovan ever went back to Ireland, St. Patrick would rise from the dead to drive him right back out.

Paul has a rule that's so perfectly sensible that you should be allowed to roll it into your 401K: if you got beat by Virginia this season, you are not going to the Final Four. So, if you picked UNC or Boston College--too bad for you. If I recall correctly, you've got 62 other choices. I thought BC was more than ripe to go out. I've actually seen Pacific play this year, and I thought that a) BC's a frontcourt team in a guards' tourney and b) Maraker was going to give them all sorts of defensive fits. Through much of the game, I was right--but Pacific succeeded without Maraker in the first OT and were a victim of that success in the second--they had gotten so far away from him offensively that they never got back to putting the ball through him when they really could have used his in and out game. A pity, because Pacific played really well up until that second period. I also lost Nevada.

Pacific won my irrational exuberance pick this season, and, like most years, I took them too far. So, I'm down one team in the Sweet Sixteen. Everyone in my field after that round is still alive, though, so I'm happy. I'm feeling pretty good about my chances tomorrow--the 8-9 tossups notwithstanding, my only iffy pick is NCSU over Cal. But 10s advance to the Sweet 16 with regularity, and I'm pretty disposed to giving the ACC the edge over a Pac-10 team within three seeds. We'll see. I have a bias toward the Patriot League that usually hurts me, but I think I'll get at least 12 of tomorrow's 16 games.


The Governess said...

please to explain to me why I had syracuse going so far? losing to duke? please. because I hurt at my own stupidity.

PK said...

After all the hype, it looks like the Big East might be collapsing from its own weight. Syracuse, Seton Hall, Marquette... ouch. Their higher-seeded teams are playing today and will probably do well, but I picked all three of those teams and that hurt. My usual rules (bet on the Big East, ACC, and Big 12, and against the Big Ten and PAC-10) have killed me this year. Thanks a lot, Indiana and Washington.

Jodasm said...

Everyone underestimates the Big Ten because even the good teams look like bad teams. One of my favorite basketball games of all time was 2000 Final Four game between Mich State and Wisconsin - final score 53 to 41.

PK said...

I underestimate the Big Ten because every year they go like 1-5 in the first round. But that one team always gets to the final four and screws up my bracket. Damn midwesterners.

Jodasm said...

I was thinking of drafting a stirring defense of the Big Ten, but after Illinois' less than commanding takedown of Air Force last night, and the the fact that OSU and Wisc are losing as we speak, with Iowa tied up, I'll go ahead and keep my mouth shut.

The Cut said...

Although I didn't watch the game my cell phone was blowing up with screams of Keith Jenifer reintroducing himself as a Murray State Racer last evening. I did some research on the Kentucky school and found out that he transferred there to be reunited with his high school buddy Darnell Hopkins. They both went to Towson Catholic School and they both played in high school with Carmelo Anthony. This must have been before Carmelo went to Oak Hill. Jenifer also went to Hargrave Military for a year. It was the final game for Keith and his buddy. I wish the NBA was an option. I bet Jenifer was telling his teammates on the bench how he beat up on UNC when he was at UVA.