Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday 03/12 A.M. Quickie:
Break Out Your Brackets

Biggest item: Don't forget to enter your bracket in the "Daily Quickie Readers" group of ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge!

UPDATE: Here is a column I did for today's Wall Street Journal Online. It's an overview of the Tournament field, key storylines, etc. Really fun to put together.

Now, all sorts of random day-after thoughts about the NCAA Tournament bracket...

Florida as No. 1 No. 1: Winning their regular-season and conference-tournament titles puts them on par with others. Being the defending champs with all five starters returning is a legit separation detail.

Toughest Bracket: East, no question. UNC at the top. Georgetown is the best 2-seed. 3-seed Washington State is a trap game every time (ironically, for every team BUT Georgetown). 4-seed Texas is the hot pick.

This Year's George Mason: The bandwagon behind Winthrop couldn't be more full. It's getting to the point where NOT taking Winthrop is the ballsy pick. Meanwhile, speaking of ballsy, can you muster the stones to take VCU over Duke? Because you know you want to.

Top 5 Toughest First-Round Games to Pick:
1. Creighton-Nevada (South)
2. UNLV-GA Tech (Midwest)
3. Butler-Old Dominion (Midwest)
4. BC-Texas Tech (East)
5. BYU-Xavier (South)

Bubble Screw-Jobs: Count me among those who think Drexel got screwed. I'm less sympathetic toward Syracuse (but make no mistake: the Orange still should have been in there, no question). I haven't seen much of Arkansas this year, but I watched them get demolished by Florida on Sunday. Not worthy.

Five Upset Specials:
1. Georgia Tech over UNLV (And here is a classic example of where my pre-existing bias is going to derail my pool. You just know I'm going to go long on Tech just because I picked them for the Final Four in the preseason -- and watch them lose to UNLV in the first round en route to a Rebels trip to the Sweet 16. Just watch.)

2. Gonzaga over Indiana
3. VCU over Duke (Still revving for this.)
4. Texas Tech over BC
5. Albany over UVA
(Wow, am I down on the ACC or what?)

In-My-Gut Final Four (Subject to Change):
Florida, UCLA, Georgetown, Texas A&M
(Just saw: Same 4 as Wilbon. Same first 3 as Tony K. So much for unconventional. Update: AND I have the same Final Four as Andy Katz. Oh, and the NYT's Pete Thamel. Yeesh: I'm in so much trouble...)

Beat the Experts: The terrific site FanIQ is MADE for this event. They'll be tracking all of the "expert" picks, but -- more important -- allowing you to compete against them. All of them. In one place. Now THAT is what the Web was made for. Check out this link.

Full bracket picks coming soon.

Wait: There's other stuff in sports today besides the brackets?

NIT: Who's with me on an office pool? I got Drexel!

CBB: "Tubby's our basketball coach," the Kentucky AD said, in what can only be presumed as the least convincing vote of confidence of the year.

NBA: Mavs win 17th straight. When do the playoffs start again?

NBA: Isiah gets an extension. He's an easy target but he out-performed Larry Brown and, amazingly, has the Knicks in contention for a playoff spot.

NFL: Stallworth to Pats. Between him and Welker, an upgrade at WR.

Media: Emmitt Smith is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst. And, one presumes, resident expert on all things ballroom dance.

MLB: Matsuzaka allows 4R (4 IP), including 2 HR to non-roster players.

NHL: Chris Simon suspended for rest of season. Good.

Tennis: Federer 41-match win streak ends: Zzz...

Back to my bracket...

-- D.S.

89 comments:

CMFost said...

Some one should tell syracuse to quit crying and stop playing cupcaskes at the beginning of the season and then maybe there 20+ wins would be more meaningful. There are 2 teams that should be in ahead of Syracuse that did not make Air Force and Drexel.

And Dan I already made my picks for the quickie bracket and I have Duke going down in the first round.

Daddy-O said...

Can taking a 10 over a 7 be considered an upset?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

On the ESPN.com site...is it me or does anyone else's picks keep getting changed? It's funny, it keeps changing my picks to Florida winning it all. I think Shanoff has broken into the system.

rafael said...

WOOO GO MIAMI REDHAWKS!
There's your 3-14 upset!


Well, no...not likely. Plus Miami hockey choked over the weekend so the Redhawks will be in the tourny they weren't expected to be in..and miss out on the one they were.

No sympathy for major conference bubble teams. They have PLENTY of opportunity to get NCAA padding wins. I feel more for the midmajors who hit 25+ wins and still can't get a sniff.

And Dan...no other sports exist for the next 2 weeks. Save the space on the blog for an in depth breakdown of Central Connecticut.

Big D said...

Have to admit... I thought long and hard before finally giving Duke a first-round win. And I actually like Duke, mostly.

Looking forward to another first day of domination in the Quickie Challenge, only to finish up 10 spots from the end.

And comment moderation back on? Bah.

jhawkjjm said...

Saying Florida is the defending champs as the criteria for the #1 overall seed goes against what the committee has spoken publicly. Past success is NOT supposed to be a factor in selection and seeding.

EN said...

Alright, I give. OSU is better than Wisconsin. I was wrong. They proved it on Sunday. Wisco deserves the #2 seed. At least they didn't end up in the East (crazy bracket).

Biebs said...

Call it the Billy Packer invitational NCAA tournament, since only 6 At Large bids come from Mid Majors... Seriously, Stanford had no right to be in the tourny this year over Drexel or Syracuse.

Jon said...

I don't feel too bad for Drexel. Sure they went out and beat some teams, but they couldn't get it done in their own conference. They laid a huge egg against the ODU, VCU and Hofstra.
Arkansas got a little too much credit for making it to the SEC championship game. They finished sub 500 on the weaker side of the SEC.
I'm going Kansas over Georgetown...and of course this will mean that Kansas gets knocked out the first weekend.
Best first round game is going to be Notre Dame-Winthrop.

jhawkjjm said...

And for a shameless plug, I love how this year there seems to be so much focus on unbalanced conference schedules, which I wrote about a few days ago.

It hurt Syracuse and K State, yet somehow didn't hurt Illinios who played both Wisconsin and Ohio State at home and lost.

Jason said...

I've been leaning Albany over UVa as well but haven't been able to muster up the stuff to change my pick.

And just because Florida are the defending champs doesn't mean they deserve #1 overall. It's your body of work THIS season that counts, not over previous seasons.

Matt T said...

I have Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, A&M.

The biggest surprise to me was Arkansas. It looked almost like the committee wanted a SEC West squad and just went with the one that made it the furthest in the SEC tourney

I have a reason to watch the NIT, UGA is in.

rafael said...

Florida as the #1 overall doesn't bother me much. They had a blip on their season, but they had done enough good things to warrant that seed, imo. Smashing Ohio State certainly helped.

UNC as the second #1..that one is odd. I wasn't sure they'd even be a #1 seed before the tournies, but i think OSU and Kansas should both have been higher #1s.

Cycledan said...

I was pretty shocked that Syracuse didn't make it and upset about it as well since I am a Syracuse fan. However, the only reason I am shocked is that all the "experts" had them in. I thought they were a bubble team that should have made it.

Jim Boeheim is as much to blame as anyone. Their out of conference resume was a huge negative. They didn't play any tough road games out of conference at all. They played two decent teams at home out of conference and lost to both Drexel and Wichita St. They lost to Oklahoma St. at MSG during the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament. Their best OOC win - Hofstra.

Also their RPI at 51 I believe is really marginal at best.

That being said, they are a better team than Illinois and Arkansas.


I think that the selection committee don't want Lunardi to pick the whole thing so they have to throw in some surprises so it seems that they are not just following all the expert predictions. I say just let Lunardi pick the tournament.

CMFost said...

For 1st round upset I like the following:

Texas Tech Over BC
VCU Over Duke
GW over Vandy
Creighton over Nevada

and If I was going to pick a top 4 seed to lose it would probably be Southern Illinois Losing to Holy Cross. As we have all seen the Shanoff curse is affecting them

Todd said...

Every way I keep doing my brackets, I keep ending up with all four number one seeds in the Final Four... I think my bracket will change a lot in the next few days I have a feeling.

As for BC and Texas Tech, the way BC has been playing, that's probably the 'safest' upset call. That being said, BC always plays their best when no one is expecting anything out of us. But, then again, it doesn't matter, because either us or Texas Tech will get mauled by Georgetown.

No sympathy for the teams that didn't make it. No offense, but if you only play well enough to get yourselves on the bubble in the first place, you have to accept the consequences (looking at you Syracuse)...

As for Dan's "hatred" of the ACC, the ACC this year can go both ways. I'm convinced that most ACC teams can beat anybody, but we also can lose to just about anyone. VCU over Duke though? Not sure about that... and I hate Duke.

jhawkjjm said...

My gut instinct final four was KU, Florida, Texas and A&M. Then I realized that would be 3 Big XII teams. I may have to think about this a bit more. I only like filling out 1 bracket and entering that one into every pool I'm in.

Sheldiz said...

still holding out hope for a 'Nova/Georgetown championship.

i can dream.

I didn't think there were any MAJOR surprises. I would have liked to see Drexel in.

My only issue was the Terps seeding. I love them, but 4 seemed a little high to me.

Woo hoo, Wildcat on Wildcat action in the first round. (Btw, 4 teams called "the wildcats" made it into the tournament. holy generic name, batman.)

comment moderation on what's probably going to be the longest stream of comments in awhile?? lame.

Jason said...

I have a feeling about Davidson over Maryland as a 4-13 upset.

And I'm glad I'm not alone in taking GW over Vandy (go Colonials!). I might change them later to beat Wazoo as well. (They beat VT, people.)

roboninja said...

Not a huge college B-ball fan, but cannot pass up a good bracket :) I have Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, and OSU as the Final Four, with OSU over Goergetown, and Kansas over Florida. Then Kansas as the winner over OSU.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

If all the Duke haters would just take a step back and look at Duke's bracket they would realize that they have a shot to get to the Sweet 16.

VCU is a guard oriented team that loves to shoot the 3. They have no inside game and Duke has 3 guys that play major minutes that are over 6'8. Duke has had a problem with quick guards this year that can penetrate but they have been good at defending the 3. If VCU is hot from outside then Duke will have a tough game. Duke is also getting there best player at creating his own shot back. It will be interesting to see if Henderson will still play as aggresively after his suspension. I am sure refs will be watching him closely and may call him for anything he does.

If they beat VCU they would most likely face Pitt. Pitt does have a good big man but like Duke they have struggled on offense at times and they got smoked by Georgetown. That will be an interesting match-up and if Duke makes it to the Sweet 16 against UCLA presumeably then I am happy with that after the way this year has gone.

Jack said...

Stanford beat 6 tournament teams (including four top 4 seeds) and didn't lose to anyone outside the top 100. Plus they played without their starting PG/second-leading scorer in the final 6 conference games.

RPI notwithstanding, Stanford was a no-brainer to get in.

I think the team with the most justifiable gripe is Florida State.

Jason said...

Oh, and while this will likely doom me, my Sweet 16 (right now, * means I might change the pick):

Florida, Maryland*, Oregon, Wisconsin, Kansas, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, UCLA, North Carolina, Texas, Washington State*, Georgetown, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Creighton

Elite 8: Florida, Oregon, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Texas, Georgetown, Ohio State, Texas A&M

Final Four: Florida, UCLA, Georgetown, Ohio State

Natl Championship: Georgetown over Florida.

CrumbBum said...

VCU forces over 16 turnovers per game, and when Duke loses its usually because they're turning over the ball too much. I think/hope Duke pulls it out, but it'll be a nailbiter.

I also think Syracuse dug their own grave with their weak out of conference schedule. They lost to the good OoC teams they played. Maybe Boheim will sack up and go on the road next year.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

So much for the over 200 posts today. Stupid internet.

CMFost said...

I have done 3 sheets and got a different Final 4 each time but one team to watch out for has to be Oregon. Did anyone see how they took apart USC?

Natsfan74 said...

I would like to see an Illinois vs. SIU match-up, but don't see that coming. VaTech will beat SIU in the second round though. The Salukis beat Tech earlier this year for their only win over a ranked opponent. They are highly over-rated and will go home early.

I don't mind Florida being the overall #1, but I am not sure they really deserve it. I guess what I really hate is Florida getting the MidWest and Ohio State getting the South. OSU could play Texas A&M in San Antonio.... sounds like a Big XII home game to me.

Funny that the guy who beat Federer is fresh off a suspension for using PEDs.

Big D said...

This is the one time of the year when I'm glad I have no alliegiance to any particular college athletics program.

Since I went to two schools with mediocre (Boston U) or non-existent (Emerson College) athletic programs, I think I can really get a better view of the whole college sports landscape.

That being said, I suck at picking brackets. So when I post up my picks later tonight, take them for what they're worth.

King Sid the Great 87 said...

When will Dan realize that Joakim Noah makes Florida far more easy to hate than anything Duke has (ever?) had to offer?

rukrusher said...

Tourney Entry

I have made two entries on ESPN. First is RU Krusher Analysis, in which I actually thought about the games and made my selections, the second is the RU Krusher Coin Flip, I am hoping I do better then the random heads the higher seed moves on, but we will see.

Todd said...

I keep trying to figure out which number one is the most vulnerable and to what kinds of teams, but I'm really struggling with this (usually don't). What do you guys think???

Here's what I've come up with, and what types of teams they can lose to:

Florida- Can be sluggish coming out of the gates. Most vulnerable to a team with good perimeter shooting that can get hot, or to a team with aggressive bigs to get Noah in foul trouble early.

UNC - Sometimes play lackadaisical defense, slight tendency to be impatient on shot selection. Lack of experience in tourney. Most vulnerable to a team with physical guards, teams that can play good transition defense. (Have UNC's losses shared something in common?)

Kansas - High energy leading to turnovers. Can be inconsistent in effort. Vulnerable to a patient team. (How has Kansas done against more phyiscal teams?)

Ohio St. - Inexperienced. Vulnerable to teams that can play well in transition, not allowing Oden to get established defensively. (How is their transition defense, how well do they defend the three?)

I'm sure I'm generalizing here or got some things wrong. What do you guys think? I'm just trying to get a better feel for possible weaknesses of teams for potential matchups.

Jon said...

Actually I think there are 5 Wildcats in the tourney....Zona, Nova, Kentucky, Davidson, and Weber St. No? Am I missing anyone?

Best mascot in the tournament has to be the Mean Green of North Texas though.

First 1 or 2 seed out is going to be Wisconsin....or going against my picks, Kansas.

Todd said...

@ King Sid,

Noah is annoying, but he's nowhere near JJ Redick level of annoying. Duke also has more of a history in annoying players than Florida(Laettner, Hurley, Wojo, Redick, now Paulus/McCrybaby). Plus Vitale and Patrick don't slurp Florida as much as Duke.

Even though I read Dan everyday, Florida still has a ways to go to reach Duke hatred status...

Perks said...

Can anyone explain how 'Cuse a) got jobbed from the NCAAs, and b) got a 2 (!!!) seed in the NIT?

Also, no GMason in the NIT?!

jhawkjjm said...

Congrats on the Wall St Journal thing Dan, good thing your obvious Florida bais didn't come through (*rolls eyes*).

Obviously I'm biased, but the Bill Self comment was pretty low. This is a guy who turned around Oral Roberts and Tulsa. True he's never been to the final four, but he's been to the regional final with three different teams, including Tulsa.

Andrew said...

As an ND fan/alum, I can tell you that as soon as Winthrop's name popped up, I let out a groan. Not only had I factored Wintrhop as a sweet sixteen sleeper, if we win, we have to be the Goliath's that took down everyone's favorite David, and if we lose, it may take an extra two or twelve Guinnesses (Guinnessi?) on St. Patrick's Day to cheer me up.

CMFost said...

My biggest fear is my best sheet will be the quickie one and not the ones I have Cash on.

rafael said...

Shit.

Did my two brackets ( I try to limit myself)... a straight up bracket and one with a few more upsets...

I still end up with Kansas v Ohio State in the champ. game.

Florida in the FF. G'town in one bracket, Wazzu in the other.

Bah

TBender said...

I would love to see SIU play Illinois in round 2.

SIU is the only in-state school that the Illini actively duck.


This year is a perfect example of why the play-in game isn't being done correctly. Instead of having 16 seeds fight, let the "last 4 in" play the "last 4 out" to determine who gets the 11-12 seeds.

King Sid the Great 87 said...

@ todd

Did you see Noah's little post game dance yesterday?

The guy is a grade A cocky jerk off.

CMFost said...

When I look at each Number 1 Seed here is what I see.

Ohio State - I think in of the team in there bracket has the easiest path of the #1's to the Final Four

Kansas - I think is the most likely of the #1's not to make it to the Elight Eight

Florida - Has an easy path to the Elight Eight but will face a tough match up against Wiconsin or Oregon to make the Final Four

UNC - Has the toughtest road of any of the #1's - They should make it to the sweet sixteem but then will probably have to play Texas and then probably G'Town to make the Final Four.

Brew City Legend said...

Dan, no 16 over a 1?

I got CC State over Ohio State! Believe!

Sheldiz said...

Cmfost -- i fear the exact same thing.

Brian in Oxford said...

The only problem with letting 2 teams play in to be a 12 seed, is that it unfairly punishes the 5 that's gotta play them with only 2 days to scout for them. At least a 1 seed shouldn't have to worry too much about getting a game from the play-in winner.

Jason said...

Got a few giggles from this post

http://ghostsofwaynefontes.blogspot.com/2007/03/inaugural-celebrity-bracket-challenge.html

Richard said...

You know, I filled out a bracket that I called the "Thunderin Thads". At the time I forgot about Thad Matta at OSU and had them bounced in round 3. The name of my entry had nothing to do with the "Thad Five". Oh well.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I just completed my I am a Duke homer bracket. Have them beating Georgetown in the Final. Final Four in the bracket is Oregon, Duke, Ohio St. and Georgetown. I actually think that 3 of those 4 or legit FF teams. Oregon was sick Saturday against USC but I doubt they continue that and will probably be gone by the 1st weekend.

jhawkjjm said...

todd-

KU can bang with teams. They have 4 low post players that play consistantly. Kahn and Jackson are big bodies that are physical, they don't have great offensive presences but are monsters on the glass. Julian Wright and Arthur are the other two. Wright is a match up problem with his speed and is a great passer. Arthur is a talented offensive player, but is a freshman.

The inconsistency, at least offensively, is still there. Defensively their top notch, but they force teams to beat them from the outside, so if a team is hot from 3, they're in trouble. That's how Oral Roberts beat them. Offensively they have missed more layups this year than I've seen from any team ever. But they can play a fast paced run and gun game, or a slow paced grind it out game.

setherton22 said...

Todd,

OSU Defensive stats (conference play only):

Pts per Poss.: 0.94 (3rd in Big 10)
FG%: 46.4 (3rd)
2 Pt. FG %: 43.9 (1st)
3 Pt. %: 34.0 (5th)

Pace: 62.2 Poss. per game (5th)

The Big Ten is the slowest Power Conf league by a lot, but OSU plays faster than it appears - they never turn the ball over, and excessive turnovers make teams seem faster than they actually are.

They turned the 2nd half of the Wisc game yesterday into a track meet (by Big Ten standards) and OSU blew them out of the water. This team can play fast if needed, it's just the Big 10 is so freaking slow!

What worries me the most about the Buckeyes is the 3 point line -- both making (they are streaky) and defending the 3 (as you said). The "Big Guy" underneath will ensure they Buckeyes win the battle in the paint, so the 3-ball will be the independent variable for tOSU's success in the tourney.

Sheldiz said...

i'm having a hard time with my bracket(s) this year! i just played around with one that ended up with both pittsburgh and creighton in the final four. creighton?

Dan Mega said...

natsfan says "The Salukis beat Tech earlier this year for their only win over a ranked opponent. They are highly over-rated and will go home early."

My reply: gee, I guess their win over a ranked Butler was just a figment of my imagination.

And regarding losing to Va Tech, sure thats possible. Tech is a good team but they are terribly inconsistent. My buddy is a Tech alumni so we are hoping the matchup happens.

brew city legend, you're nuts =)

Dan Mega said...

As much as I too hate Duke, I don't see their players being showboaters (cough Florida cough). I don't hate Duke this year.

This is the year to hate UNC, Florida, and Georgetown!

Todd said...

Awesome stuff on OSU and KU. Can anyone answer better than I can on Florida or UNC?

I always get a lot out of hearing objective (ie, non-Duke winning it all this year) fans of their respective teams. Best way to fill out brackets for me is learning each teams' strengths and weaknesses, then figuring out if potential matchups will be trouble.

And then of course, the worst part is being completely wrong...

Todd said...

Also, UCONN not making the NIT is freaking hilarious. It won't last, but I love seeing UCONN fail.

Natsfan74 said...

Last week, I predicted that OSU and Georgetown would both be in the Final Four unless they met eachother or met Virginia earlier in the tourney. Those two teams are both very susceptible to good guard play, and Virginia has excellent guards.

How about some reunion games along the way -- Matta reunites with Xavier in the 2nd round, Bill Self reuinites with Illinois in the 3rd round...

I think that The South is the easiest bracket. The East is the hardest.

Dave said...

I genuinely don't know what is worse: Hearing people talk about their fantasy teams or Hearing people talk about their brackets?

Thoughts?

TBender said...

"The only problem with letting 2 teams play in to be a 12 seed, is that it unfairly punishes the 5 that's gotta play them with only 2 days to scout for them. At least a 1 seed shouldn't have to worry too much about getting a game from the play-in winner."

So giving the two play-in game teams less than 48 hours to prep is okay, though? At least FAMU and Niagara earned their bids, and weren't begging for at-large selections.

Theo said...

Setherton, your tOSU stats were great, but now you've given me a slight glimmer of hope that my BYU can pull off the ridiculous upset, since the Cougars are 7th in the country in 3-point shooting and have some decent size to throw at Oden. I'm not sure whether to thank you or be angry at you for that.

CMFost said...

listening to Mike and Mike this morning I agree with them that the tourney commitee missed a chnce for a great 7-10 match up by Having Indiana play Bobby Knight and Texas Tech.

CMFost said...

how about just having all the 16 seeds as play in game. So you add 3 more team to the field.

verbal97 said...

@dave

That's quite a problem...I'll say fantasy teams solely because a fantasy season lasts longer, but hearing people stress over their brackets is quite annoying. I don't really care if you have Creighton or Oregon in the Final Four.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Fantasy teams are more annoying to hear about from someone who is not in a league with you. The only people I discuss fantasy sports with are the guys who are in my league. Nothing is worse than going to a sports bar on Sunday and 10 yokels are cheering because Reuben Droughns cracked 100 yards and scored a TD.

Talking about brackets is much more fun because everyone has an opinion on them plus nothing beats going to a bar on Thur/Fri and watching the games with people and discussing teams that you have not watched at all during the season.

rafael said...

Verbal and Dave are whiners!

Arguing, lamenting, praising brackets is what March is all about. :)

setherton22 said...

Thanks to the MWC breaking ties with ESPN, I have not seen BYU play at all this year. It appears that the selection committee undervalued the MWC this year (at least based on Lunardi's projections).

However, living in Ohio, I have seen part of 3-4 Xavier games. Everyone is ripping on them, but Xavier has beaten 4 tourney teams (Illinois, Villanova, VCU and GW, and also beat Kansas St), so don't overlook that game. They will also have 80% of the crowd being less than an hour and a half from Lexington. Should be a GREAT 8-9 matchup.

Todd said...

Oh come on all you bracket haters, this is precisely what today is for. It's all about making claims about brackets, etc. It's why ESPN has such good ratings showing the "experts" doing their picks, as we hang on their every word.

While I won't talk specifically about my brackets anymore, I will say this, I feel worse about this year's bracket than I have since I correctly called Duke to win over Arizona...

Solving the worlds problems said...

Dan, love the blog. It is a great way to keep updated. As a teacher on my spring break and wanna be sports writer I have decided to resurrect my blog from last year when I was in college. I am trying out a little project, me vs. a quarter to fill out my brakcet...I would love for everyone to check it out...

Solving the worlds problems said...

Dan, sorry forgot to give you the blog adress...

http://boston-press-box-2.blogspot.com/

Thanks

Chris said...

Some random tournament thoughts from an often idle mind:

1. Joakim Noah is one of the most annoying players that I can remember, ever. I cannot stand the Dookies but I'm sorry I find him much more objectionable then Redick. Not more than Laettner, in fact IMHO he is the most annoying player since Laettner. I fear Florida is going to win it again, and I'll have to watch him perform another arrogant dance/convulsion (Not to mention tolerate Dan's incessant slurping up to his wife's team even though he attended another D-1 school. I'm not sure which of those 2 things annoys me most about the Gators).

2. As I wrote in another comment section, beware of the Pitt Panthers. You can set your watch by their March gag jobs. They are the only team to exceed Duke every tournament for being wildly over-seeded/under-acheiving. And yes, that means that if Duke beats VCU (which they probably will) then they will take out Pitt. Which will lead to an unbearable few days next week of Dickie V. and the boys blowing smoke up Coach K's ass.

3. I can't get away from Kansas. I just think they have everything. If they can get out of the first weekend (unlike the past 2 years) I think they are in the final game. Of course, beating UCLA in San Jose won't be easy.

4. My teams that are seeded 1-4 but won't see the sweet 16 are as follows: So.Ill (maybe losing to Holy Cross but if not, the Illni or VT will send them packing), Pitt (as noted above), UVA (Albany might do the trick), Texas A & M (playing U of L in Lexington, even though everyone seems to be in love with A & M).

5. Final Four- Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, OSU.

6. Kansas over Ohio State.

Cycledan said...

Great Idea cmfost!

I really think that 64 teams and 6 rounds is good enough. I also think that the auto bids for every conference champ is part of what makes the tournament fun. Every team in Div I has a chance to win the national championship on the court! Think about that compared to football for example.

However, we realize that some of those teams will never win. Putting an extra 3 teams in a 68 team tournament and have 4 play-in games on the same day. It gives some the weaker teams a more competitive chance. 16-seeds are so happy to just be in the tournament so they can get blown out by a #1 seed. This way they may actually win a game.

jen said...

dave~ Oh, fantasy teams, by far!!! Bracketology will only last two weeks. Fantasy-freakin'-baseball lasts forEVER!

verbal97 said...

I'm not a whiner or a party pooper or whatever. I like debating about brackets in general. Things such as Indiana should be playing Texas Tech, potential upsets/match-ups, who got screwed in seeding, game location, snubs, and even who people think will make it to the Final Four (in general). I really don't like reading people's every exhausting thought on every game and who they're stressing over as it pertains to their bracket. Fine line to be sure, but it's still a line.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan this approved by blog author sucks. Especially today. Are you still trying to fix it?

Todd said...

Good article Dan. Glad to see the mainstream MAN hasn't gotten you down. Is this series of articles for the WSJ something we can look forward to in the future? Or is it a one-shot deal?

rafael said...

well, that makes sense verbal.

re: Noah. I don't think he's the catalyst for Florida. he may be annoying, have bad hair, etc. Doesn't matter. Florida will go where Horford and Brewer take them.

Natsfan74 said...

Va Tech wasn't ranked when they played SIU, they were ranked later in the season. SIU beat Butler when they were ranked, and lost to Indiana. All of their losses were away from home.

So, if Duke beats VCU, they will get to play historical tournament choker Pitt (and on to the Sweet 16), where the only thing standing between them and the final four is a crappy down the stretch UCLA team, then a tourney choking Kansas (Yes, Bill Self will still be there). So honestly, Duke is either a 1 and done, or a Final 4 Team -- and I am hoping for the 1 and done variety.

Mikepcfl said...

I dont think Noah is as bad as Reddick or Laettner. But if he picks a fight with another female cheerleader, he may move up the list. But since he is french, a female cheerleader may be a fair matchup! (Sorry, couldnt resist the french joke)

Mills said...

Dan -- really liked the WSJ article. I think that could be a solid forum for you to be in. Would be cool to get your perspective on business/politics/sports in a platform that fits your interests.

My final four - KU, OSU, Texas (shades of Durant pulling a 'Melo dancing in my head) and Florida.

KU over Florida (just kidding, I know that is not possible) in the finals... KU over OSU.

Though I don't think this KU squad is as good as the Hinrich/Collison/Miles/Simean/Langford squad of a couple years ago. Tell TEM to call me when he stops plowing your wife, will you? And I really would like to see KU with a pure shooter to feel confident in my pick. CMFost for MVP.

ryan from boston,ma said...

I'll give you two mid major teams i've seen up close in action is Davidson and Winthrop.Both teams have solid guard play to give any of them a run for their money.Stephen(spell?) Curry is an animal,yet he is only a freshman.

DanShanoff.com said...

@Mills: Ha! Never gets old. Hey, can I join in your bracket pool? I'm not kidding.

CMFost said...

This is off the NCAA topic for the moment put the Patriots just signed another receiver, Kelly Washington, Formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals.

I guess the Patriots are really trying to give Tom some weapons.

rafael said...

yeah but... quantity over quality is never good.

Natsfan74 said...

The Patriots have been the most active team and seem to be filling needs with smart contracts. Washington gets pennies this year, and a $4M roster bonus in the off-season, if they want to keep him.

They still have the draft (including 2 first round picks) to shore up other holes, but there aren't many right now. Maybe a back-up running back (if Dillon leaves), and adding depth at both lines....

Dan Mega said...

Regardless, SIU isn't "vastly" overrated. Any team out of Virginia (besides Tech) is incredibly overrated. Book it.

rafael said...

Wow.

Simmons needs to stop writing about college basketball. It's so painful to read.

...

That's all i have. heh

rafael said...

Besides VT? There isn't a surer 5/12 upset pick this year than VT.

The heroin sheik said...

Joakim Noah does that jig after every championship title we win. He does it because it makes coach donovan laugh or so it was reported in todays orlando paper.

I must have the weakest job ever. I can't get anyone to put down money for a pool. Asked everyone at my work and at the two places next to my work and no one wanted to partake. I can't believe I work with a bunch of chefs who don't like to bet. I guess the morning quickie pool is my only one this year and that is just sad.

Is it just me or does it seem like the patriots are making the most moves in free agency. I guess they weren't happy with that all UF wideout corps.

As much as I hate FSU they really got the shaft. They deserve to be in on the simple basis of beating UF and Duke. They might not have a championship but they can say they beat a back to back champ when the gators destroy everyone in the ATL.

jekyll said...

upset pick A&M CC over Bucky Badger
the four (and eight) Oregon (Butler), KU (UCLA -- man, the West lower half is a cakewalk), Texas (Gtown), and Virgina (Lville) subject to change, naturally

Isiah Yeah, it is a real accomplishment to be in contention for a playoff spot while playing .460 ball.

Kurt said...

"Dan Shanoff blogs daily about sports at danshanoff.com. He is a former daily columnist -- and the former college-basketball editor -- for ESPN.com. You are invited to join his free NCAA office-pool using ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge, group name "Daily Quickie Readers."

Lame...I thought Daily Quickie Readers pool was for people who have been with you since the the DQ? Shit wont even be legit now that you have invited the entire Wall Street Journal fanbase to join. Smooth move Shanoff.

Scott said...

I have been reading up on what the "experts" think about the brackets, and not ONE of them thinks Florida isn't going to make it out of their bracket. I understand that Florida is a great team, and their chances are pretty good, but I just don't see them making it to the Final Four. Granted, I'm a UGA fan, but still.

My Final Four:
Oregon
Kansas
Georgetown
Texas A+M

Final Game
Kansas over Georgetown.

Seriously, who watched that Texas-Kansas game? Did anyone see the second gear Kansas has? If they hadn't gone cold and sloppy late in the second half, there would never have been overtime. They're scary.