Join the Daily Quickie Readers bracket group...NOW!
OK, so here's my Sporting News column breaking down the bracket. And scroll down to read the post below from last night for my reactions to the bracket. Couple of highlights:
UCLA is my pick to win the national title.
Tennessee, Georgetown and Texas are my picks to round out the Final Four (meaning I think that UNC, Kansas and Memphis will all lose before the Final Four).
I felt very good about going through my bracket making picks... right up until about midnight last night, when I was faced with a crisis of confidence: The top half of the Midwest.
Originally, I made a few bold calls there: Kent State over Kansas in the opening weekend; Villanova over Clemson; Villanova over Vandy to the Sweet 16. Bold! Umm...too bold?!?!
I got nervous -- very nervous: I have never seen Kent State play; I 0nly heard good things. I think Kansas' Bill Self is a Tournament choker -- but could I have applied that discount too early? Was I insane to pick the lowest-seeded at-large team not just to pull an upset (albeit a 12-5 upset) but to go to the Sweet 16? Even George Mason in 2006 was an 11-seed. I sure was impressed with Clemson beating Duke.
All those choices literally kept me up most of the night.
And so even though I am all about the clarity of your/my "gut" reactions, I made changes to that top-half-of-Midwest part (note: ONLY that part) of my bracket, from my initial sweep of picks: Kansas to the Elite Eight (but still not making the Final Four); Clemson beating Villanova, then the Tigers being the team out of that pairing to beat Vandy and reach the Sweet 16. I'm sure I have corrupted my system; I'm sure that Nova fans are giddy.
Meanwhile, there is a ton more to cover about these brackets. I have a piece running online for the Wall Street Journal coming later this morning. I'll post a link when it is available. It breaks down all of my picks -- including my soul-sucking corrections. More to come this afternoon and all week, heading into Thursday afternoon.
In the comments, let's get your (1) champ, (2) Final Four, (3) biggest reach, (4) biggest upset "lock." I will try to keep the Comments rolling all day long.