Sunday, March 23, 2008

Villanova Fulfills the Shanoff Prophecy

So as good as I felt yesterday about Duke losing (as predicted), I feel freaking awful about Villanova winning and making it to the Sweet 16... as predicted.

But I will get -- and should get -- no credit for that prediction, made during my initial "gut" reaction picks when the bracket first came out -- the basis for 95 percent of my picks.

I got freaked that I was riding the last at-large team into the tournament. I was won over by some fancy number-crunching that supported Clemson. And I changed the pick.

I changed the pick from right to wrong, correct to incorrect -- twice as brutal, because I changed them from going to the Sweet 16 (winning two games) to losing in Round 1 (winning none).

It is a cautionary tale -- a lesson for next year. As much as anything, a symbol of my utterly pedestrian predictive performance in this year's pool brackets: Right to wrong.

Again: As amazing as I felt yesterday about West Virginia beating Duke, I feel lousy about missing on Villanova going to the Sweet 16...

...Buoyed only by the thought that the last (at-large) team into the Tourney has outperformed 48 other teams (including nearly two dozen "at-large" teams) to reach the Sweet 16.

-- D.S.

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