I am edging ever closer to last year's worst-ever 18th percentile among Tournament bracket-pickers. I'm at 22 percent -- and that's before a Final Four where I have no teams participating.
I am happy to be wrong about Louisville as national champ -- perhaps I would be less amiable about it if I was in contention to win my bracket pool.
But Michigan State's win was so... refreshing. Of any of the Elite Eight games, wasn't Louisville supposed to be the one we were SURE would work out for the favorite?
But the Spartans played brilliantly and forced Louisville into a tempo they didn't want to play -- the Big Ten's best made the Big East's best look mediocre.
If you took the names off the jerseys and asked "Which team is the one representing the supposed 'dud' conference?" You would swear it was the team in red.
And so the Big Ten gets a big bump -- not just for making the Final Four, but for dispatching the tournament's top-seeded team in the process.
And for making the Tournament unpredictable again.
(Otherwise: UNC beating Oklahoma? My biggest problem with the game is that UNC went up double-digits right away, and it basically stayed that way the next 40 minutes. It was boring. Yeah, Blake Griffin played OK -- and yeah Tyler Hansbrough didn't do much... because he didn't have to... but the game was a snoozer. I fully expect Hansbrough to go King Kong on Villanova, which is athletic and fast, but doesn't have anyone inside who can handle Psycho-T.)
Not that I'm counting out Villanova -- you'd be crazy to do that after Saturday night's epic East regional final. What I love about this Final Four is that you can make a case for any of them to win it all.
Even Michigan State. If you told me two weeks ago that they would be in the Final Four -- and I had several close friends pick exactly that, much to my derisive mockery -- I would not have believed you.
Of course, given my punishingly bad Tournament picks this year -- I literally have no opportunity to win any more points -- maybe I should listen closer to them.
Coming later this week: An autopsy of my horrendous bracket.
Complete column here. (At least I was able to find solace from my busted awful bracket here.)