I made five big "bets" within this year's Tournament bracket:
(1) West Virginia to the Elite Eight. FAIL YESTERDAY.
(2) UCLA to the Elite Eight. FAIL TODAY.
(3) Texas over Duke. NOT FEELING GOOD ANYMORE.
(4) Syracuse over UNC. HOLLOW RESIDUAL VALUE.
(5) The Big Ten will suck, uniformly. BLIND STUPIDITY.
As I watch UCLA get throttled by Villanova, I'm not thinking "What was I thinking?!?!" in not picking Villanova than in affirmatively believing in UCLA. I was swayed by the past three years' Final Four trips -- that they retained a regional champion's DNA. Wow, was I wrong.
That's not to avoid giving credit to Villanova -- this is the best I have seen them play, not just this season but in recent memory (particularly in a big game, like one in the NCAA Tournament). To be fair, this is the worst game I have seen UCLA play in 4 years of Tournament excellence. (Again: Credit Villanova as much as disparage UCLA for playing absolutely horribly.)
I think that -- despite West Virginia screwing me over with their flaccid performance -- the Big East re-affirms its mojo with this decisive ass-kicking. (Although yesterday, my Louisville-over-Pitt pick for the finals -- while hardly an unconventional bet -- seemed plenty shaky.)
My big bets are blowing up in my face -- 72 hours into the Tournament.
Not a great feeling.