Sunday, March 14, 2010

Analyzing the NCAA Bracket

It's Sunday night and I've already filed my "Monday morning" column to Sporting News -- no need to wait: The entire thing is about the bracket, and within a couple hours, I knew how I was thinking about it.

I'm also putting together my annual take-you-through-my-thought-process column for the Wall Street Journal, so I don't want to "spoil" that, but here's the gist:

I'm not going to screw things up like I did last year, when I tried to be all cutesy and show how smart I was. Occam's Razor, my friends: Kansas over Kentucky, and I ain't looking back.

Much more on this in a bit, but the only things I'm sticking with are: (1) No matter what their seed, Duke will underperform. That they are a 1-seed -- and that they are on a collision course with Villanova, a movie we saw last year -- doesn't change that.

And (2) I cannot understand how Purdue earns a 4-seed. You cannot go with "resume" or "body of work" when so much of that was wrapped up in a player who is not available, and all evidence we have is that the team is not very good. Purdue losing to Siena will be a very trendy pick, and I probably will not be able to resist it -- given that even if Purdue beats Siena (or even beats the Texas A&M-Utah State winner), they ain't getting further. But I'm betting on the former.

Here we go: I'm already slipping down the rabbit hole. I could spend the next three hours writing out commentary on everything I'm thinking right now about the bracket. I'll post my Sporting News link as soon as it's ready, and otherwise will chime in with more later Monday.

This really is the best few days of the sports year, even these 72 hours before anything happens on the court. Enjoy it! How's YOUR bracket look?

-- D.S.

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