Let's get to the good stuff first. After the complete first round:
*The Daily Quickie Readers leader is 28-4.
*I am in the 37th percentile. (WTF?!)
*Obama is in the 97th percentile.
*If you used the National Bracket, you'd be in the 60th percentile.
*Yesterday was largely a dud, not just compared to Thursday but in an absolute sense. There were the two 10-7 upsets, but "10-7" is the new "9-over-8"; it's just not really an upset.
*Michigan St pushed to the finish by New Mexico St was intriguing, but didn't materialize as an actual upset. Obviously, Cornell is a great story -- but, again -- many saw it coming.
*Cal's win over Louisiville paired with Washington's win over Marquette affirms that the Pac-10 was able to nullify its entire crappy season, while helping to undermine the Big East.
*My biggest bracket whiff was picking Utah State over Texas A&M, compounded by the fact that I took Utah State to the Sweet 16. Ouch. I have 14 of 16 Sweet 16 teams left.
Today's Games, which will fill out half the Sweet 16: (My picks have a star -- 7 of the games have that team on my bracket; Ohio-Tennessee isn't, obviously, so I have to make a new day-of-game pick.)
1:00: 2 Villanova* vs. 10 St. Mary's. A true toss-up, considering the way Nova played against Robert Morris (and the way the Gaels played against Richmond). High upset potential.
3:20: 13 Murray St vs. 5 Butler*. Butler is better than Vanderbilt, and Murray St is going to find that out. But there's a reason Murray pulled the upset: Rebounding. And Butler's not big.
3:35: 14 Ohio* vs. 6 Tennessee. Well, I had Georgetown beating Ohio and Tennessee losing to San Diego St, so there's that. And Bruce Pearl's teams have been tough to match up with on that two-day turnaround. But Ohio looked REALLY good beating Georgetown. Would love to see this.
5:40: 9 Northern Iowa vs. 1 Kansas*. NIU will be a lot tougher to beat than Lehigh, but Kansas -- and all the 1-seeds -- have been buzz-saws so far.
5:45: 11 Old Dominion vs. 3 Baylor*. Baylor was the sexy pick to make a run, and it looks like a good call. ODU's early win over Notre Dame is tempered somewhat, now that we know the Big East uniformly stinks (except the regular-season and Tournament champs).
5:50: 11 Washington* vs. 3 New Mexico. My bracket looks terrible right now, but I can claim at least a minor moral victory if Washington wins, because I have them picked to get to the Sweet 16. I just don't buy New Mexico going on a deep run.
8:10: 7 BYU vs. 2 Kansas State*. Jimmer Frenette is a nationwide sensation, and the chance to watch him in action again will be fun to see. But Kansas State is a quantum leap better than Florida, and BYU is going to figure that out quickly.
8:15: 9 Wake Forest vs. 1 Kentucky*. I don't expect anything other than a UK rout. Wake has been playing with house money since that shot went down to carry them past Texas.