Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday (Kansas) Quickie

First, the fun stuff: As of the Kansas upset (see post below), no one in ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge had a perfect bracket anymore.

Despite losing Kansas (my champ pick) and Villanova (a Final Four pick), I am in the 84th percentile -- for now -- mostly thanks to picking Washington to the Sweet 16.

If you used the National Bracket, you'd be in the 50th percentile. Obama is in the 95th percentile.

The best part about the Kansas upset: All bets are off, both literally (on your bracket) and existentially (on the bracket). If KU can lose, anyone can lose, anytime.

One last point: Isn't it possible that rather than being a "no...no...YES!" event -- as most mainstream analysis is framing it -- Ali F's shot was precisely the best option possible if UNI wanted to win? Don't want to belabor it, but I'll bet the analytics bear that out.

More on tap today:

12:10: 8 Gonzaga vs. 1 Syracuse*
Kansas will be ultimate cautionary tale.
2:20 10 Georgia Tech vs. 2 Ohio St*
Suddenly, no more Kansas in the way.
2:30 5 Michigan St* vs. 4 Maryland
Ditto.
2:40 10 Mizzou vs. 2 West VA*
Probably freaked by Kansas loss.
2:50 12 Cornell vs. 4 Wisconsin*
How can you NOT root for Cornell?
4:50 6 Xavier* vs. 3 Pitt
My last Sweet 16 upset pick alive.
5:00 5 Texas A&M* vs. 4 Purdue
Make or break for Boilers. (I had Utah St.)
5:15 8 Cal vs. 1 Duke*
Shades of 1993? (No.)

If Thursday/Friday is any indication, then yesterday's insanity will yield to today's conventionality. Hope not.

-- D.S.

3 comments:

doublenicks said...

I agree the Ali's shot wasn't a horrible choice. It was shot in transition but not on the run - he stopped, looked, and the Kansas defender left him alone. What's the better play? Hold the ball, run some clock, and take a defended shot against a clearly physically superior team? Some people might argue that Kansas would want UNI taking a low percentage shot there but in no circumstance did they want to allow an undefended look anyone, much less a shooter of that quality.

Will Welborn said...

The shot by Ali was the best possible play. If he makes it, dagger. If he misses NI still gets the last shot for the win based on time left on game clock.

Why hold the ball and risk giving KU the last shot for the win, knowing ANY contact on an interior pass/shot would land KU on the line with 2 shots.

Plus it was freakin Northern Iowa shooting to beat Kansas!! Take the shot and stamp your memory.

Peter Robert Casey said...

Michigan State-Maryland ended in fantastic fashion and Purdue-A&M are headed to OT now. A great four days.