Be sure to enter the "Quickie" group of ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge. It's not quite the 10,000 entries from a few years ago, but it is in the Top 100 most popular groups of the 140,000 groups that have been created (and most of the Top 100 are either ESPN-related groups or "official" groups created for each team's fan base). Can we at least pass Colin Cowherd?
So last night's First Four was... well, it was a dud, from the standard-def broadcast on my TV (ugh) to the empty seats on the screen to the largely meaningless "close" game between 16-seeds (neither of which have a prayer of beating Pitt tomorrow) to the blowout between the two "at-large" teams that had more people talking about how unworthy UAB was than how Clemson has a puncher's chance against West Virginia (can't believe that game is at noon Thursday). Maybe it will get better tonight. I have VCU winning and then beating Georgetown, so if VCU loses, it's almost like a bonus to my bracket to change the pick tomorrow. (Frankly, I should suck it up and leave it wrong.)
Speaking of my bracket, I am now officially at my "WTF???" point because of that pick to bump Ohio State out of the Tournament against George Mason. Forget that Ohio State is arguably the best team in the country; they are playing in Cleveland! Then again, I just can't shake last year's loss by Kansas -- a team similarly thought of as a lock as Ohio State this year -- losing to Northern Iowa.
My problem: I'm trying to apply pattern recognition to what should more accurately be described as an outlier. Then again: I really do think Syracuse will/would beat Ohio State in the regional final (and Kentucky could beat them in the regional semi), so is it really that bad if I send them out on Sunday, rather than a week later? It's just a few bracket points -- and if Ohio State wins it all, I'm out of it anyway.
So much awesome NCAA Tournament analysis over at Quickish. I'm trying to pull the very best together into a single column, but for the time being, if you hit up the site and scroll back through the past few days, you'll get links to some terrific columns.