Sunday, March 11, 2012

03/11 (Selection Sunday) Quickie

It's Selection Sunday! Join in the "Quickish Readers" group of the NCAA Tournament Challenge!

I love Selection Sunday. I love the bracket reveal -- despite the ubiquity of online brackets within 30 seconds of the reveal, I still hand-write my own bracket as Greg Gumbel says the names. And I love the initial "gut-instinct" rush to think through the brackets, before that first (and second and third...) doubt creeps in: "Are you really taking Wichita State to the Final Four?" "Are you really picking against Kentucky?" "Wait, what does say?"

There's sugar-coating it: My brackets have been awful the past few years. I went bold two years ago and finished in the bottom 15 percent. I went safe last year and finished in the bottom 40 percent.

This year will be a mix of the two -- I will almost certainly pick Kentucky to win it all, despite the nagging feeling that in a Final Four slugfest against an athletic and rugged opponent who can shoot, the Wildcats would fold. I don't want to be the 10% of the country picking against the 'Cats. For the sixth year, I will be making my picks for the Wall Street Journal. (See '11 here.)

There are definitely teams I am eyeing for a Sweet 16 run and beyond (with the standard caveat: Depending on the match-ups.) Wichita State, Xavier, VCU, Florida State, Creighton. (Of course, most bracket projections have Wichita and FSU in the 4/5 seed range, which means picking them for the Sweet 16 is hardly a reach.)

But there is something about that empty bracket at 6:30 on Sunday night -- infinite possibilities, and the tantalizing prospect of the weeks ahead.

-- D.S.

PS: I know I missed the Redskins/RG3 frenzy yesterday. Bottom line: Love the bold move for the Redskins -- a lot of that is a function of how much I like Griffin -- and, obviously, it's tremendous for the Rams. My move to DC was fortuitous -- I'm not a Redskins fan, but I can't wait to watch RG3 up close.

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