3/21/08 – NCAA Bracket Update: Round 1 & Then Some
Click HERE to view the updated bracket as of 3/21/08 @6:25ish.
My Bracket: Mixed results. I had three picks go out in the first round – Indiana, George Mason, and South Alabama. Nothing busted, though, since I had all of them being eliminated in the second round. I’m still fairly confident in my picks for the Regional Semis and the Finals.
Highlights: Well, none really. Except for the 9-8 (which you can barely even count), there weren’t any upsets in the first round of this region.
My Bracket: Surprisingly, I’m doing fairly well in this region with only two of my picks (Temple and St. Mary’s) being knocked out in the first round…and I didn’t have either one moving into the Sweet 16. I say surprisingly because this looks, in my opinion, to be the potentially most unpredictable region since so many of the teams are question marks. And certainly, they have the weakest and most vulnerable 1 seed in the tournament (Memphis).
Highlights: See above (for the East Bracket), because it’s the same situation…but with the glaring weaknesses of the upper seeds in this Region, the second round and Regional Semis are going to be very, very interesting.
My Bracket: BUSTED. This was the region where I decided to go whacky with my Final 4 pick. As a result, Clemson got the nod and of course ended up being knocked out in the first round. I also had Kent St. going over UNLV and upsetting No. 1 Kansas, which obviously didn’t happen, so I essentially only have two teams left in it. Except Kansas St. is currently being walloped by Wisconsin, which means that basically Georgetown is the only team in it that’s still breathing. And of course me, in my infinite wisdom, only have them going one more round. Truly an embarrassing performance here.
Highlights: The Midwest was upset city in the first round this year. Villanova, a team some claimed shouldn’t have been in the tournament at all, knocked off a good Clemson team as mentioned previously. Davidson over Gonzaga I’d count as an upset, though I think much of Gonzaga’s seeding this year had to do with the huge boner fans and the media have had for them for the past few years…part of me suspects they just like the name “Gonzaga”. Siena‘s POUNDING of Vanderbilt makes things very, very interesting for this tournament. I wasn’t too surprised by the win, since Siena’s been fairly legit all year (with that regular season win over Stanford being talked about this year) and Vandy’s road record was AWFUL – they were the perfect example of teams in the tournament ranked too damn high by the Committee (the other prime example being Duke at No. 2 in the West). The fact that Siena completely owned them in quite literally every aspect of game play and also – literally – never even allowed Vandy to tie with them from the opening whistle is shocking. Siena made a big statement with this win. The team is shooting well, has its shit together coming off the boards, and is on fire coming out of the MAAC tournament. With Villanova coming up, Siena has a VERY good chance of getting into the Sweet 16 for the first time in the school’s history. It’s unlikely they’ll get past Kansas once they get there, but it’s NOT out of the realm of possibility – as overrated as Vandy was, Siena whomped them like this was a 1 seed taking on a 16 seed, which as questionable as they are Vandy certainly isn’t.
My Bracket: Not TOO bad. Obviously, UCONN‘s loss to San Diego broke some brackets to an extent, but I had them losing out to UCLA (whom as you can see is one of my Final 4) in the Sweet 16. As of this writing, Xavier is up on Purdue and looks likely to advance. Barring what would be a big upset of Texas A & M knocking out UCLA, I could do just fine in this region with 3 of 4 teams correctly chosen for the West Regional semifinals.
Highlights: Duke almost losing to a freaking 15 seed. I don’t want to take anything away from Belmont for their performance in that game, but this is more the fault of the Selection Committee putting Duke in a position where they absolutely didn’t belong. I’d say they’re maybe a 4 or 5 seed. I could have sort of accepted them as a 3 seed, but 2? C’mon. Also, the two biggest moments of the entire first round in 2008 belong to the West Region: San Diego‘s upset win over UCONN and that amazing West Kentucky win over Drake, a team that everyone was expecting to have a Cinderella run in the tournament. Even better, both of the winning upset teams face each other in the second round on Sunday. I must extend my apologies to my family, because as great as Jesus was and all, Easter Sunday belongs to the NCAAs.
Speaking of which, who the Hell schedules a fantasy baseball draft for 4:00pm on Easter Sunday? One of the two leagues I’m in, that’s who. Very odd, and looks like I’ll either have to pre-rank (which I just don’t have time to do) or just let the chips fall where they may. Ah well.