Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A March to remember! And a bracket to forget...

The tournament cooled off a bit from a scorching first day on Friday, but it picked up right where it left off on Saturday. Northern Iowa's shocking upset over tournament favorite Kansas came a few hours after a less surprising upset when Omar Samhan and St. Mary's beat a Villanova team that was lucky to make the round of 32. Washington capped the night with an 18-point win over New Mexico, the same margin of victory for fellow Cinderella Cornell the next day against Wisconsin.

Looking back at my busted bracket (which I predicted on this very blog), there were a few things I would change in hindsight. Losses by Georgetown and Kansas are ones you can't really kick yourselves over because nobody saw that coming, but losing the Jayhawks as champions already was unfortunate. I always eliminate a #2 before the Sweet 16, but Kansas St. was the wrong choice, particularly with the way their backcourt was able to shut down Jimmer Fredette and BYU's offense. My gut after the selection show told me Villanova was the weakest #2 and while I almost chose St. Mary's to beat them, I didn't.

I knew New Mexico was an overseeded #3, but I chose Marquette to knock them off. And considering Washington needed a buzzer beater (none of which went my way in this tournament), I don't regret that pick too much. UTEP and Utah St. were definitely the wrong #12 seeds to put in the Sweet 16 and while I liked Cornell, I figured so many people would pick them to upset Temple that it wouldn't be much of an upset in pool terms. But hindsight is 20/20 and they were obviously the strongest #12 with a great second-round matchup (they did win by 18!).

I think Purdue shocked everybody by playing like the Boilermakers did when they actually had Robbie Hummel in the lineup and it's hard to regret picking Siena in the upset, all things considered. Murray St. was the #13 to pull the upset, but needed a buzzer beater to do it.

For anybody who wants to start a new bracket from here on out because theirs is ruined, join my second chance pool. Details are on my Facebook profile page. Tomorrow, I'll talk about what I expect from this weekend's set of games. Don't worry, I expect to be wrong about everything again.

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