Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I Hate My Bracket

If you read Monday's column, you already know my braketology theory. If you didn't, here's all you need to know: Knowledge and expertise don't mean jack. Now having said that, I like to think I'm fairly competent when it comes time to fill out my bracket. Have I ever won an office pool? No. But I usually finish in the top ten and I've correctly picked the tournament champion five out of the last seven years. That has to count for something, right?

But this year, I'm utterly clueless. In fact, I thoroughly despise my bracket. I've got plenty of upsets and (what I believe to be) a fairly solid Final Four, so that's good. But too many people like the teams I'm backing and my predicted national champion leaves me feeling about as confident as Peyton Manning on Prom night (speaking of which, can you believe this guy is married?!? It's true, check it out. I'm telling you, this has shaken my world to the very core). But hey, since knowledge is decidedly NOT power during March Madness, perhaps my relative unease is a good thing. Anyway, on with the picks:

Sweet 16
  1. Florida: duh
  2. Davidson: I told you I went with some underdogs
  3. Winthrop: See above. Although Notre Dame and Oregon are good enough to reach the Elite 8
  4. Georgia Tech: Does anyone trust Wisconsin right now?
  5. Kansas: But watch out for Scottie Reynolds and Villanova as a possible stumbling block in round 2
  6. Virginia Tech: These guys are FUN to watch
  7. Duke: I know, I know. I hate this pick and they're terrible this year. But NO ONE thinks they'll even win one game. So I'm gonna play the contrarian and take them. Just please, whatever you do, don't take Pitt past the Sweet 16. They're NOT good. Trust me. One other thing: beware picking against teams who have been taking a beating from critics this week. Everyone is knocking Arkansas, Stanford and Illinois for receiving invites and everyone thinks Duke is a one and done. But I'm here to tell you, at least one of these teams is going to make some noise this weekend.
  8. UCLA: Pretty much a lock to reach the Elite 8
  9. North Carolina: #1 seeds are generally locks to make the Sweet 16
  10. Texas: Here comes Kevin Durant
  11. Oral Roberts: Hey, they beat Kansas this year
  12. Georgetown: I've already stated my man-crush for this team
  13. Ohio State: Could get tested in round two, but will prevail
  14. Tennessee: Not an easy pick. First round game against Long Beach State will be an absolute shoot-out and could be one of the most entertaining games of the weekend
  15. Texas A&M: Acie Law IV is ready
  16. Memphis: No one knows what to expect from these guys
Elite 8
  1. Florida: Ho hum
  2. Winthop: I'm crazy, I know. But you've got to have a Cinderella somewhere
  3. Kansas: I can't tell you how tempted I was to put Virginia Tech here
  4. UCLA: Easy path, so far
  5. North Carolina: Sorry, this is where the Kevin Durant show ends. Don't be surprised if Rick Barnes takes a lot of heat for this loss because the 'Horns coughed up another big lead thanks to his complete lack of creativity when it comes to getting KD the ball down the stretch in tight games
  6. Georgetown: I used to HATE the Hoyas. My, how times have changed
  7. Ohio State: No way Durant AND Oden both bow out in the round of 16
  8. Texas A&M: "... I'm steppin' tall, y'all and just like Humpty Dumpty, you're gonna fall when the stereos pump me..."
Final Four (You know these already, so I'll just post them again and move on)
  1. Florida
  2. Kansas (Gulp)
  3. Georgetown
  4. Texas A&M
Championship Game

Kansas (what am I thinking!??!?!) vs. Georgetown

Ok, so... on Monday I explained my problem with Florida. Best starting five in the land with the highest ceiling. I just think they're due for a clunker at some point and Kansas is one of the few teams that can actually match up with them. Of course, the Jayhawks gag more often than the Olsen twins, so it wouldn't surprise me at all to see them eliminated before April rolls around. But once upon a time, the Gators wore the choker label, too, so I guess these curses have to be broken sometime.

As for the Aggies, there's just no way two Big 12 teams are going to face off for the title. And let's face it, this is Texas A&M for Pete's sake. The Aggies can't just stroll into the college basketball spotlight and steal a national title. Take a look at the list of NCAA men's champions and tell me when a non-traditional college basketball school last won the whole enchilada. It just doesn't happen. Yes, Billy Gillispie has A&M pointed in the right direction. But they're not ready just yet.

National Champ

Kansas 75 - Georgetown 72

Like I said, I hate my bracket.

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