Bracketological madness, volume 2 — Bracket edition

You might have noticed that I wrote a bas­ket­ball-relat­ed post last week, but I'm actu­al­ly try­ing to sep­a­rate my obsess­ing about sports from … well, real stuff. So I post­ed this year's brack­et at Tur­ri­ble, which is intend­ed to be my online man cave. Of sorts. Any­way, don't assume that I post­ed it else­where because, like, I'm ashamed of how bad it is. My ter­ri­ble pre­dic­tions had noth­ing to do with my deci­sion to post it on a blog that no one reads. Noth­ing. Zero. Am I angry that I'm in last place in my brack­et pool? Maybe a lit­tle. But my only regret is that my picks were not more bold. Except, if they had been more bold, I wouldn't be in last place. I mean, how could I have missed St. Mary's over Vil­lano­va? You'll notice in my brack­et notes that I even talk about how bad Vil­lano­va is play­ing; the words "Bad moon ris­ing" were cut off in the scan­ning process under Villanova's first round game. And yet I had them advanc­ing into the Sweet Six­teen. I will ask the now-annu­al, post-sec­ond-round ques­tion: What was I think­ing?

basketball kansas basketball

Basketball / It's bracket time

2008 NCAA tournament bracketYou prob­a­bly can't tell, but I've been wor­ry­ing over my picks for the last cou­ple of days.

My patented approach = tossed out the window

I've filled out 20+ brack­ets in my life, and each year I take basi­cal­ly the same tack: At least one #1 seed goes down rel­a­tive­ly ear­ly; every Big 12 team rep­re­sents. This most­ly works, but it gets com­pli­cat­ed because I also gen­er­al­ly want Duke to flame out ear­ly (and with the great­est pos­si­ble degree of humil­i­a­tion), and I expect the Pac 10 teams to eat shit as well. His­to­ry has not been kind to this approach. Did I men­tion that I usu­al­ly send Kansas to the Final Four at least as well? So yes, I usu­al­ly lose what­ev­er pool I've entered.

Instead, I predict that history will be made in a couple of ways

Of course, I still have Duke flam­ing out and Kansas win­ning, but I've twist­ed a cou­ple of the oth­er valves in my strat­e­gy engine:

  1. All 4 #1 seeds make the Final Four. In every case, I couldn't imag­ine any one of them los­ing. North Car­oli­na is play­ing in their home state all the way through. Mem­phis is good, and they're mad, and I don't think they're going to have to face Texas, so who are they going to lose to? Pitts­burgh? Bob Knight thinks so, but I'm not so sure. Kansas is also good, and they're focused, and I just hope that Bill Self has them ready to go. UCLA is the only team that, to me, seems vul­ner­a­ble, if only because K‑Love's back may be hurt. Then again, Ben How­land is a wily bas­tard, and I wouldn't put it past him to use a very minor injury to start mess­ing with the minds of future oppo­nents, a la Bill Belichick.
  2. The Pac 10 per­forms. I dare you to look into the sea­sons that each of the teams played. They played good teams, and they per­formed pret­ty well. I've got USC in the Elite Eight. Crazy? Maybe. But they fin­ished the sea­son pret­ty strong, even though Waz­zu obvi­ous­ly had their num­ber. Which is why I have Waz­zu advanc­ing before los­ing a tight one to UNC.
  3. The Big 12 fiz­zles. K‑State is reel­ing, and I've got them los­ing to USC. Okla­homa looked awful quite a few times this year; I wouldn't be at all sur­prised to see St. Joe's stick it to them. I've got Texas los­ing to Stan­ford, only because I have a hard time see­ing Damion James sin­gle-hand­ed­ly deal­ing with the Lopez bros. On the oth­er hand, I do have Bay­lor and A&M win­ning in the first round, and I've got Kansas win­ning it all. So it's a minor fizzle.

Remem­ber: You heard it here first. Prob­a­bly not.