Wednesday, March 15, 2006

First-Night Jitters

I don't want to do a full-on bracketology here, but I'm interested in your thoughts on the first round--KU in particular but not exclusively.

There are so many great matchups Thursday and Friday, I wish I had accumulated more personal days. Fashionable upset picks seem to be Wisc-Milw over OU, A&M over an exhausted Syracuse (I would LOVE this), and N. Iowa over Georgetown. But the fact is, once one of these picks becomes fashionable, then the favored team begins to think like an underdog, and they tend to play with much more fire since they aren't getting "respect."

The REAL upsets will come where the pundits don't necessarily expect it. I'm looking at Pacific, which gave us a run for our money two years ago and has a lot of tourney experience now, over Boston College, which has suddenly become the pundits' darling after LOSING to Duke. And remember the lessons of history--at least two 5s will fall against those pesky 12s. I'm hoping those two are the 'cuse and Pitt.

As for KU, I'm not hearing anything about Bradley that scares me. What does scare me is the inevitable dropoff after this weekend's triumph. We're going to have to settle down and get over ourselves a bit if we want to win this one convincingly.


  1. I think AM wins. But not Pacific. I am a bit concerned about Bradley. Don't they have a good big man? Pitt is a terrifying second round game- I too hope they go out early. Maybe this is the year a #1 loses- go Albany Great Danes!

  2. From what I've heard, Oral Roberts has the best chance of any 16 seed to cause trouble.

    I've got Southern Illinois beating West Virginia, and Wichita State getting to the sweet sixteen.

    I've also got Arkansas beating Memphis.

    A few experts have picked Bradley to upset Kansas, and many have picked Pitt to beat Kansas. But no one is picking Pitt to go to the Final Four, and several are picking KU.

    Due to last years debacle, and the fact that this year's team seems to take Self's word as gospel, I think the players will be well versed in all things Bradley before Friday night - even if we aren't.

    I pick A&M to bounce 'Cuse, but will 'Cuse really lose in the 1st round two years in a row?

    My anti-conference tournament trend mood has me picking against Iowa, BC, and 'Cuse. Iowa and BC, one and done.

    Of course, KU's conf. tourney run will propel them to greatness.

  3. My upset picks...

    SD St over Indy, Winthrop over Tenn, N. Iowa over Gtown, A&M over Cuse.

    Tigers will roll Hogs, but I don't think Hogs get by Bucknell. Hogs are not the kind of disciplined team defensively that can beat Memphis.

  4. I concur on Winthrop and on A&M; I also like SIU, and I picked NC State on Chris & Carrie's nosepick thing (though I'm not sure that would really be an upset--I mean, they were like #29 in the last ap poll, whereas Cal came in at like 38 . . .); lastly, UW Milwaukee, though trendy, seems like a good upset.

    As for Bradley, I think motivation is clearly in our favor: we must seek revenge against the Braves--they beat us in a tournament qualification game, 14 March 1950 (57-59).

  5. Yeah. F**k the Braves!

  6. I realize I've failed to pick any big first round upsets. According to Greg Doyel, there won't be any.

    I'm not so sure. So I'm going with my original inclination to pick Xavier over Gonzaga.

    I have no confidence in Xavier, but Gonzaga just doesn't play defense.