200 Miles From the Citi

March 18, 2010 6:20 AM

Bracket Breakdown

2010_NCAA.JPGI don't know any more about the NCAA Tournament than you do, but I probably have spent more time thinking about it.

And as you, like me, wait for the games to tip off, here are some of the things involving the matchups and the tourney in general that I've been thinking about.

1.  Someday a 16 will knock off a 1.  A couple of scares in recent years, but I don't think this year will feature one.

2.  A lot of complaints about seedings this year.  I don't know enough to comment on that.  But I do like when the selection committee has a sense of humor.  I just knew, if Vermont ended up as a 16, that they'd be facing Syracuse.  Again, I'm not 100% buying Syracuse, but I don't think they'll lose to Vermont.  Again.  But I bet Jim Boeheim had a couple of sleepless nights this week thinking about 16 vs. 1.

3.  Siena got so much publicity this year - they were picked in some spots to be a Top 25 team.  But they're the type of team that doesn't need the hype.  They do better when they fly under the radar.  I think they catch a break since Purdue is sliding, and I did pick Siena to get the upset there...but that's just because of a big Purdue injury.  I don't think they go any further - and I'm not convinced they even beat Purdue.

4.  Gonzaga is similar.  When everyone started jumping on that bandwagon a few years back (5 years?  could it be 10 years already?), they started to disappoint.  They were humbled a bit this year, in a year they were supposed to be very good.  But I'm thinking they're the team that gets to the Orange.  I have them getting to the Sweet 16 in an otherwise weak bracket.

5.  OK, I'll just show you the rest of my picks (forgive the shrunken blurriness): 

2010_Bracket.JPG6.  I'm going to sneak in a quick NIT note - North Carolina?  Really?  After the Winthrop-UAPB play-in game Tuesday night, UNC's NIT game came on.  I had to do a double take when I saw UNC on the scoreboard, and thought there must be another UNC until I saw the actual team.  I bet there were 50+ schools that had better seasons than North Carolina and deserved an NIT bid ahead of them.

7.  My alma mater, Boston University, was invited to the College Basketball Invitational.  Yeah, until I got the e-mail letting me know they were playing, I forgot that third tournament even existed too.

8.  You need to know that I tried something different with my daughter.  Just for the heck of it, I tried another bracket, but this time instead of saying the college names I told her the nicknames.  It's a bit skewed, because for the ones I was unsure about (or I forgot) I made up nicknames.  The Cowboys of Oklahoma State did very well, which wasn't a surprise.  The Demon Deacons also did well, because "Grandpa's a deacon".  I was surprised at the Bear and Wildcat popularity.  This bracket resulted in Villanova over Maryland (I went with Turtle over Terrapin).  For the record, I will count the first bracket towards her official standings, but next year I will go with both college name and nickname.

9.  Enjoy the games.  I sure will.  If you're home at noon, know that I'm jealous of you.

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