Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tourney Challenge Update: Through Two Rounds

Another tourney challenge, another beating on the way for yours truly. Despite assembling a bracket through careful calculations (primarly seeding trends and point differentials), I opted to use my "gut instinct" picks to compete against my brother Drew. Big mistake. Through two rounds he is already putting great distance between us, leading 183 to 158.

There is a lot to dislike about my bracket, but I will focus on Gonzaga, Nevada, and Illinois. I thought the Zags were going to return to their double-digit seed glory of yesteryear, but unfortunately, as Rick Patino would say, "Matt Santangelo was not walking through that door!" The Zags played horrendous basketball against Indiana (who then played horrendous basketball against UCLA) and my big Elite Eight upset pick was toast. I also overestimated Nick Fazekas' ability to not be a big wuss, so my Nevada-over-Memphis pick backfired. Finally, my 5-12 analysis tool assured me that Illinois was a lock against Virginia Tech, but apparently the tool only works for the first 35 minutes of games. The Hokies did indeed suck, but Illinois found a way to blow a 12-point lead (in a game with barely 100 total points!) in the final moments. Just brutal.

Of course, it isn't all roses for Drew either. He had North Carolina going out early and Texas going to the Elite Eight, so the top half of his East region is decimated. Since I knew Rick Barnes would crush the Horns, I still have UNC alive, which could help me gain ground if they can knock off USC. Other than that, he is looking pretty good. Since we both have Georgetown, Oregon, and Kansas in the final four, my only hope is that Texas A&M comes out of the South. Should be interesting.

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