Well. There’s not much to say. So many games have been decided by five or fewer points and at this point the tournament could be anybody’s to win or lose. Three of my four final teams have been eliminated so things aren’t looking too good on that front. I picked some upsets but didn’t seem convincing enough to choose the correct ones. So without further ado let’s look at the carnage that was formerly known as my bracket.
Correct Predictions for Round of 64:
Kansas, Connecticut, Maryland, Wichita State, Miami, Iowa, Villanova, Oregon, Yale, Duke, Texas A&M, VCU, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Providence, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Xavier, Virginia, Butler, Utah.
Incorrect Predictions for Round of 64:
Hawaii over California 77-66, Saint Joseph’s over Cincinnati 78-76, Northern Iowa over Texas 75-72, Notre Dame over Michigan 70-63, Stephen F Austin over West Virginia 70-56, Little Rock over Purdue 85-83, Iowa State over Iona 94-81, Gonzaga over Seton Hall 68-52, Syracuse over Dayton 70-51, Middle Tennessee over Michigan State 90-81.
Correctness in the Round of 32:
Kansas vs Connecticut with a Kansas W, Wichita State vs Miami with a Miami W, Iowa vs Villanova with a Villanova W, Oregon Winning, Yale vs Duke with a Duke W, Texas A&M Winning, VCU vs Oklahoma with an Oklahoma W, North Carolina vs Providence with a North Carolina W, Indiana vs Kentucky (although Indiana Won), Wisconsin vs Xavier with a Wisconsin W, Virginia vs Butler with a Virginia W.
Things I Never Saw Happening in Round of 32:
Notre Dame making it to the Sweet 16, Iowa State making it to the Sweet 16, Syracuse making it to the Sweet 16.
Sweet 16 as it Stands:
1Kansas v 5Maryland
3Miami v 2Villanova
1Oregon v 4Duke
3Texas A&M v 2Oklahoma
1North Carolina v 5Indiana
6Notre Dame v 7Wisconsin
1Virginia v 4Iowa State
11Gonzaga v 10Syracuse
Things to Watch Out for from Now on:
- 1Oregon only beat 8Saint Joseph’s by 5 points. 3Texas A&M only beat 11Northern Iowa by 4 points. 2Oklahoma only beat 10VCU by 4 points. 6Notre Dame only beat 14Stephen F Austin by 1 point. 7Wisconsin only beat 2Xavier by 3 points. Things are getting close and teams are slowing down. Anything could happen.
- Conversely, teams such as 5Maryland, 2Villanova, 1North Carolina, 4Iowa State, 11Gonzaga, and 10Syracuse are showing their strength by beating teams by ten points or more. 11Gonzaga and 10Syracuse have beaten their last two opponents by a combined 39 and 45 points.
- Most teams have fought to hard-fought victories and won by 7-9 points. Teams that fall into that category for the Round of 32 include 1Kansas, 3Miami, 4Duke, 5Indiana, and 1Virginia.
- Of my Sweet 16 picks (original versus actuality), only the Western portion of my bracket remains untouched. 1Oregon, 4Duke, 3Texas A&M, and 2Oklahoma. The South has one misstep, East has two, and Midwest has a whopping three. I am 10-6 in the Sweet 16, which I suppose would be passable if this were an NFL team.
- I still see a slowing 1Kansas losing the war of attrition, just to 5Maryland as it would happen instead of 4California. 3Miami and 2Villanova could be a toss up- 3Miami almost stalled out against 11Wichita State while 2Villanova steamrolled both 15UNC Asheville and 7Iowa.
- 1Oregon slowed down profusely and I still see them potentially imploding against 4Duke in the Sweet 16, potentially sending my final remaining final four team (4Duke) to the Elite Eight. 3Texas A&M and 2Oklahoma both showed that they were struggling against 11Northern Iowa and 10VCU respectively, but anybody would against those dark horses. It’s anybody’s ballgame there although I think 2Oklahoma could pull out the W still.
- 1North Carolina and 5Indiana should be one of the hottest matches of the entire tourney. 1North Carolina is fresh off of back to back 15-20 point wins over 16FGCU and 9Providence while 5Indiana has already knocked off a potential upset in 12Chattanooga and the rallying 4Kentucky. If “Big Blue” was just a warmup, this game should be crazy. It’s anybody’s to lose so I’m not sure who’s it is to win just yet.
- Both 6Notre Dame and 7Wisconsin only won their games by a combined 4 points this last round and I hate to say it but the once strong 6Notre Dame seems to be falling on its sword in the tournament. 7Wisconsin isn’t faring too much better but I have to believe they can make a deep run yet again, fresh off of a buzzer beater three and last year’s championship level run.
- As history would have it, 1Virginia usually implodes right around the Sweet 16 or so. Facing down a rallying 4Iowa State coming off of some unexpected success in the tournament and overshadowing their dismal end of season performance, I think 1Virginia’s luck is about to run out. Potentially another hot match, and an entirely unexpected one to be seeing, 11Gonzaga and 10Syracuse are surely going to be duking it out. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a margin of victory over ten points in this one.
- My Final Four hopes have a twenty-five percent chance of panning out and I have even less of a chance of getting 4Duke to the final game, which I unluckily had 2Michigan State winning. I think the biggest surprises of the tournament so far have been 2Michigan State imploding for the upset that was 15Middle Tennessee, 11Gonzaga not just upsetting but thoroughly annihilating teams along their cruise to the Sweet 16, and of all the 5v12 upsets, the two upsets being 12Yale who hasn’t even clinched a berth since 1962 and 12Little Rock against what I had thought was a strong 5Purdue.
That’s it for this update, but be sure to check back later for more of my ill-advised references and choices on brackets and games.