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Thursday, March 15, 2007
Basketball Heaven, Day One

This isn't about politics. It's more serious than that.

After yesterday's verbose animosity, or animate verbosity, you'll probably be glad to learn that I'm turning for a couple of days to a matter more solemn than politics. Today and tomorrow are my favorite days of the year, athletically speaking: the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. If I could have, I'd have spent the entire day and evening watching basketball.

Warning: The rest of this post will bore you if you don't love college basketball. You may want to give up now and return next week.

For the rest of you, yes, I did fill out a bracket before the games began. I'm actually faring better than usual, so far. To wit:

PLAY-IN GAME (1 of 1, for 100% accuracy)

I picked Niagara over Florida A&M, simply because the LRMC guys at Georgia Tech rate them much more highly.

WEST REGION (2 of 4, for 50%)

I correctly picked higher seeds Pitt and UCLA to win. I had higher seed Duke winning, but they lost to Virginia Commonwealth in a very good game last night. And I had Gonzaga pulling a minor upset of Indiana, but they didn't. I was hoping for a UCLA-Gonzaga rematch in the next round. Oh, well. UCLA would have won that, anyway.

MIDWEST REGION: (2 of 2, for 100%)

I correctly picked higher seeds Butler and Maryland to win.

EAST REGION (5 of 6, for 83%)

I correctly picked higher seeds North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Washington State, Boston College, and Georgetown to win. I didn't foresee Michigan State's very minor upset of Marquette.

SOUTH REGION (3 of 4, for 75%)

I correctly picked higher seeds Ohio State, Louisville, and Texas A&M to win. I did not foresee Xavier's very minor upset of BYU. Well, actually, I did foresee it, but I wasn't going to put it on my bracket. It was an excellent game in which both teams played well. (Like the Mountain West championship game against UNLV, it was essentially an away game for BYU. Look at the map. How does that work?)

OVERALL, SO FAR: I am 13 of 17, for 76.47%.

That sounds good, and it really is better than usual, but the seeding committee itself is 13 for 16 -- I don't know how or if the play-in game was seeded -- and two of their misses, like mine, were 8/9 games, which barely count as upsets.

Tomorrow brings 16 more games. I hope to watch at least two.

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