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Friday, March 16, 2007
Basketball Heaven, Day Two

More of the same.

Here we see how my bracket fared on Day Two of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Once again, if you don't really love college basketball, you'll be very bored with this post. You might consider returning next week. Meanwhile, I'm comparing brackets with my tween-age daughter, which is kinda fun.

WEST REGION (2 of 4 for 50%)

I correctly had higher seeds Kansas and Southern Illinois winning. I picked Villanova to pull a slight upset over Kentucky in an 8/9 matchup, but they didn't come through. And I picked Illinois to upset Virginia Tech in a 5/12 matchup. They almost did, too -- which is another way of saying they didn't. In the end, all four 5/12 matchups in the tournament went to the higher seed, which almost never happens.

MIDWEST REGION (5 of 6 for 100%)

I correctly picked higher seeds Florida, Wisconsin, and Oregon to win, and I correctly picked two upsets: Purdue's slight upset of Arizona in the 8/9, and Winthrop's more noteworthy upset of Notre Dame in the 6/11. I wrongly predicted a mild Georgia Tech upset of UNLV in the 7/10, but UNLV managed to uphold the honor of the Mountain West Conference.

EAST REGION (1 of 2 for 50%)

I correctly picked higher seed Texas, but had Arkansas upsetting USC in the 5/12, which didn't happen.

SOUTH REGION (3 of 4 for 75%)

I correctly picked higher seeds Tennessee, Nevada, and Memphis to win. I went out on a limb and picked Albany to upset Virginia in the 4/13, but it didn't happen. It wasn't even close.


Today I went 11 of 16, for 68.75%. By comparsion, the seeding committee went 14 for 16, for 87.5%, and one of their misses was the 8/9.

For the first round, plus the play-in game, I'm 24 of 33, for 70.8%. That's down a little from yesterday, but still better than my usual -- and the same as my daughter's junior high class, if you leave out the play-in game as they did. The committee (not counting the play-in game, because I don't know how or if they seeded it) is 27 of 32, for 84.4%, and three of their misses are 8/9 matchups, which are very near misses indeed.


If everything went as seeded, all the first through eighth seeds would advance to the second round. As it happens, 27 of 32 did. I don't track these things carefully, but I don't remember a recent tournament with so few first round upsets. I'm not sure there's Cinderella team among the other five, but here are the candidates and their seeds: Purdue (9), Michigan State (9), Xavier (9), Winthrop (11), and Virginia Commonwealth (11).

All of my Sweet Sixteen survived the first round, but that's not likely to be true after the second round, when we actually have only 16 survivors. For what it's worth, I have Ohio State beating Wisconsin in the championship game, with Pitt and North Carolina also making the Final Four.

And thus ends the second of the two best sports days of the year for me. I didn't watch nearly enough of the basketball. Maybe I'll do better next year.

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