Home > Uncategorized > The NCAA Tournament double-crossed me (or: Another reason why I’m an idiot)

The NCAA Tournament double-crossed me (or: Another reason why I’m an idiot)

dunce-capThis time last week, there were 32 teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State, of course, was not one of them. I had the Spartans winning the national title, which seemed like an astute (and common) choice before the tourney began.

Then, just like that, Michigan State was gone. After Sparty was plainly beaten by Middle Tennessee State, I wrote a post chastising myself for having such a deep belief in them. I wrote that I should have known better than to trust one of college basketball’s top powers to claim the throne in this of all seasons. In a season without a dominant squad. In a season that saw an Associated Press top-five team lose an NCAA-record 36 times.

I said that I shouldn’t have played it so safe with my picks — No. 4 Kentucky was the lowest-seeded team I had in my Final Four. And I said that those who had made similar choices were also going to see their brackets go up in flames because that Friday marked just the start of what was going to be this tourney’s run on major upsets. Here is my closing graph from that post:

“With three rounds still remaining until the Final Four, which Goliath will fall next? At this point, I think the better question is: By the time we get to Houston, which one, if any, will be left standing?”

 

That seemed like a proper line, if also a bit extreme, at a time when an unprecedented 10 teams with a double-digit seed were getting ready to play in the tournament’s second round. 

Now, one week later, only eight teams are left. What zany matchups await us in this upset-filled tournament?

No. 1 Kansas versus No. 2 Villanova.

No. 1 Oregon versus No. 2 Oregon.

No. 1. North Carolina versus No. 6 Notre Dame.

No. 1 Virginia versus No. 10 Syracuse.

Or, in other words, a lot of chalk.

The lower seeds might have ruled the day early on, but in the last two rounds, the higher seeds went 21-3. And just look at how the Sweet 16 panned out.

Yes, Wisconsin-Notre Dame and Gonzaga-Syracuse were entertaining, down-to-the-wire battles. But in the six other games over the past two nights, those No. 1 and No. 2 seeds not only won, they dominated. They steamrolled their way into the Elite 8. Those top seeds were victorious by an average of 15.8 points. It wasn’t all bad; I’ll concede that the first half of Kansas-Maryland was incredibly fun to watch with its fast pace and hard-nosed play. But the Jayhawks pulled away in the second half after the Terps couldn’t take advantage of some KU turnovers and missed four consecutive free throws at a crucial juncture.

Those five other games? 

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Virginia was never challenged. Oklahoma and North Carolina were in control by halftime and never relented. There was some good basketball, but if you wanted something that would captivate you for 40 minutes leading up to a bite-your-nails finish, you had to search somewhere else.

So, after ranting like that dude who stands on the street corner and screams about how the apocalypse is nigh, those upsets that I said were going to keep on happening never did. Six of the top eight seeds are still vying for a championship, and all of them have shown that they definitely deserve to be here.

This has left us with some matchups that are absolutely must-watch material, especially on Saturday (if you’re not hyped to see Kansas-Villanova or Oregon-Oklahoma, you don’t like college basketball).

This has also left me looking pretty stupid. I’m only 5-foot-10, but I’m big enough to admit when I am wrong. And I got this tournament wrong all over the place.

What is going to happen this weekend? I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. I’ve tapped out to March Madness. I’m done with trying to predict it — until I inevitably present my soon-to-be-shredded 2017 bracket 11 and a half months from now. I am just going to enjoy what’s ahead, whatever that is. I have no idea, obviously.

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  1. March 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I had Seton Hall in the final four, so I’m in the same boat brotha lol. Here’s a ghostbusters-esque meme to hopefully make you feel better – http://spleaze.com/march-madness-2016-bracket-busters/

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