A Post Mortem on My NCAA Bracket
I’ve had some better brackets at Final Four time, and a lot of brackets that were much worse.
MIDWEST—Final Four Pick was Kentucky (Correct)
I missed on the 8v9 game where Cincinnati edged Purdue. 8v9’s are usually the closest and most entertaining games of the first weekend. This one was no exception. I also had Maryland getting by West Virginia. That would have kept Mountaineer freshman Daxter Miles out of trouble. He’s the guy who kicked the bear by questioning whether Kentucky plays hard. They do. I wasn’t the least bit surprised by Wichita State’s win over Kansas. The Jayhawks may have some better individual talents, but Wichita had the better team and basketball is, first and foremost a team game. College basketball is also a guard’s game and the Shockers had an edge there on Kansas too. I did miss on Notre Dame & Wichita State. WSU shot an unusually bad 3 of 18 from 3 point range on the night against the Irish and they were something like 1 for their first 6 to start the game despite getting plenty of wide open looks at the rim. I figured Wichita would once again play UK tough from wire to wire. I wasn’t a bit surprised when Notre Dame did push the Wildcats until the very end on Saturday.
WEST—Final Four Pick was Wisconsin (Correct)
I missed on Baylor (like almost everyone else on the planet did) and I had Oklahoma State getting by Oregon. Overall, that part of my bracket looks very good.
EAST—Final Four pick was Virginia (Wrong)
I broke a rule and paid for it. The rule is this: Do not pick against Tom Izzo coached teams if they’re showing any sign of life in late February. I also took the same hit a lot of people did when North Carolina State knocked out Villanova. My bracket was also hurt by an inexplicably good shooting performance by Louisville against Northern Iowa.
SOUTH---Final Four pick was Gonzaga. (Wrong)
Other than Iowa State, my south bracket was also pretty decent. The Cyclones came down the stretch with a series of comeback wins. They’d get into a hole and then get out, but they didn’t make that happen against UAB. I did have Duke and Gonzaga in the regional final and picked Gonzaga mostly on a coin flip. Ugh.
I'll stay with Kentucky as my national champion pick. It won't be easy. Wisconsin presents some problems for the Wildcats. But, it'll be a Blue Monday in Indianapolis with the Wildcats getting by Duke in at some point following the after four minute timeout in the second half. Or overtime.