Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

So...the posting is slow going this week as I am experiencing some technical difficulties with my computer and keep getting booted off the internet. Bear with me!

That said, I can't post pics from the St. Patty's Day parade until this problem is solved, because the uploading process is where the booting off happens.

For now...let's talk some hoops.

I spent an agonizing three hours filling out my bracket yesterday at work only to end up changing half my picks last night, then logging back on this morning to change them again. By 10:00 AM I had three different brackets - all with different national champions - circulating in two different pools.

My yearly bracket process also involved multiple phone call/text messages with my father. Up until this year we were able to conduct this process in person. One of us would grab the giant bracket from the Free Press and fill it out. The other one would come through and scratch off/revise about half of it. Subsequent arguments, gloating, and the occasional cash exchange would ensue.

This year, because of my move to Connecticut, dad and I had to have our usual pre-tournament discussions via phone and text. You should try expressing your doubt about Notre Dame's second-round abilities in a text message sometime. Or having a discussion about UNC vs. Tennessee while driving. NOT convenient or safe!

Dad and I usually ended up with a fairly similar Final Four and the same national champion - it's the beginning rounds where we like to expend our argumentative energy. Let us not forget 2007's memorable Vandy fight - I wanted to take them (I think) three rounds, Dad wanted them scratched after one...I emerged the victor in that instance.

(However, in all fairness, if I am going to use Vandy as an example, I should also point out that I stupidly had MSU upsetting UNC last year, which, as dad kindly pointed out yesterday, more or less knocked my bracket out of first-place contention in any pool.)

This year we kept the arguing to a minimum - it was more discussion. How far to take Wisconsin, can MSU beat Pitt, is Kansas going to get upset early on...pretty tame.

Anyway, I don't know what dad ultimately ended up with for his Final Four, but I have three different scenarios going on three different brackets. NOT because I want to better my odds (only one has money riding on it) but because I am that insecure in my picks this year.

Some things I HOPE will happen (probably reflected on at least one of the three brackets):
  • Wisconsin will make it to the third round and duke it out with Georgetown for a crack at the Final Four
  • Michigan State, led by the scrappy and wonderful Drew Neitzel, will beat Pitt in the second round and have a spectacular showdown with Memphis
  • Georgia will ride the momentum they have going at the moment and beat Xavier to get out of the first round
  • Uconn will hang until they meet UCLA in the third round
As you can probably surmise, I think the Sweet Sixteen has the potential for the most exciting games of the whole tournament. In my eyes, this is where scrappy meets superb and you get a real showdown. Not that the Elite Eight and Final Four aren't spectacular - but Sweet Sixteen is where I think we'll max out on entertainment.

As soon as I get my graphics capabilities back, I'll post or link to my brackets. Let me know how you guys are doing!

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