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Bracket Season

Also known as the Feast of St. Lunardi, this holiday season is in some ways an unapologetic celebration of MSAS (Male Sports Answer Syndrome), the tendency that we menfolk have to simply make up answers to sports questions for which no true answer exists, just because it has to do with sports.

Case in point: you could put together an all-star team made up of players from the Pac 10, and I wouldn't seed them any higher than 3, much less the 2 that UCLA received. Of course, I haven't actually seen UCLA play, so that opinion is being pulled straight out of thin air.

You will excuse me, I hope, for GLOATING long and loud over the next couple of days. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Syracuse and Iowa each would win their conference tournaments--Iowa had a better shot to do so as a 2 seed. Coincidentally, that's the seed they should have received in the NCAAs. I know, I know, you're thinking that I'm just being a homer, but consider this: all weekend long, there was discussion about whether Ohio State deserved a 1 seed. Iowa beat Ohio State both times they played this year--they beat them in Iowa City, yes, but they also beat them on a neutral floor when OSU still had a shot at a #1. Don't get me wrong--I'm happy with a 3, but they deserve a 2. As do Gonzaga and Florida, in my opinion. In fact, Texas is the only 2 I'm satisfied with. I would have moved up 3 of the 3's, and swapped Boston College and North Carolina (the former having beat the latter at NC, and at Greensboro). I think the committee was a little too tied to conference standings in some cases when assigning seeds within conferences. Especially when you consider that, within super-conferences, all teams don't have the same schedule. Body of work, blah blah blah. What it comes down to for me is ranking the better teams higher; I don't really have an issue with the 1s this year, but everything else feels a little wonky to me.

And I'm big enough to admit that Syracuse got overseeded as well--it's hard for me to imagine, even having witnessed their miracle run through the Big East Tournament that they could have gone from an 11 or 12 (assuming they were even in) to a 5 in less than a week. That's a mighty big leap, and there are at least 2 quality 6 seeds in Michigan State and West Virginia that I would rank ahead of them.

But really, the only thing that clouds my silver lining today is the knowledge that, when Iowa and Syracuse meet, only one of them will be able to advance to the Final Four. You would have thought that the committee could have given my needs a little more direct consideration.

You want your printable brackets? We got your printable brackets.

5 Upset Specials (Pick one)

1. San Diego St over Indiana
2. Pacific over BC (check PU's recent history)
3. Utah St. over Washington (5-12)
4. NC State over California (not that much an upset)
5. Albany over Connecticut (not really. just checking to see if you're still reading)

Two notes from the television coverage yesterday:

Dickie V drove me insane! He had metal buttons on his sleeves, and every time he flailed about (once every .3 seconds), his buttons clinked on the glass top on set. By the end of the show, all I could hear while he was speaking was CLINK (blah blah blah) CLINK (blah blah blah) CLINK.

Jim Nantz and Billy Packer were like little kids when they were talking to Craig Littlepage, this year's Selection Committee chair. When the camera was on them, they were looking down at their sheets, and every question they asked seemed designed to try and get him to admit that he'd made a mistake. At the end of their interview, they cut him off twice as he was trying to congratulate the teams that made it into the field. First, he's chair of a committee of many people, all of whom agreed on the decisions. Second, I think I'd trust decisions made over several days by the selection committee before I'd trust Jim Freaking Nantz's 5-minute-old impressions. I disagree with some of their decisions, but I appreciate the difficulty of making them. Nantz and Packer were downright rude and embarrassed themselves and their network.

Wow, this is a mishmash. But that's all for the moment.


Well, yes. Out of many fine things you have said here, I'd like to emphasize just one
And that is:
For Tennessee to be a #2 and the Zags #3 is just nuts.

Packer actually screwed up at one point and starting reading from the brackets that hadn't yet been announced.

But not the first time I've seen him mess up.

6. UAB over Kentucky.

Jeff: I think Packer is losing it. Seriously. The cheese is slipping off his cracker.

Looks like the NCAA Selection Committee is pulling no punches with Billy Packer, either:


Thanks for the link, Scott. I'm totally with Littlepage on this. No one is ever 100% satisfied--goodness knows that I'm not--but there really was a weird "investigative talking head" vibe coming from Nantz and Packer that ended up being borderline rude...

Packer praises the ACC above all other conferences whatever their record may be. I've tired of his attitude.

As for your Albany over Connecticut possible upset, it was too close to being true! UConn didn't wake up until the last 5 minutes of the game.

My prediction is this: UConn wins it all for NCAA Championship #3

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