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My Picks - De File
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My Picks
My bracket will be available for your perusal tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I'm sharing its salient features.

Here are the upsets I'm forecasting:
Round 1: St. Mary's, Pittsburgh, Utah State, UCLA, Creighton, NC State, Iowa

Round 2: Utah State, Villanova, Utah

Round 3: Utah

Round 4: Wake Forest, Connecticut
The biggest risk, of course, is Utah State. Pittsburgh is an "upset" in name only. I have to vote against Bobby Knight, even though UCLA is so up-and-down. Many people are expecting Villanova to get upended early, but I think guard play wins more often than not. Utah has one of the finalists for player of the year and he happens to be a seven footer. That matters.

In the Final Four I have two 2-seeds, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest competing in one game and 1-seed Duke against 2-seed Connecticut in the other.

The final features Oklahoma State against Duke and sees Eddie Sutton finally bringing home the big one.

Bear in mind, as you ponder my bracket, that I detest Duke and have a powerful aversion to the entire Big-12 Conference. But you can't select with your heart in this game unless you don't care about winning.

If I were, I'd have Washington or Gonzaga beating Arizona in one semifinal and Syracuse trouncing Kansas in the other, with Syracuse once again bringing home the title to delight my dad. Normally, I'd prefer Connecticut over Kansas. However I'd dearly love to see that teary-eyed traitor Roy Williams see his alma mater abused by the players he abandoned. I'd also have more upsets, because I love underdogs.

Let the madness commence!

Mode: exhaustedly excited
Muse: Kim typing in the front room

6 comments or Leave a comment
pissang From: pissang Date: March 17th, 2005 06:23 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My final four is the same on one side: Wake and Oklahoma State but I'm taking Syracuse out of Austin and UNC out of Syracuse. Maybe I let my Duke-loathing get the best of me, but Syracuse has just as good a shot as any team at beating them. On the other hand, I think you may be overcompensating for your aversion to Duke. I don't think they have the depth or toughness to hang with the big boys. Their great record reflects a very beneficial schedule and they lost at both Wake and UNC (not to mention their two losses to the Terps, but I shouldn't really bring them up). Final four maybe, championship game...no way.

UConn is an interesting pick. I didn't realize how strongly they closed out the season but their road potentially goes through NC State, Kansas, and UNC. That's quite a minefield. And of course, a UConn trip to the Final Four nixes the possibility of a Kansas-UNC showdown.

Fastman's tournament X-factor: a true center (see Sean May)

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 17th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I think Duke is much more flawed than in previous years but they match up well with Syracuse, alas. Since I've been rooting for Syracuse along with my dad since the late 1970s, I can say that with some authority. It's all about Redick. If he plays poorly, Duke loses. Of course, if Michigan State plays Duke, that would be different. It's the match-ups, baby.

I think UNC is better than Connecticut, but have more faith in the latter since they already lost to UNC this year and Calhoun has proven himself a good pressure coach of late.

As everyone keeps noting, there's enough parity this year that all sorts of things can happen depending on the match-ups. I mean, UNLV back in 1990-1991 was going to beat almost anyone on any given day. But there's no team like that this year. UNC has the most talent, but are inconsistent.

I actually like Washington, though that's an unpopular choice, because they can play good defense, have many different scoring options, and boast the inimitable Nate Robinson. Wake's a tough match for them, though. Louisville too. And Gonzaga already beat them, though I think the point guard inexperience will undo the Spokanites.

Did you fill out an ESPN bracket to share with the world?

I agree, however, about the big man. Andrew Bogut from Utah is the factor that made me pick them as an upset.
pissang From: pissang Date: March 18th, 2005 04:05 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You can view my picks here:http://homepage.mac.com/indyumd/tourney/reports/Bracket.htm?picks=043521210FBBA9E1&name=Brandon%20Fastman&email=fastmanzero@yahoo.com&tie=157&score=5

I filled it out quickly and I see some picks I regret, but overall, it'll do. Right now, I'm at my brother's in L.A. watching UCLA squander golden opportunities to upset Texas Tech.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 18th, 2005 06:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I picked the wrong upsets. I think my distaste for the SEC led me to overestimate its teams. Oh well. UCLA is unbeatable for squandering. The Wildcats looked surprisingly good, all in all.
shadydeals From: shadydeals Date: March 17th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I have Utah State winning as well. I have Vermont winning two games. I didn't have the balls to put them past Duke though.

In the Final Four I have Illinois, Wake Forest, Florida, and Oklahoma. I think Chris Paul will take nets and a trophy back home to Winston-Salem.

It ought to be a good tournament.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 17th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I worry about Vermont along with my dad but think that Syracuse matches up pretty well against them. Hakim Warrick is a load down low.

Wake could do it. I thin Oklahoma State would be a tough match for Illinois.

It all depends on outside shooting.

6 comments or Leave a comment