Blogs > Cliopatria > The tournament

Mar 16, 2005 9:38 pm


The tournament



Just a few ideas about the greatness to come on Thursday: Number ones are not sacrosanct. At least two will go down by next weekend.

That said, predicting upsets makes you look clever if you get them right. You will almost always get them wrong. Believe me -- I've had plenty of pools die on the shores of hunches. Just keep in mind that there have been exactly four national champions that have come from teams seeded below #3 -- NC State in 83, Villanova in 85, Kansas in 88, and Arizona a few years ago (so kill me for forgetting the year -- 96? -- I am doing this without data before me). In other words, love Southern Illinois all you will. If you predict that they will go to the Final Four, I hope you are in my pool.

Still, as you all know, there will be upsets. Don't go for the 3-14. Go for the 7-12. That's been historically reliable. But be wary -- not that reliable. The fact is, if you pick favorites all the way to the Final Four, you'll do better than your seemingly clever but actually dumber friends.

Teams I like a lot coming from outside of the 1-2 seeds? Louisville and Arizona. Especially Louisville. He ruined the Celtics, but at the college level, Pitino is brilliant, and he has both great players and some great athletes, a combination you want in the NCAA tournament.

I also really like Charlotte, BC, and Ohio, but that is for personal reasons. This is why one of my pools will have all three going a lot farther than they should. You all have the same situation going on in your own pools -- spend the extra two bucks. One will have your ideal bracket. Let the other one be realistic.

Washington is overrated as a #1. Duke will make their way a lot deeper than you think they should. These are facts. Trust me. On some of these things, I may well be right. But which ones? That's what makes March so much fun.


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Derek Charles Catsam - 3/21/2005

It's Monday -- back to the grind. Spring break is a dual-edged sword -- on the one hand, it is obviously awesome while it happens, but it makes the spring semester seem so long. After ten days or so, it is pretty tough to get that momentum going again.
I am sure it is fun up there in Burlington now, and that the team was received as conquering heroes when they got in. Good for them.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/21/2005

Eeesh -- what a weird, disturbing story, though I'll wait for some more depth of detail and presumably some explanation before jumping to any conclusions. The guy who apparently owns the plane is very much a minority owner, and i would not say that this reflects on the Sox one way or the other, but it's a curious story, to be sure.
dc


tom plotts - 3/21/2005

could be sad news for the socially conscious in Sox-ville if this Trib story is correct.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0503200504mar20,1,7955088.story?coll=chi-news-hed&;ctrack=3&cset=true

sorry to post it in the revelry of the Dance...I like the Sox myself, so this didn't make my day any happier.


Rich Holmes - 3/20/2005

DC-
Thanks for jumping on- I think you'll agree it was a really fun ride for the Catamounts this tournament, irrespective of today's loss to Michigan State. Had Mopa Njila made a couple of baskets or Coppenrath just a few more, it could have been one of those games. Either way, it was an electric weekend here. Purely electric.

UConn picked the wrong team to flake out against. An N.C./UNC matchup could be likely.

The only hope for my day ending on a positive note is if Duke loses. Please, please, please Mississippi State. Please.

Hope you enjoyed your time off.

+Rich


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/20/2005

Burlington is fun even on bad days. I would imagine the town has gone a bit basketball mad. It must be lots of fun to be up there, with more madness to follow today.

With BC now out, Vermont is the closest to a team I can make a case of loyalty for. UNH is historically one of the worst basketball programs in the country, so looking across the Connecticut River to UVM was always acceptable. There is not a huge NH-v-Vermont war in northern New England -- culturally, the two states plus Maine are more similar than different, especially if from the New Hampshire vantage point you lop off everything south of Concord and just count that as suburban Boston, which is what it is more and more. I would say that 75% of the people I know who live in Manchester and South of there work in Massachusetts.
I'll be all on that bandwagon, in any case. Go Catamounts!!!

dc


Richard Holmes - 3/19/2005

Nothing short of pure insanity in these parts the last 24 hours. Wow. Just wow.


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/19/2005

Rich --
Miami got robbed, but in the end, what teams are arguing about is that they deserve to be in because they are the 34th best at large team, and not someone else. It reminds me a lot of people who file suit over affirmative action. Those kids were not just not good enough to be in the class that emerged, given yield rates, there were literally hundreds and often thousands of others ahead ogf you on the list too, and they chose to pursue another angle. maybe you could have gotten in, but it is a stretch to claim that you deserved to.
I think the NCAAs simply lead to great matchups. In the first weekend there are 33 game (including the play-in game -- sorry your Oakland dream died, Rich). It would be hard for there not to be some really good showdowns. And many of these midmajors are quite good. This is moreso now because a kid who is a senior at Bucknell is probably a lot closer to being as good a player as a sophomore at Kansas not because of athletics, but because of experience and maybe developed game intelligence, than ever before. These next two days will be full of more great games. They start in about 15 minutes. To shower or not to shower on this fine Saturday morning?

dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/19/2005

Steve --
Still, you have to give some serious credit to the OU kids who fought back from a 20 point deficit against a Florida team that should have blown them out of the water.
Mwanehile give Holmes some major credit, as he never wavered on UVM's performance against Syracuse. My favorite part was that they did it as a team, and not just on Coppenrath's shoulders.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/19/2005

Rhonda --
Part of the reason I should remember Arizona and 1997 is the fact that Like you, I was liing abroad then. I was in South Africa and so I had to follow the tournamant from afar. That is one of the prolems with spending a lot of time abroad -- if you are a serious sports fan, it can be a bit of a bummer. Alnmost every summer it seems I am off in this or that part of the globe, which makes following the Sox difficult, for example.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/19/2005

I agree with your last point, that these are all kids. At the same time, which do you think have had more of a sense of priviledge, at least on things court-related, their whole lives, the kids from Bucknell or vermont, or the ones from Kansas or Syracuse? What a great couple of upsets. And at least one of these teams that pulled off shockers over the last two days will make it to play next weekend.
dc


Oscar Chamberlain - 3/19/2005

But then, as I chortle, I read something about the desolation of the losers, and remember that, for all the hype of their programs, they're kids, too, and at this moment that loss seems like the universe to them.


Oscar Chamberlain - 3/19/2005

May they meet in the final Four!!

Ok, that's asking a lot. But the Bucknell victory in particular was a neat way to end the day.


Steven Heise - 3/18/2005

Looks like I don't gotta worry about either anymore. Oh my conscience is so clear.


Rhonda Jenkins Armstrong - 3/18/2005

Aw, I only remember because it was my first year of grad school, and Arizona made me lose a bet with my advising professor.

My bracket is turning out as well as usual (read: not very), even though I have replaced my usual March basketball fanaticism with a fanatical obsession with football hooligans driving referees out of the game. Sigh.


Rich Holmes - 3/18/2005

How about the Nevada/Texas and West Virginia/Creighton games? Great match-ups and phenomenal games. Exactly how the 8/9 and 7/10 games should be.

Now, about that Miami snub...

+Rich


Rich Holmes - 3/18/2005

DC-

You are correct. However, with respect to the BC/Penn game, I was incorrect. No worries though, I am currently 14 for 16 in the ESPN Tournament Challenge and I have UW-Milwaukee taking down the Eagles in the second round. Please tell your friends you heard this first at Rebunk.

How in the hell is it that the Cincinnati Ju-Co Transfers, I mean Bearcats, didn't choke in the first round? I missed that game in every single bracket I picked.

Expect big things from the UVM Catamounts tonight against Syracuse. There is a certain energy in the air right now in Burlington, I can't describe it. The sun has been shining more brightly than ever the past couple of days. UVM - 69, SU - 64

+Rich


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/18/2005

OU!! OU!! OU!!

Oh -- Rich, you said something about Penn beating BC?

dc


Steven Heise - 3/18/2005

Guess I should start cheering for them now...hmmm..as long as they don't end up playing the Gophers somewhere along the line.


Derek Charles Catsam - 3/16/2005

Rhonda --
Thanks so much. Just goes to show that not only do Rebunk readers know everything, But especially brilliant are the professors living in Austria. I tell you what -- I'll watch an extra hour of games just for you this weekend!
dc


Rhonda Jenkins Armstrong - 3/16/2005

Arizona was 97.

For the first time since I left the US in September, I really, really miss being there. I love the tournament, and I've filled out a bracket, but I have no idea what's going on with any of the teams (not even Kentucky, which is weird for me).

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