“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.”
After an action packed four days of college hoops Mason and Max take a look back at their first two round predictions.
NCAA tournament: 1 Max: 0
With the end ofthe first weekend of the tournament my bracket is all ready in complete shambles (thanks Michigan State and WVU). While I won’t be winning any of my pools, this tournament in particular seemed to feature more upsets that kept me glued to my couch. Now to run down my original predictions to see all my genius picks and embarrassing mishaps.
#7 Iowa vs. #10 Temple
Iowa is coming into the dance ice cold after being eliminated in the first round of the Big 10 tournament. This leaves the door open for Temple to pull off the surprise upset.
The game could have gone either way, but a buzzer beater by Adam Woodbury pushed the Hawkeyes past Temple. Would have loved to see Villanova vs. Temple, but at least this was a fun game.
#6 Texas vs. #11 Northern Iowa
UNI comes in on a 11-1 run in their last twelve games and have impressive wins versus North Carolina and Iowa St. during the regular season. I can see UNI giving Texas a run for their money.
Personally, this game was the highlight of my tournament weekend. At this point my bracket was already a mess and I was pretty down about the tournament. I was standing at a party gathered around a small TV with a bunch of people watching the last few minutes of the game unfold. When Jespersen hit the half court buzzer beater we all went crazy. This moment reminded me what the tournament is all about. The excitement of something unimaginable happening and experiencing it with other people. It also felt pretty good getting the pick right.
#7 Oregon State vs. #10 VCU
VCU is ranked 25 in the BPI rankings. They will show why they are ranked this high with a win versus Oregon State.
Statistics worked in my favor on this one. One of my few upset predictions that went as planned. VCU looked fantastic in this game, glad they were able to pull off the win.
#5 Indiana vs. #12 Chattanooga
After losing in their first game as the #1 seed in the Big 10 tournament Indiana has a tough match-up in the round of 64. Chattanooga comes in scorching hot as the regular season and tournament champs for the Southern Conference going 10-2 in their last 12 games. If there is a Cinderella this year, Chattanooga gets my vote.
Well.. uhh.. Mason was 100% right on this one. I guess being bold can come back and bite you sometimes. Chattanooga isn’t going to be anyone’s Cinderella anytime soon. Lets try and forget this ever happened…
Round of 32
Games of Note
#1 Kansas vs. #9 UConn
Two elite basketball programs go head to head. Should be one of the better games of the tournament. UConn will keep it close, but a more talented Kansas team will take home the W.
Not as good of a game as I originally hoped. Looked promising early, but Kansas ended up running away with it. Got it right though so that is pretty cool.
#2 Villanova vs. #10 Temple
Not much brotherly love between these two team. Based on their previous match up (Villanova by 16) Villanova will win the battle for Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, Temple was unable to get past Iowa to make this match up-occur. The game ended up being a walk in the park for Villanova. One of the less entertaining games of an otherwise outstanding tournament so far.
#4 Iowa State vs. #5 Purdue
Purdue is statistically better than ISU. The Boilermakers have outperformed them in every category except PPG. For the second straight year the Cyclones will be make an early exit from the tournament.
Well I was dead wrong on this one. First Purdue didn’t even make it to this game and second ISU won it. Swing and a miss.
#3 Utah vs. #6 Seton Hall
After edging out Villanova and Xavier for the Big East title Seton Hall looks primed to be a surprise team this year. They have shown they can compete with and beat some of the best teams in the nation. I see no reason why the Pirates can’t also take down Utah.
Got the upset right but picked the wrong team to do it. I guess that counts for something. Right?
Conclusion: Looks like my dream of dropping out of school and becoming a college basketball analyst isn’t coming to fruition anytime soon. Seeing your bracket self-destruct right in front of your eyes is never fun, but sometimes you gotta step back and just enjoy the madness. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the dance has in store.
Game I am looking forward to in the Sweet 16
#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Texas A&M
After the Aggie’s shocking comeback versus UNI on Sunday, A&M advances to the Sweet 16 to face their former Big 12 rivals. I originally picked this match up in my bracket and I have been looking forward to this potential happening ever since. Buddy Hield is coming in top form with 27 and 36 points in the first two rounds of the tournament. If he continues to play at this high level nothing will be stopping the rolling Sooners.
NCAA Tournament: 20 years of victory Mason: Shame and disappointment…again
Other than the (still) laughable prediction of Chattanooga over Indiana, Max and I are still in the same boat. I would assume that a lot of you are also in said boat, considering it is the boat that picked Michigan State to go far in March, and even to the first week of April. Unfortunately for us, Sparty decided to give us all the shaft instead of the sword and spear. It’s a true shame because I was really looking forward to watching Denzel Valentine play. Should we get used to seeing Sparty crap the postseason bed in the latter half of the 2010’s? I certainly hope not. *Cough cough referencing the Cotton Bowl*.
On the other hand, the upset that I was very happy to see, the Lumberjacks of SFA toppling WVU in the first round was fantastic. While for the most part I am a Big 12 homer (when I’m not on the internet), I was pumped up to see a small team from Nacagdoches, Texas take down a 3 seed in the tournament. The Jacks then proceeded to lose in heartbreaking fashion to Notre Dame on a last second tip in the following round.
Texas A&M gave me a heart attack, watching that comeback and my bracket on the verge of being truly worthless…did very interesting things to my mind and body. Of course I had the Aggies playing Texas in that game, one of course has to account for half court buzzer beaters. Like Max, the game that I am probably looking forward to most is OU and A&M…however the Oregon v. Duke game and the match-up between Virginia and Iowa State both have me intrigued.
ON ANOTHER NOTE, WE HAD SOME COACHING CHANGES THIS WEEK. As a fan/glutton for punishment of the TCU basketball team, the news that the Frogs hired four time coach of the year, Jamie Dixon, who is also a TCU alum, GOT ME SO FIRED UP FOR THE NEXT SEASON. The Frogs had only won 8 conference games in the span of 4 years, so yes I am glad we made the change.
In addition, Oklahoma State hired tournament hero Brad Underwood to be their new head coach. There will be yet another team playing full court press in the Big 12…so as excited as I am for the conference to add another good coach under its belt, I am sad that my team has to now to play Underwood twice a year.
March Madness is always unpredictable, but if there is one thing I am sure of though, it’s that this weekend will be entertaining, and bracket breaking. Bet on it.