Ignorance is Bliss

Well the NCAA Basketball tournament sort of passed me by this year. Not only did I miss most of the games because a lot of the later games started at awkward hours for me, I was in Spain for much of the Sweet 16/Elite 8 rounds. Perhaps it was best because it wasn’t as painful for me to see my bracket disintegrate and I at least have an excuse for getting so many picks wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I have been following some of the story lines and it would’ve been a great story if Butler had won (sorry, rooting for Duke in the championship game is like supporting the beating of puppies and baby seals). However one out of the Final Four is just pathetic. At least I didn’t end up like President Obama, who got all his picks wrong.

As a BC basketball fan, the one story I have been following more closely is the firing of Al Skinner and the subsequent coaching search. It looks like Cornell coach Steve Donahue is going to be our man. Personally I always thought we should’ve played more up tempo with the players we have, and most of our guys didn’t really fit into Skinner’s flex offense. Let ‘s hope this guy can connect with the players especially emerging star Reggie Jackson, who ESPN hinted at in the last line of this article, was a transfer possibility. I don’t know too much about Donahue, but if he can effectively pick up the pace of our offense, draw up a reliable inbounds play, and not kill our future recruiting prospects (wait, what recruiting prospects), I’m a fan. And oh yeah, since you’re coming from the Ivy League I expect you finally have a plan to beat Harvard next season.

Bittersweet 16

Wow what a tournament. So many close games. So many upsets already. And we’re just in the Sweet 16. My bracket has definitely taken a beating due to all this craziness. One of my Final Four, Georgetown is out. Three more Elite 8 teams (Kansas, Pittsburgh and Villanova) are also out, not to mention countless earlier round teams. A couple of story lines I’ve noticed: the failure of the higher seeded Catholic schools (Georgetown, Villanova, Notre Dame, and Marquette) shows that God clearly isn’t on their side this year. The Big East has been disappointing and I think that could mean trouble for me because I picked Syracuse to win it all (stupid move in retrospect). And the Ivy League may finally be known for something other than academics as Cornell continues its run. At this point, I’m rooting for them to go to the Final Four.

The only bright side to all this is that no one else saw any of these story lines coming, so I’m actually doing relatively well especially since I’ve watched very little college basketball this year. Here’s what I picked the rest of the way:

March Madness ’10: Brits Can’t Ball

Well I may be an ocean away, but this time of year still means one thing: March Madness! I haven’t kept up with college basketball very well this year since basketball isn’t big here at all. Try naming one good British basketball player (and no, Ben Gordon doesn’t count even though he’s playing for the English National Team). Yeah, didn’t think so. As a result, I don’t know too much about what’s been going on other than BC’s disappointing finish, John Wall being the next great point guard, and the Big East dominating with its depth. However, I still have to fill out a bracket and go with what I remember from the ESPN.com front page over the past 3 months. So here is my 2010 March Madness bracket, aptly named “Brits Can’t Ball”

What a difference a week makes

Last week, my NCAA bracket was in first after correctly picking Cleveland State’s upset of Wake Forest and preserving all of my Elite 8 and Final Four through two rounds. My reign at the top was shortlived however as the Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8 were brutal to me.  One of my Final Four teams, Memphis was knocked out by Missouri while Michigan State upset Louisville and Villanova trounced both Duke and Pitt. That leaves me with only one team standing going into the Final Four and even if UNC wins, I had them losing in the finals to Louisville.  Sadly it appears as if my hopes of winning are gone so I might as well root for who I really want now: Let’s Go Tar Heels!

Just for fun though here are my predictions: Michigan State and UNC in the Finals.

final-four2

P.S. If you’ve been following my Facebook you know that I have been gushing about the Google Ventures announcement.  Expect a full post once more info becomes available.

March Madness: Round of 32

Coming into the Round of 32, I had a possible 14/16 teams that could still potentially advance to the Sweet 16, and boy did I make each one of them count.  I correctly picked 14 of the 16 games, with my only misses being Arizona-Cleveland State and USC-Michigan State.  However, since the team I picked from each of those matchups was already knocked out in the first round, I essentially lost nothing and moved up to first in my pool.  The only close calls were Purdue-Washington and Gonzaga’s last minute basket against Western Kentucky.

Looking ahead to the Sweet 16, I have Louisville continuing their strong play against Arizona and Kansas edging out Michigan State.  UConn should get mkore of a challenge from Purdue, but they should advance.  Missouri and Memphis looks to be an interesting matchup, and this has the potential to screw up my bracket, but I think Memphis, who’s in my Final Four, will squeak by.  In the East, Pitt’s been looking good with Blair inside and they should be able to beat Xavier.  Villanova and Duke looks to be another close one.  However given Duke’s strong play as of late I think Villanova will be sent home packing.  UNC will get a tougher test from Gonzaga, but I just think they have too much depth.  Finally Syracuse and Oklahoma will pitch the Orange against Blake Griffin.  While Griffin has been a force in the Tournament, I just don’t think Oklahoma has enough depth to beat Syracuse.  And if this game goes to overtime, it’s Syracuse all the way.

Can’t wait for the games to start again!

round-2

March Madness: Round 1

Well, the first round is over.  The bracket took some hits, especially on Day 2.  First off, the BC loss was a tough one considering we were up by 4 at halftime without Sanders but looked completely lifeless the second half.  Although we could’ve taken it to the hole more instead of chucking up threes and there were lots of bad calls and no-calls, in retrospect it was a predictable loss.  USC is big and athletic and we have trouble with big and athletic teams (see Wake Forest).

In other games around the tournament, I inexplicably picked Butler over LSU like most of the world and got burned by OT losses by Ohio State and FSU, two teams that can’t win when you want them to.   Missed the other two 8-9 gam

es as well with BYU and Tennessee as my picks.  Like a lot of people, I was also shocked by Dayton over WVU and Western Kentucky over Illinois.

On the bright side, I did pick Maryland over Cal and Michigan over Clemson.  A few teams like Villanova, Marquette, and Gonzaga managed to avoid upsets.  But best of all, I picked Cleveland State over Wake Forest!  Almost makes up for the Ohio State and FSU losses.

I’m tied for 6th in my pool right now, but going forward I’m in pretty good shape.  My round of 32 is a little beat of right now, but all but 2 of my Sweet 16 are still alive and all my Elite Eight and Final Four are still in.  Let the madness continue!

round-1