I hope that you've been following my bracketology posts from the past month. They've been an eye-opening experience - one thing it really taught me was to not bother looking at where your team is in early February. Because so many things can change.
I did finish my one last bracket at 5pm Sunday, but I was unable to post it because I was traveling. I'm not going to waste space by putting the whole thing here, so I'll just put in a few thoughts:
- I did well with the top of the bracket. All seeds 1-4 in the actual bracket I had as 1-4 seeds in my bracket. I had Michigan as a '3' seed and Florida State as a '4' seed, but other than that it was almost identical. Also, I thought Kansas would be a '1' over North Carolina, which wound up being the largest mistake I made. Also, I had Syracuse as the overall number one seed over Kentucky, which doesn't like a big deal, but it really messed up the matchups as I went through my bracket.
- I had VCU as an 11 seed, and playing San Diego State in the East bracket, so I was one off with the Rams. I had UVA as a 10 seed, playing New Mexico.
- I had the following teams in: Seton Hall and Mississippi State. I had North Carolina State and California out, and they both made it in. I had Cal and NC State as my last two teams out, with Seton Hall and MSU playing in Play-In Games.
- The only teams that I was more than one slot off was: New Mexico (Mine: 7th seed, Actual: 5th seed), BYU (Me:12 seed, Actual 14 seed) and Iona (Me: 12 seed, actual 14 seed). Most pundits say Iona didn't deserve to be in, so this may be my biggest triumph, that I actually had them in the field.
Looking ahead, here are some of my thoughts about this year's bracket:
- I'm expecting the top seeds to perform better than they did last year. I think there's a real discrepancy between the top 10 teams and everyone else, and I think this year we will see it in the tournament. Don't get me wrong - there will be upsets, but I'm not expecting to see such a wild tournament as last year.
- VCU has a serious chance of getting to the Sweet 16. They beat Wichita State last year, and while the Shockers are a good team, they're not beyond getting upset. And it's not just Wichita State - I would have felt the same way if they got paired with any of the other '5' seeds. Then in the next round, Indiana has lost its best player for the season - they'll be primed to be knocked off. Of course, in the Sweet 16 they meet up with Kentucky and the party is over, but still back to back Sweet 16 runs would be pretty special.
- I've heard lots of people comment about which is the toughest bracket, and they all have difficult parts to them. Let's look at the #1 seeds -
Kentucky - I have Baylor as the best '3' seed, so that would be a tough game for Kentucky if they were to get to the Elite Eight. Iowa State vs. UConn is the best combination in the 8-9 games. Duke is the worst '2' seed, but they're always dangerous. Plus, I wouldn't want to see VCU, would you?
Syracuse - I think Ohio State is dangerous - if it wasn't for Anthony Davis, Jared Sullinger would be the best big man in the country. Also, Kansas State is a great rebounding team, SU is a terrible rebounding team, and they could meet in the second round. Plus, Vanderbilt proved they could beat the best team in the country last week, and Cincinnati beat the Orange last week too.
North Carolina - I'm not kidding - I wouldn't want any part of Creighton in the second round. The Jays are dangerous. Kansas may be the best #2 seed in the tournament, and St. Mary's, SD State and Temple are three of the better mid-majors in the country.
Michigan State - Louisville just won the Big East Tournament, and Marquette was the second best team in that league all year long. Missouri just won the Big 12 tournament, and is a strong #2. Plus, there may not be a team playing any better than '8' seed Memphis over the past month. They laid waste to the C-USA at the end of the season.
So, as you can see, I honestly don't believe any side of the bracket is the "easiest" or "toughest".