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The bracket kind of sucks this year. These play in games are stupid. Butler being matched up against Old Dominion grinds my gears to no end.

That being said, this is one of the best times of year for hoops fans. The Johnnies losing DJ hurts them big time and Gonzaga is certainly no pushover.

Post away.

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I like the format, if only because it forces the last 4 in to earn their way into the 2nd round field of 64.

I'm also already annoyed at the complaining about Colorado, VT, and St. Mary's not going in. With the 68-team field and the weak bubble, NO team that failed to make it has a complaint. Oh noes, VCU and UAB got in! Deal with it, Seth Greenberg and company.

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Also, looking at the bracket, I find myself mostly picking chalk, which I don't like. I think the middling teams were so weak this year that the top dogs have a decent chance at cruising to Houston.

That being said, here's how I see it playing out:

Cinderella team: Utah State

The RPI, Sagarin, and Pomeroy ratings LOVE Utah State, and if it were up to pure mathematics, Utah State would be closer to a 6 or 7-seed than a 12-seed. They're a senior-laden team with, simply put, good basketball players. They can rebound, play D, and have a good point guard (Brockeith Pane). I like them for the Sweet 16 and possibly beyond.

Biggest Upset of tournament: George Mason over Ohio State

The 2010-11 George Mason Patriots are, quietly, every bit as good as the 2005-06 team that reached the Final 4. Much like that '05-06 team, Mason ran roughshod over the Colonial Athletic Association (16-2) before losing in the tournament's semi-final game. They have a senior guard (Cam Long), a double-double machine in the post (Ryan Pearson), a shooter (Andre Cornelius) and a quality role-player off the bench (Isaiah Tate). They also have a coach who, quite literally, wrote the book on defense (Jim Larranaga):

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Final 4: Syracuse, Duke, Louisville, Pittsburgh

You read correctly; 3 Big East teams in the Final 4. Let's face it, their roads to Houston are favorable.

Syracuse's zone will be no match for North Carolina, who don't have the shooters to exploit it, and Kentucky is too dependent on freshmen. I already have Ohio State losing early, so that leaves Scoop Jardine, Rick Jackson and the Orange by default.

I like Duke even better if they have Kyrie Irving, though with their only major threat being UCONN (who excels in the West Region for some reason), I love the Blue Devils chances to get back to the Final 4 again. The only thing that worries is their inability to dominate the boards. After all, they were outrebounded in their ACC Title victory over UNC. That's typically a game-changing characteristic in tournament play.

Louisville has a tougher road than the previous teams. They start out with mid-major player of the year and All-American Kenneth Faried and the Morehead St. Eagles in round 1. Then they're likely looking at matchups with Kansas and either Purdue or fellow Big East foe Notre Dame. However, with shooters like Preston Knowles and Kyle Kuric plus inside presence Terrence Jennings, I like Rick Pitino's crew to pull the necessary upsets.

Lastly, Pittsburgh may be a pick more from the heart than from the head given that I LOVE their grind-it-out style of play on D and high efficiency offense, which unfortunately doesn't really work in the tournament. I don't see three of the 4 # 1-seeds bowing out before Houston, and BYU (without their 3rd-leading scorer Brandon Davies) and a relatively precocious Florida team just don't scare me that much in that Southeast region.

National Champion: Pittsburgh over Syracuse

Yep, I also have an all-Big East final. It's so hard to repeat in the NCAA, which forces me to pick the Orange to beat Duke. And I don't see Louisville's offense running wild against Pittsburgh. The title game would depend on the pace of the game. A relatively high-scoring game in the 70's favors Syracuse, a lower-scoring game in the 50's or 60's favors the Panthers. I like Pittsburgh.

Edited by Jetsfan80
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Frank Martin could probably scare his K-State team into a Final 4. He scares me just watching him yell at his players on TV.

He's a prick. I hate that matchup though. Utah St is NOT a 12 seed. Such a bad job.

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I like the idea of the First Four this year, but it's sort of screwing up filling out and submitting the bracket time.

When there was one play-in game they went against a No 1 seed and were pretty much fodder. Nobody ever took the play-in winner to win that next game. So your bracket didn't have to be filled out until Thursday morning which gave plenty of time. Now there's 4 play-in games starting tomorrow.

I figure USC has a real shot to win against VCU and then beat Georgetown. They prob lose to Purdue after that, but who knows?

In the pools you guys are in, do your brackets have to be complete before the first game Tuesday?

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I like the idea of the First Four this year, but it's sort of screwing up filling out and submitting the bracket time.

When there was one play-in game they went against a No 1 seed and were pretty much fodder. Nobody ever took the play-in winner to win that next game. So your bracket didn't have to be filled out until Thursday morning which gave plenty of time. Now there's 4 play-in games starting tomorrow.

I figure USC has a real shot to win against VCU and then beat Georgetown. They prob lose to Purdue after that, but who knows?

In the pools you guys are in, do your brackets have to be complete before the first game Tuesday?

Well, the good news is that you get BOTH teams credited to you. So if you think VCU or USC could both beat Georgetown, and the winner of the play-in game DOES, it does no matter who you thought would win. At least its only 2 of those games you have to worry about (USC-VCU and UAB-Clemson).

I wouldn't count out VCU beating USC though. They play a trapping style of defense that drives opponents crazy. They beat Duke in the tournament in '07 and nearly beat UCLA in '09. Granted, they had future NBA player Eric Maynor and current Alabama coach Anthony Grant when they beat Duke, but they still play the same style of ball and have a senior-laden roster.

Edited by Jetsfan80
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Well, the good news is that you get BOTH teams credited to you. So if you think VCU or USC could both beat Georgetown, and the winner of the play-in game DOES, it does no matter who you thought would win. At least its only 2 of those games you have to worry about (USC-VCU and UAB-Clemson).

I wouldn't count out VCU beating USC though. They play a trapping style of defense that drives opponents crazy. They beat Duke in the tournament in '07 and nearly beat UCLA in '09. Granted, they had future NBA player Eric Maynor and current Alabama coach Anthony Grant when they beat Duke, but they still play the same style of ball and have a senior-laden roster.

Makes sense, thank you. I like Clemson vs. UAB

I'm a huge U-dub Huskies fan. They got a tough road to make the sweet 16. Georgia, then NC in Charlotte. Yikes!!! Here's hoping.

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Some cobservations thus far:

1) That blocked shot by Kenneth Faried of Morehead State to beat Louisville to win the game ought to be the play of the tournament already. Ridiculousness. If Kentucky loses to Princeton, Morehead State will be the only team from the state of Kentucky remaining in the field. Unreal.

2) Tough loss for Old Dominion against Butler. The Bulldogs beat them at their own game; Butler dominated the glass.

3) Talor Battle for Penn State deserved a better ending to his career than what he got. Hits the game-tying 3 as part of a tremendous effort, then Temple wins it with 0.4 seconds left. And so ends the career of one of the best outside shooters in Big 10 history.

4) Great effort by Clemson, but I think the disadvantages West Virginia had (only 36 hours of preparation) were outweighed by Clemson's disadvantage......fatigue. Clemson fans should be happy, Head Coach Brad Brownell already has more tournament wins than Oliver Purnell had in his tenure as coach of the Tigers.

5) What a wild first day. And its not even half over! THIS is why I love March.

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Quite an ending to that Pitt-Butler game.

Two phantom fouls, one against each team, so I guess it kind of evened out.

I'd like to personally thank my final four dog K-State for screwing my bracket.

Both were legitimate calls. They were fouls. And after the Big East tourney fiasco, there is no way those calls arent made.

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Down go Purdue and Syracuse. And Notre Dame is close to getting offed by Florida State.

The Big East sucks (other than UCONN).

The Big East does not suck. Some teams were bit by the injury bug, some teams were outplayed and some teams got horrible match-ups. Just the roll of the dice.

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The Big East does not suck. Some teams were bit by the injury bug, some teams were outplayed and some teams got horrible match-ups. Just the roll of the dice.

And that fully explains why 2 of 11 made it through the 1st weekend. :rolleyes:

There are as many teams in the tournament from the city of Richmond remaining as there are from the Big East. That is embarrassing.

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And that fully explains why 2 of 11 made it through the 1st weekend. :rolleyes:

There are as many teams in the tournament from the city of Richmond remaining as there are from the Big East. That is embarrassing.

Teams in the Big East beat up each other for like 3 months and then are supposed to play in the NCAA tournament? There are no easy games in the Big East. Can VCU, Richmond, BYU etc say the same thing?

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Teams in the Big East beat up each other for like 3 months and then are supposed to play in the NCAA tournament? There are no easy games in the Big East. Can VCU, Richmond, BYU etc say the same thing?

There are easy games in the Big East. Seton Hall, DePaul, Providence, or South Florida ring a bell? Percentage wise, there are as many easy games in the Big East as there are in any other conference. The CAA and Mountain West included.

Furthermore, when you're in a conference where generally only 1 bid is generated, each game is more important than in a conference where you're going to get up to 11 teams in.

Acting as though the Big East has it rougher than anyone else is a complete and total fallacy. Every year we get that "woe is us" argument from its fans. You do realize the Big 10 and Big 12 both had better non-conference win percentages than the Big East, yet was rewarded by having less teams in the dance COMBINED than the Big East, right? By sheer power in numbers alone, the Big East should have gotten more than 2 into the 2nd weekend. How else do you judge a conference's strength than how it performs in the postseason?

And there's no way you can argue that a veteran-laden Notre Dame team that some had pegged as a 1-seed and a Final 4 squad should be losing by double digits to the 3rd best team in the ACC. So they had "contrasting styles". Big f***ing deal, good teams adjust to tough matchups.

Nor should Louisville be losing to Morehead State (as much as I appreciate Kenneth Faried on that team), or St. John's be getting blasted by an underachieving Gonzaga team, or Syracuse being beaten by the 11th-placed BE team that they're familiar with.....Need I go on? UCONN is the only squad with any balls.

And to think, with Marquette taking on UNC and UCONN going up against a tough San Diego State team, there's a distinct possibility that 0 Big East teams make it to the Elite 8.

Edited by Jetsfan80
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I love the "well, they beat each other up in the regular season" excuse.

The Big East has been a huge disappointment. 2 of 11 advancing to the Sweet 16 is bad any way you slice it.

The conference was overrated all year though. A bunch of solid teams and no great teams.

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I love the "well, they beat each other up in the regular season" excuse.

The Big East has been a huge disappointment. 2 of 11 advancing to the Sweet 16 is bad any way you slice it.

The conference was overrated all year though. A bunch of solid teams and no great teams.

Tell me who you would put in the field of 64 over any of the Big East teams. Tell me all 11 weren't deserving. Did they underperform? Of course. I'm not saying they didn't. I'm just saying some of the teams got bad draws and injuries at the worst times.

The fact that there is only 2 left isn't an indictment on the Big East. The field of 64 is full of a lot of teams on a level playing field this year with no real great teams. Aside from 15 and 16 seeds, almost anyone could be anyone in this tourney.

Let's not act like UNC and Duke didn't almost lost this weekend too.

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Tell me who you would put in the field of 64 over any of the Big East teams. Tell me all 11 weren't deserving. Did they underperform? Of course. I'm not saying they didn't. I'm just saying some of the teams got bad draws and injuries at the worst times.

The fact that there is only 2 left isn't an indictment on the Big East. The field of 64 is full of a lot of teams on a level playing field this year with no real great teams. Aside from 15 and 16 seeds, almost anyone could be anyone in this tourney.

Let's not act like UNC and Duke didn't almost lost this weekend too.

You cant deny that the Big East doesn't come out of this looking bad. Georgetown and ND especially. And Pittsburgh obviously.

We wont be seeing 10+ teams coming out of this conference any time soon. Hell, the only Big East teams still alive are the ones that beat other Big East schools.

Edited by Matt39
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You cant deny that the Big East doesn't come out of this looking bad. Georgetown and ND especially. And Pittsburgh obviously.

We wont be seeing 10+ teams coming out of this conference any time soon. Hell, the only Big East teams still alive are the ones that beat other Big East schools.

They don't look great, no but, in a one and done tournament, anything can happen. One of Georgetown's best players got hurt. And if Georgetown looks bad, why doesn't Purdue look equally as bad?

Notre Dame played an underseeded team in FSU, shot horribly and FSU played great defense. They were a good defensive team that would give a team like ND fits. ND had a very strong regular season and had 13 wins in the regular season against Tourney teams. Considering they weren't expected to do much this season, I can't see how they look bad.

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You can make cases for any singular team, Carl, but there's no denying the Big East sucks when it counts. Since 1985 when the tournament expanded to 64 teams they've only had FOUR NCAA champions. That's terrible for such a power conference.

Look at PTI right now. All Michael Wilbon can talk about is how bad the Big East is. No one cares how well their teams performed in the regular season, because the most visible indicator of the strength of a conference is postseason performance. And every year, the BE folds like a tent.

You say "Anything can happen", yet you can count on the Big East teams failing every year. Its the only recognizable pattern there is.

Sorry, but the goal is to win national titles, not do well in the regular season.

Edited by Jetsfan80
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Down go Purdue and Syracuse. And Notre Dame is close to getting offed by Florida State.

The Big East sucks (other than UCONN).

SEC FTW!!!

Nah, but good call on the BYU/Florid Sweet 16.

Go Gators!!!

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SEC FTW!!!

Nah, but good call on the BYU/Florid Sweet 16.

Go Gators!!!

It was destined to happen. Relatively easy matchups along the way. As far as BYU goes, one excellent player like Jimmer can almost always get you through the 1st weekend. Now is where things get tough. We'll see what they're made of.

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It was destined to happen. Relatively easy matchups along the way. As far as BYU goes, one excellent player like Jimmer can almost always get you through the 1st weekend. Now is where things get tough. We'll see what they're made of.

I'll admit, I have no confidence in this team...but the way they've played of late...they could get to the Final 4. Still not expecting anything, but if they are clicking...they have a pretty minor road to the Final 4.

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Thinking back, Duke had an extraordinarily easy road to the finals last year. The absolutely got whipped last night.

Duke cant match up with the athletic teams. Arizona had theose guys completely scared. It was awesome to watch Duke shrivel.

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Anybody else hoping on the VCU bandwagon just because?

I was on it from the start. My school is getting about a million bucks and counting because of George Mason's win over Villanova and VCU's run.

CAA! CAA!

Edited by Jetsfan80
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I was on it from the start. My school is getting about a million bucks and counting because of George Mason's win over Villanova and VCU's run.

CAA! CAA!

LOL

I had USC beating VCU in the play-in game.

New crystal ball maybe?

Edited by vanDoug
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