19 March 2012

The next 48 hours

A little more to form
1) Kansas played and won in the best game of the weekend, and was losing for 38 minutes of it.
2) I still have an intact final four. Which is beneficial. Missouri and Duke presumably killed a lot of people. Especially Missouri. 
3) Predictably, neither 15 seed had a shot in their second game. The 50-50 split of having Florida upset Missouri worked out for me somewhat. Florida was a much (MUCH) better defensive team than Missouri, especially size wise, and it showed (also Norfolk still had the game of its life in order to win, and barely managed it). Xavier managed to observe that Duke's big guys were unstoppable against Lehigh and went inside a lot more than they ever do as a result. Generally speaking people say that the tournament is about guard play. It's really about big guys doing dirty work and controlling and patrolling the paint. Especially as it progresses. It's difficult to rely on jump shots and dribble penetration for several games in a row, unless you have elite NBA level shooting like Curry or lightning quickness like Kemba. It's also why the little to mid-major schools tend to do worse as they usually lack for solid inside players.
4) Kansas St managed to suspend one of its best players for the weird rules of the NCAA. Its unclear how much that would have helped, but it did not help against Syracuse. I have Wisconsin winning in the next round anyway, so it may work out yet.
5) Louisville-New Mexico was a predictable toss up. Pot odds said to take New Mexico as the public's underdog, so I did. Meh. Florida State and Cincinnati fell in a similar category. And played another fun game. Wisconsin also had a rough toss up with Vandy. Pot odds helped in those two cases. 
6) Creighton had no defense (rated around 180 in the nation). It showed. It remains to be seen how Marshall's wrist affects things though. I tend to think it helps my Kansas final four slotting, for now.
7) NC State helped me out by handling Georgetown anyway to advance. This was basically the only true upset. Ohio was ahead of South Florida on my ratings.
8) Big 10 did very well. Indiana played in the second best game of the weekend.
9) Most of everything else was formula. OSU, MSU, Kentucky, Baylor, Marquette. Pretty basic.

10) General performance. I fill out about 20-25 different brackets. So that means I have some variability on the scales. First round I had a minimum of 20 and a max of 23, and averaged at 22. I did fairly poorly at noting potential upsets in the first round. Duke, Missouri obviously, Wichita, Memphis, UNLV, I missed every time all of these games. I also tended to pick Belmont and Temple, and went with a less than all out gusto for Florida, Cincinnati, NC State, Ohio, and Purdue. Some of these cost me in later rounds (Temple, Duke, UNLV, Wichita and to a lesser extent Missouri, plus the tossup of New Mexico that I missed). This was not helpful. Second round therefore I had a max of 12 and a minimum of 7 (I had a very aggressive pot odds sheet with things like Texas, UNLV, Kansas St, etc). The average though was 10. Which won't win most pools, but remains respectable. I also still maintain all four final four teams in my brackets. I managed to avoid the pitfall of Missouri and had little interest in Duke, Georgetown or Florida State too, and so on. Part of this was by having a fairly chalky elite 8/final 4, I've been in pretty decent shape coming out. Coming forward, I still have some sheets with all 8 available as a result.

What I don't have is any real bragging rights calls. I can recall being the only guy in a pool picking Princeton over UCLA, and Providence or Kent St or Missouri into the elite 8 as double digit seeds, and so on. Being boring tends to mean you won't have these things to talk about.

Update post-tourney:
I finished about 95 percentile on average, with two scoring at 98.2-98.3.  Louisville did not help but I otherwise nailed the final four and did well into the elite eight after a rough second round. I forgot to note that Michigan State wasn't ranked pre-season, which usually matters for #1 seeds. Kentucky was pretty obvious, and picking Kansas instead of UNC or Ohio St helped. I didn't win any local pools either however. Which is the price of a popular champion actually winning.
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