25 March 2013

Day 4 and moving on

1) Florida Gulf Coast is on a roll. That's never happened before (a 15 in the third round) and they took care of business twice to get there. NOBODY picked this (less than 1%), so one should not care in the pool terms. If anyone knows anyone who picked this, and didn't go there for school, they should probably make sure that person is in the nice part of the sanitarium they visited them at, or should console them because they were likely in a pool that gives out prizes for last place (which usually scores upsets by seed, and getting all those points from a 15 probably screwed their chances).

2) Temple-Indiana was way too close for my comfort, but worked out in the end. Wyatt made himself some money in those two games. Dunphry can be added to the list of coaches that don't do so well in tournaments, but he did have a tall order here in upsetting one of the top favorites to win the entire thing in his defence.

3) LaSalle also wasn't a very common pick this far. People really didn't like the play-in teams as picks (despite being a fairly reliable source of upsets). They're barely more popular a pick than FGCU was. No team had beaten Mississippi when they were tied or had a lead in the last few minutes (22-0), until they did last night.

4) It appears no coach from the UCLA - Minnesota first round game will survive. I'm less convinced Tubby Smith is a terrible coach than most (I think he has a pretty good idea what he's doing as a coach  given his record at Tulsa and Georgia pre-UK but did luck out with a Pitino recruited team early on to bolster his reputation), but I do think there's at least a case that he wasn't able to reach and coach the team they had this year and the past couple of years, given their inconsistency.

Overall round
I averaged 10.5 right, which is above average but not very good either.

Total whiffs
1) FGCU. Though I did identify Georgetown as weak, I wasn't about to pick the 15, much less twice.
2) LaSalle. Again, I did see KSU and Wisconsin as weak, but Mississippi was a more common upset pick here for me.
No surprise, nobody else got those two
3) Wichita St (nobody got that one either, about 3.5%).
4) Oregon. To me one of the bigger surprises as they handled two good teams very easily.
5) Marquette (I think I took them once somehow, in my defence here they've won two games by a combined total of 3 points). This one hurt somewhat as roughly half the public took them.

50/50 whiff
2) Miami. I had Illinois springing the upset there sometimes. Disappointing and terrible call near the end of the game shot that down. I feel pretty good about it as Illinois couldn't make shots in the last couple of minutes either but it's still annoying to have the refs involved in the outcome. People seem to think this was Miami not playing well, but I think the issue was Illinois is actually pretty good (just really, really inconsistent) and Miami isn't as good as people think they were (again, a weak 2 seed). Older good teams like them have done relatively poorly so far (Georgetown and Kansas).

Sometime value bets.
4) Syracuse. I had Cal winning essentially a home game a couple of times.
2) Ohio St. I had Iowa St springing the upset here a couple of times. Again a strange call near the end of the game, but OSU also played well in the last couple of minutes to pull this one out. I was surprised it was close.
4) Michigan. I figured on VCU playing far better than they did.

Moving forward.
West
Arizona is not a very common Elite Eight pick (about 5%). I took it a few times (Also a couple final four picks for them, which look a lot better today than with Gonzaga in the field, and really low on the pick order). I'd be surprised if Ohio St doesn't advance from here though. It's a totally broken bracket otherwise. It's also the only region where I'm out an elite eight pick. Which considering the heavy insanity of the first couple of rounds (it's by far the craziest bracket in the seeded era), surprises me.
MW
Mostly chalky, and mostly not surprising. Duke winning here would be a big help. Louisville is really popular as a title contender and I never took them.
South
Florida and Michigan look pretty good to meet here. Kansas looked better in the second half against UNC, but Michigan's a lot better than UNC (who had no wins in the top 25 all year).
East
Chalk. Probably will stay that way too.
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