23 March 2013

Day two thoughts

1) "Shock" of the day. Georgetown was a weak 2 seed, but nobody in their right mind picks 2 seeds to lose in the first round. It is starting to look like it's a more viable suggestion after the last couple of years, but prior to that, it was extremely rare. I generally had them losing to San Diego St or Florida, depending on the pool, so it, like New Mexico-Harvard, wasn't that big a deal to me.

2) Kansas looks really vulnerable to the VCU style attack, or (basically) to Michigan as well. If they couldn't take care of the ball against Western Kentucky, they've got serious problems moving forward in next weekend's matchups.

3) What's up with the A10? LaSalle wins in Kansas City? Temple wasn't a huge shock, but NC St has roughly top 10 talent on that team. Kansas St loss was probably the biggest shock of the day actually. Maybe a lot of Kansas fans there? St Louis, VCU, and Butler winning Thursday are hardly surprising, but that the bottom end still produced was fun for them.

4) Couple games surprised mostly for margin: Minnesota over UCLA especially. That's more what I expected the Oklahoma St-Oregon game to look like. Minnesota can really play when they get after it, but they're pretty rarely interested from watching them this season. Iowa St winning on a neutral/road game with that margin also impressed.

5) Mississippi wasn't that big a shock (I split my pools there). Wisconsin was in trouble against a high pace team if their shots weren't falling and they fell behind. Pretty much what happened to Georgetown, except against a much better team. Trouble is that where I took them, I'm now out a S16 team (I took Mississippi to beat KSU and KSU to beat Wisconsin, if there was a split there).

Update: Best pool performance was 24 first round, averaged only 22 (which is not encouraging). Only one entry out of 20 had any elite eight teams knocked out (I had foolishly picked Oklahoma St over Louisville once), and most had at least one or two sweet 16 slots out (averaged about 2.5). Usually the Mississippi-LaSalle game (where I usually had Kansas St), or the Oregon-St Louis game (usually Oklahoma St), occasionally Davidson or Bucknell, but I usually took Butler there (never Marquette), and then I usually had Georgetown that far, but where I picked SDSU to win in round one, I took them again in round two (much like Mississippi). I never had New Mexico that far at least.

The main way to win or rate highly on a tournament pool is to get the later rounds right, and losing final four or elite eight teams on days one or two is generally unadvised to do that. Identifying the weakest top seeds is therefore the crucial move. Occasionally something crazy still happens, but mostly that happens in rounds two or three, not round one. Round one is mostly about not picking too many upsets, and absorbing hits where they come.

First round misses
I never picked these teams to lose in round one.
2) Georgetown.
3) New Mexico.
4) Kansas St (missed by 2)
5) Oklahoma St
8) NC State (missed by 4, but was trailing by more)
11) St Marys (missed by 2)
Other than Oklahoma St, I tended not to trust any of these teams further. Kansas St was only trustworthy from the draw they got and playing in Kansas City.

I usually picked these two to win, but had them losing again (except once with Davidson), so didn't mind.
14) Davidson (missed by last second shot)
8) Pitt

50/50s where I may have weighted one way or the other. I ended up leaning toward Illinois, Iowa St, and North Carolina so those three were often, but not always correct, and mostly missed on the SDSU game and Wisconsin game.
10) Colorado (concerned about Brandon Paul not showing up)
7) Notre Dame (concerned about Iowa St's road record, otherwise it was a no-brainer).
10) Oklahoma (concerned about SDSU 3k miles of travel)
9) Villanova (value pick from UNC being heavily favored)
5) Wisconsin (wasn't sure the tempo factor would help or hurt Mississippi)

Random picks that sometimes cost a few points.
11) Bucknell. Muscala really didn't impress.
11) Belmont. 3 point shooting contest worried me.
6) UCLA. I was concerned about Minnesota's road record, but not that concerned with UCLA being hobbled.
5) UNLV. For some reason I picked them a couple times. Probably because Cal was really weak on metric value, but the home-road factor mattered a lot.

Best upset calls to have made (ESPN/Yahoo % picked)
FGCU 2.3%/1.9%
Harvard 5.6%/4.5%
LaSalle 6.1%/5.1%
Nobody picked those. If you missed, only feel bad if you thought those were very good teams that lost though.
Mississippi 20%/13.4% (not sure why there's such a gap, maybe Yahoo's groups skew toward fewer upsets)
Cal 25.3%/22.6%
Those two are the two I'd be pleased with myself over.
Temple 30.4%/33.1%
Wichita St 31.9%/32%
Colorado St 35%/32.6% (not an upset, but really low picked for an 8).
Apparently nobody liked the 9 seeds, as three of them had low picked value.
Iowa St 37.7%/37%
Oregon 41.7%/40.1%
Minnesota 48.4%/44.7%

Oh and I did warn that the West was a screwy bracket (3 upsets, plus the 9 and 10 seeds won).
Post a Comment