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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Madness, 2008 Edition

Yes, I have blogger guilt over the low productivity lately. But surveying the blogging landscape it is clear that I'm not the only blogger out there with a case of the Spring doldrums. For several weeks now I've been on the verge of writing my "Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead" article devoted to Hillary Clinton's spectacular defeat, but the bit*% won't die! And I just have a hard time getting fired up about NBA basketball, regular season college basketball, hockey, or spring training. Hence, a lull.

But it's March, and the real beginning of March Madness is just a few hours away. (Who else cringes every time they hear the phrase "first round of the tournament" used in reference to the play-in game between the 64th and 65th seeded teams? Can we just un-do that horrible mistake and pretend it never happened?) Before the tournament gets under way, I had just a couple of thoughts, and I wanted to get my picks on the record so that I can totally gloat later if I guessed, errr, "predicted" correctly.

First, congratulations to Coach Mike Brey and the Fighting Irish for a great regular season and for landing a #5 seed in the tourney. Coach Brey has done an outstanding job of building the program up from one that was maybe on the bubble each year if they were lucky to one that is consistently in the tournament at a very respectable seeding. That's a big step up in overall quality. We still need to fix that Madison Square Garden jinx, and it's now time for the program to take the next step up to winning some big games and becoming a regular Sweet 16, Elite 8 level team. I think that can start this year. In my bracket, I have the Irish losing to UNC in the round of 16.

As for my brackets, understand that I haven't watched a lot of college hoops this year, and I spent a total of about 25 minutes making my picks before heading off to a doctor's appointment yesterday. What this means is that if my picks are better than yours, you are weak! Here are my picks for teams making it to the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4, and the Final:

Sweet 16:

  1. UNC
  2. Notre Dame
  3. L'Ville
  4. Tenn
  5. Kansas
  6. Vandy
  7. K State
  8. G-Town
  9. Memphis
  10. Pitt
  11. Stanford
  12. Texas
  13. UCLA
  14. U Conn
  15. Xavier
  16. Duke
Elite 8:
  1. UNC
  2. L'Ville
  3. Kansas
  4. G-Town
  5. Memphis
  6. Texas
  7. UCLA
  8. Duke
Final 4:
  1. UNC
  2. G-Town
  3. Memphis
  4. Duke
Tournament Final: University of North Carolina defeats Memphis.

Let the madness begin! And thank goodness the Irish don't have to play the opening game in New York!

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