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March 19, 2006

NCAA Tournament Weekend One Analysis

Well, I have been watching March Madness for six years now, and I cannot remember a single weekend that has ever been as crazy as this one. A 13 seed (Bradley) and an 11 seed (Virginia's own George Mason) have made the Sweet Sixteen. Only five games have had a 20-point difference (out of 48 played so far). The ACC, considered by many to be down this year, went 4-0 in the first round and lost two in the second round, while everyone's new basketball sweetheart MVC was 2-2 in the first round with both winners progressing to the Sweet Sixteen. The so-called number one conference Big 10 has suffered greatly in the NCAA tournament, and even the Big East can not send more than half of the eight original bids to the Sweet Sixteen. Should Villanova hang on, everyone of the 1 seeds will still be around, but two 2 seeds and two 3 seeds have lost already. What does this all mean? One of the best tournaments ever, at least so far.

While it is expected that the top seeds make it to the second weekend, that can be a little boring. If you have been watching the games, you know the analysts calling the games are excited, and it should come as no surprise. There may be some people frustrated with their brackets (as their normally are), but this is history that we are watching.

Of course, I am among those who have taken some small hits to my brackets. Obviously, I was wrong about Utah State. In fact, I did not pick a single 5-12 matchup correctly, for the very first time; they can be hard to call, as 20 of the past 22 tournaments have had at least one upset. Still, some things are going as I expected. Georgetown has played very well, and are making a good run as I had suggested earlier this week. Also, Texas is still alive and I am hoping on Villanova as I type. Talk about a nail-biter.

(Sigh of relief) Wow, that was close. All 1 Seeds have survived, and my picks of 'Nova over UConn, Texas over Gonzaga, and 'Nova over Texas still holds for the final weekend. 23 of 36 for the first round and 11 of 16 for the second round, with the possibility to still get 7 of the Elite Eight. How is everyone else doing?