The first round, well the “second” round since the tourney was expanded so everybody feels like a winner after eliminating the play-in games, was a huge bust for me. It’s the worst I’ve ever done with my bracket in the first round. The first day wasn’t so bad, only one game really killed me, but the second day was where I got the bulk of my picks wrong. This is also the first year I did not get at least one region 100% right.
In total I got 10 picks wrong, but luckily most of the country, including people in my pool got the same picks wrong, or at least the same amount if not more. My usual go to teams, the teams I never pick against early, all lost. Villanova, Michigan St and Georgetown all lost. On the bright side of doing so bad in the first round, only one team that lost I had moving the round of 32, so my bracket is not totally screwed yet. I didn’t lose a Final four team in the first round like Michael Wilbon has.
The Southwest Region was my worst, mainly because Louisville and Vanderbilt both lost, so that portion of the bracket is totally off now. I had Louisville in the Sweet 16. This year has been topsy-turvy compared to lost year in terms of my picks. Teams I picked last year as an upset, like Richmond for example, lost in the first round. So this year I didn’t pick Richmond and of course they win. My big first round upset pick this year was Oakland over Texas, and that didn’t happen. I’ve been bad with picking the big upsets lately, but some of the smaller ones, like a 10 over a 7 or a an 11 over a 6 I got right this year.
I picked Marquette over Xavier and got that one right, mainly because of my philosophy in picking. I usually never pick against a Big East team, unless it’s a 16 v 1 or the Big East team clearly has no chance to win. But that philosophy came back to bite me, as St. John’s lost to Gonzaga in an upset of sorts. In the past I rode the Gonzaga band wagon, but this year I chose not to and of course it hurts me.
I also tend not to pick Tech or A&M teams either, but I didn’t like Florida St.’s resume so I went with Texas A&M, and of course they lost. After this year I will go back to never picking an A&M school or a Tech school and also will never pick Vandy ever again, but this is two years in a row in which they lost early.
Going back to how my brackets rank nationally, after the first round I’m in the 41st percentile, which is horrible. Usually I’m at least in the 70’s. And of course there are people who have 31 out of 32 picks right, but those people are the ones who filled out multiple brackets. But even those cheaters still got the Louisville game wrong. I haven’t checked because it’s too complicated to check all the brackets to see who actually got that game right, but I’m willing to bet it’s lower than 5% of the country.
I didn’t post screen caps of my bracket so I have more room to post pictures of records as I get them, but so readers know my Final Four is Ohio St., UCONN, Kansas and Kansas St. I have Ohio St. v Kansas in the championship game with Kansas winning 72-67.