Notes from Day 1

• I finished 12 for 16 for the day. All in all, an average showing.

• Only Seton Hall dropped out of my predicted Sweet 16.

• BC-Pacific was the best game of the day. It had everything I love about March Madness – get-out-your-seat amazing plays, clutch shooting, and a very near bracket buster – all wrapped into one. Craig Smith stepped to the line for BC, down 2, with 4 seconds to go in OT. A 65% shooter on the season and just 3 for 7 for the game, he iced 2 of the most clutch free throws you’ll ever see to send the game to double OT, where BC took over.

• James Lofton hit an incredible buzzer beater to cinch victory for Tennessee and ruin my super longshot upset pick.

• Contrarily, Indiana hit a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left to preserve my pick for the first round, as well as the potential for their predicted victory over Gonzaga in round two.

• I’m already sick of the Applebee’s shrimp commercial. At some point within the next 2 weeks, I see myself jamming an ice pick in my ear in an effort to get the jingle out of my head. “A three-hour tewer! A three-hour tewer!”

Onto Friday’s picks…


2 Ohio St. over 15 Davidson

8 Arizona over 9 Wisconsin

7 Georgetown over 10 Northern Iowa

1 Villanova over 16 Monmouth

No upset picks here, but the Villanova and Georgetown games are very important to my bracket. I have Villanova losing in the final and Georgetown bowing out in the Elite Eight. An early exit by either of these teams and I can pretty much kiss the cash goodbye.

I filled out all of my brackets online. I thought I took Wisconsin, but when I checked today, I apparently picked Arizona. It worked for me in Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s victory over Oklahoma, so we’ll go with it.

Interesting side note: Villanova guard Allan Ray has been listed as questionable for most of the week after getting poked in the eye vs. Pittsburgh in the Big East tournament. It was reported by several witnesses close to the play that, when the injury occurred, Ray’s eye briefly bulged OUT OF THE SOCKET….And all along I had thought that scene in Any Given Sunday was total horseshit.


3 Iowa over 14 Northwestern St.

11 Southern Illinois over 6 West Virginia

10 NC State over 7 California

2 Texas over 15 Penn

West Virginia enters the tournament having lost 5 of their last 7. They have most of their team intact from last year’s trip to the Elite Eight, so the potential is there for a repeat performance. Southern Illinois comes in on a 4-game win streak, 3 of those wins having been over fellow tournament teams Northern Iowa and Bradley. The Salukis have made the tournament five years running, so they won’t be overmatched in experience. I’m taking them in a mild upset.

Interesting side note: The potential exists for a PIC clash in the Sweet 16 if West Virginia (Nick Gaudio) and Texas (Mike Faerber) both make it past the first weekend. There’s no word yet on which orifice’s virginity will be wagered on the game.


9 Bucknell over 8 Arkansas

1 Memphis over 16 Oral Roberts

5 Pitt over 12 Kent St.

4 Kansas over 13 Bradley

Nothing crazy here either. I should mention that, although I stated in my article that I liked Bucknell’s chances against Memphis in the second round, I ended up taking Memphis in that game. However, with the mass exodus from Conference USA last year, Memphis’s schedule wasn’t much tougher than Bucknell’s.

I have Kansas, winners of 15 of their last 16, slated to make the Final Four.

Interesting side note: I successfully picked 14th-seeded Bucknell’s upset over 3rd-seeded Kansas in last year’s tournament. Unfortunately, I was in the half of everyone that picked Illinois to win it all, so the half of everyone that took North Carolina still beat me despite the short-sighted clairvoyance.


6 Michigan St. over 11 George Mason

1 UConn over 16 Albany

3 North Carolina over 14 Murray St.

9 Alabama-Birmingham over 8 Kentucky

I had picked George Mason to survive the first round, until I learned that starting guard and second-leading scorer Tony Skinn had been suspended for the game after throwing ‘bows in their conference tournament. I was also saddened to learn that Skinn does not don jersey #4.

I can’t believe how good North Carolina is this year. After losing their top 7 scorers from last year – including 4 of the top 14 picks in the NBA draft – the Tar Heels were destined to take their lumps in the basement of the ACC this season. However, they re-loaded with a solid freshman class, led by forward Tyler Hansbrough, and have a pretty easy draw before a potential matchup with UConn in the Elite Eight.

Interesting side note: Albany was dubbed the #1 party school in the nation in 2004 by the Princeton Review and came in at #5 for 2005. It might be in the Great Danes’ best interests to show up wasted for their game vs. UConn, so they won’t be able to remember the ass-whooping when they wake up tomorrow.