Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Year of the Oklahoma Schools

Here are my highly scientific picks for the Final 4 (between now and 11AM tomorrow, my pool deadline, anything might change):

Chicago -- Oklahoma State (2)
Albuquerque -- Louisville (4)
Syracuse -- UNC (1) (boring; I have them beating OSU in the final)
Austin -- Oklahoma (3)

Other highlights from my bracket:

Old Dominion -- the obligatory 5 over 12 pick, which replaced the New Mexico over 'nova upset I was initially inclined to pick (a very common one among sports columnists that I thought better of; now I have 'nova reaching the Sweet 16 with a second round win over Florida (4))

Creighton (10) -- over WVU (7) in the first round (suck on that, Bloodless)

Pitt (9) -- over Pacific (8) in the first round, but much as I wanted to I couldn't pick them over Washington. if it happens I'll hate myself. but that's fine 'cause it ain't gonna happen

Two 6-seeds in the Sweet 16: Texas Tech (6) over 'Zags (3) and LSU (6) over Arizona (3)

Syracuse (4) into the Elite 8 over Duke (1)

So yeah, like a lot of that stuff up there just isn't true. But now I've actually filed my bracket, so what follows is the whole truth. Before I start, let me note that in finalizing my picks I relied heavily on this site, which was mentioned in the Sunday Times and provides a more robust basis for selecting champions than I'm going to come up with on my own. I guess that means I'll owe some of my winnings to the Jummy V Cancer Foundation (the only compensation the website's creators ask in return for leading you to a winning bracket).

As to the Final Four, mine haven't changed. I do, however, have OSU beating UNC in the title game now. UNC will be overbet nationwide, so the odds of winning a pool by picking them are low. OSU, outside the top five most likely champs according to oddsmakers, is less likely to win, but I'm more likely to win with them.

New upsets in the first round include every 10 seed over every 7 seed, UCLA (11) over Texas Tech (6), UTEP (11) over Utah (6), and New Mexico (12) over 'nova (5).

Other notable selections: N.C. State (10) reaching the Elite 8 along with Michigan State (5) and LSU (6). I take it the goal isn't to win all of the outrageous upsets, but rather to risk losing for a big payoff should one or two of the big upsets occur.

Mostly, I haven't the foggiest. But it's fun to adorn my blind conjecture with the trappings of knowledge. Good luck to all, unless you're in my pool, in which case go screw.


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