March 23, 2009

So how’s your bracket?

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

After an amazing four solid days of basketball, there’s a well needed lull in NCAA action. Really, I don’t know if I could’ve kept up with all these games had they gone straight into the Sweet Sixteen matches today and, quite frankly, the players probably would’ve dropped dead too. The difference is the players would’ve fallen due to exhaustion while my poor liver would have felled me.

Thinking about this for a second, why can’t the tournament be more condensed? These kids play two games over three days and then need four off? The games are already eight minutes shorter than the standard NBA contest and NBA players sometimes have to play four games in a week – on the road. Wouldn’t it ratchet up the excitement by condensing everything into two entire weeks instead of three weekends? It would also help the marquee players prepare for bigger things and it could help the NBA scouts see who has the stamina to go to the tougher schedule.

If there’s one thing I walked away from the opening (long) weekend is that college basketball can be much more entertaining than their pro counterpart for one reason and one reason alone. It’s way too fun to make fun of the big white stiffs. There was a run on Thursday afternoon with mid-major teams boasting supposed conference players of the year who just stunk outright.

It’s been a great four days for the nail biters. Florida St.-Wisconsin. Memphis taking their damn sweet time to pull away from Cal St. Northridge. Michigan St. and USC in round two. How about Gonzaga over West Kentucky in round two? Even the No. 1 seed at the country, Louisville was losing to Siena until there was about five minutes left.

For the second year in a row now, my bracket has been screwed by a 12-13 match in the second round that I had no idea was coming.  Cleveland State over Wake Forest was a big upset, I’m sure, for a lot of brackets and then Arizona barely should have made the big dance. In the end, your bracket could come down just picking which one or two 12s make it through and which 13 seed somehow downs a 4.

And next weekend, that’s when brackets really start going down.

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