First off, let's pay some bills:
Ever wish that more things worked like college brackets? That you could seed everything that way? Top 64 pre-game foods. Top 64 college players. Well, now you can do just that with your friends, with the Allstate BFF Brackets, which takes your 64 top Facebook friends (an algorithm seeds them based on interaction) and seeds them in four regions, exactly like the real tourney. Once the tourney starts, your friends advance with the corresponding seeds – till one is left standing. Check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/bffbrackets/
I'm totally doing this.
Now: we're not in it, but filling out brackets is still the most fun thing you can do in sports. As such, we've set up a Testudo Times bracket group thingamajig over at CBS. The winner gets a prize*! So join up - the password is the ultra-imaginative "vasquez", because we love to live off our past successes.
*That prize may just be bragging rights.
Because nothing goes better with a plea to join up for some bracket fun, let's go through a few random thoughts about filling out this year's bracket. These aren't rules to live by, or at least not all of them. They're just my own personal thoughts on picking out a bracket.
Yes, Ohio State got screwed. But they're still the best team in the country by a fairly large margin, so it shouldn't hurt them too much. I still have the Buckeyes in the Final Four by a pretty wide margin. The only team that could trip them up is Kentucky, who matches up well, but I like tOSU's experience there.
And yes, Pitt got an easy draw. In fact, it was crazily easy. They got by far the weakest 2 seed, the weakest 4 seed, and the weakest 5 seed. But the Panthers always seem to underachieve in the NCAA tournament, so I'm still not counting them into the Final Four. Jimmer or Old Dominion will have a solid chance of knocking them off.
Reminder: pick at least one 5-12 upset. It's a little tougher this year with the First Four nonsense, but it's bracket law by now. I'm going with Richmond over Vandy, but any of them would be fine, really. It's a strong group of 12s this year.
Belmont is my semi-random upset pick. They don't have a lot of great wins, but three of their four losses were by single digits to SEC teams on the road. Oh, yeah, I said four losses, because that's all they had. Wisconsin, meanwhile, just lost to Penn State and scored 33 points in the process. Belmont, an up-tempo team, will challenge the Bruins. I wouldn't be shocked to see them reach the Sweet 16, in all honesty. But as a rule of thumb, this probably has no change of happening. Oh well. If it does, I called it.
Marquette in the Sweet 16 is my other semi-random upset pick. I like the Golden Eagles. Xavier has no depth this year and isn't as good as they have been in the past. Marquette already beat Syracuse once, too; it might've been in their place, yeah, and it might've been during Syracuse's slump, but hey - brackets aren't logical.
My championship game is boring. I'm sorry for picking two #1 seeds in the title game, but at the moment I can't think of any other outcome. I don't see Duke beating Texas and UConn/SDSU consecutively, and I don't see Pitt - which still lacks a dynamic scorer - failing to choke. Problem is that Ohio State and Kansas are head and shoulders above UConn/SDSU/Texas and BYU/Florida/whoever else. So yeah, sorry about that, but it'll be an OSU-KU final. At least in my bracket.
So that's my reasoning. What are your thoughts about the bracket? Go fill one out, then come back and tell us how smart you are in the comments.