NCAA Basketball Picks in the Blink of an Eye

I figure that since I seem to be drifting from my statistical based theme for this blog, I might as well do a post that takes me to the far extreme the other way. 

One of my favourite sports writers, Joe Posnanski, does an annual NCAA March Madness bracket picks in 64 seconds flat.  He alludes to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Blink”, as the inspiration.  I figure I like Gladwell’s books *, agree with the theme of Blink, so why not do my own version of a speed pick? 

* While I like his books, I find myself daydreaming at times as he slowly gets to his point.  His book of New Yorker articles, “What the Dog Saw”, is a nice collection of quick hits.
I’m not sure how long it took me to fill out my bracket, though it felt like it was about a minute.  I basically went through round by round and picked the first team that jumped out at me.  By way of full disclosure, I have not watched a single NCAA basketball game this season.  I used to watch a moderate amount about 10 years ago and I probably catch about 20% of the March Madness games each year.
What I am interested in seeing is how well I do as compared to prior years when I actually took a fair bit of time in making my picks.  In hindsight this was useless given the fact I do not watch the games.  I do not have copies of the past couple of brackets, so I will have to line up the following picks against my historical results of ‘doing poorly’, whatever that means.
Midwest Bracket
First round:
Kansas over Lehigh
UNLV over N Iowa
Michigan St over New Mexico State
Maryland over Houston
Tennessee over San Diego St.
Georgetown over Ohio
Georgia Tech  over Oklahoma St.
Ohio St. over UC Santa Barbara
No upsets picked thus far other than the minor GT upset.  Other than Ohio and Oklahoma St, I have barely heard of the losing schools.  Didn’t Stephen Strasburg pitch for San Diego St?
Second round:
Kansas over UNLV
Michigan St. over Maryland
Tennessee over Georgetown
Ohio St. over Georgia Tech
I might be confusing Tennessee with their girl’s program, but they are on a run thus far.
Sweet 16:
Kansas over Michigan St.
Tennessee over Ohio St.
Elite 8:
Kansas over Tennessee
West Bracket:
First Round:
Syracuse over Venmont
Gonzaga over Florida St.
UTEP over Butler
Vanderbilt over Murray St.
Xavier over Minnesota
Pittsburgh over Oakland
Florida over BYU
Kansas St. over North Texas
Why do we need a 96 team tournament again?  I haven’t heard of 1/3 of these schools.  UTEP breaks the heart of Butler as  my biggest upset thus far.
Second round:
Syracuse over Gonzaga
Vanderbilt over UTEP
Xavier over Pittsburgh
Kansas St. over Kansas
Sweet 16:
Vanderbilt over Syracuse
Kansas St. over Xavier
I have no idea if Vanderbilt is any good.  I just seem to remember hearing that Syracuse was #1 for about a minute and proceeded to lose.  Doesn’t sound like a team to go all the way to me.
Elite 8:
Kansas St. over Vanderbilt
Kansas vs. Kansas St. in the final four.  Sounds like some good tv to me.  I must have subconsiously been rooting for these team given my trip to Kansas City a couple of years ago.  Yes, I know that Kansas City is in Missouri.  Kansas plays a few games in KC including the weekend we were there.
East Bracket:
First Round:
 Kentucky over East Tennessee St.
Wake Forrest over Texas
Temple over Cornell
Wisconsin over Wofford
Marquette over Washington
Montana over New Mexico
Missouri over Clemson
West Virginia over Morgan St.
I remember that Tim Duncan played for Wake Forrest back in the day.  Didn’t realize a UK school, Wofford, was invited to the dance.  No idea what caused the Montana pick.  Montana doesn’t seem like a basketball hotbed for recruiting.  More subliminal KC influence on the Missouri and Marquette picks.
Second round:
Kentucky over Wake Forrest
Temple over Wisconsin
Marquette over Montana
West Virginia over Missouri
Sweet 16:
Kentucky over Temple
West Virginia over Marquette
I know nothing about West Virgina basketball team.  Surprised to see them as a #2 seed; more surprised I didn’t knock them out earlier.
Elite 8:
Kentucky over West Virginia
South Bracket:
First Round:
Duke over some crappy team
Louisville over California
Texas A&M over Utah St.
Purdue over Sienna
Notre Dame over Old Dominion
Baylor over Sam Houston
St. Mary’s over Richmond
Villanova over Robert Morris
Strange that two schools named after old dudes are in this bracket.  St. Mary’s and Richmond make for the only matchup where I haven’t heard of either team.   Is there some sort of joke I should be making about Rick Patino, Houston bbq joints and bathrooms?
Second Round
Duke over Louisville
Texas A&M over Purdue
Baylor over Notre Dame
Villanova over St. Mary’s
 Sweet 16 

Duke over Texas 

Villanova over Baylor 

 Elite 8 
Duke over Villanova 
 Final Four 
Kansas over Kansas St. 
Duke over Kentucky 
 Duke over Kansas 
 I actually read something right after I did my bracket noting some coach being surprised that Duke had a number 1 seed.  It immediately caused me to pick Kansas but I’ve opted to go back to my original pick.  I remember Duke always being good and I forget how they usually don’t quite win it all.  No matter, 2010 is the year for the Blue Devils to go all the way! 


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4 responses to “NCAA Basketball Picks in the Blink of an Eye

  1. Final update: I won the pool with these picks. Had it wrapped up when Duke beat West Virginia. Last night’s Duke win was icing on the cake!

  2. After the second weekend I sit in a tie for second. If Duke beats West Virginia on Saturday I win the pool. If WV wins, I finish about 5th.

    Too bad Kentucky didn’t beat WV last weekend. I would already have the title wrapped up.

  3. So far, not so bad. Kansas, Villanova and Vanderbilt hurt, but they hurt for a bunch of folks. I entered my quick picks in an established NCAA pool with 20 entrants. I am in 3rd place after the first week of action and the only one in the pool with Duke to win it all.

  4. Sorry about the formatting on this. Something went sideways right at the end and I couldn’t tell the computer what to do.

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