Just filled out my bracket (you can see a copy of it here, since I know everyone’s interested). Some thoughts:
– I hate picking brackets involving Syracuse. I know them too well to think rationally. While I certainly think they’re capable of beating UNC and getting to the final four, they’ve shown they’re also very susceptible to the early upset – like Vermont in ’05 when Boeheim refused to change the tempo and just run them off the court. So I have them in the Elite 8. It’s a compromise.
– I think there are two distinct top tiers: 1a – Pitt and UConn, 1b- every other 1, 2, or 3 seed. I think any of those teams could very reasonably win it all. Below that, things get a little sketchy. But make no mistake, Pitt and UConn were the best two regular season teams. And Pitt owns UConn head-to-head. So I think you can guess who I picked to win it all.
– Wake Forest scares me. I picked them being upset in the first round because they just haven’t been playing that good recently. However, I could see them regaining some of their early season form and busting my bracket. But I mean, hey, you can’t pick every team to win.
– Based on the Big East tourney I formed the following opinions:
1) UConn is really good. I know SU outlasted them and I’ve heard people say how sloppy these teams played in the final overtimes. But do you realize how tired and shorthanded those teams were? Walk-ons were playing. Of course it got sloppy.
But Thabeet changes the game and UConn can beat you inside, midrange, and outside. They have lots of weapons.
2) West Virginia isn’t that good. SU had nothing left in that game and still won.
3) Louisville can be beat. SU again played slow and tired and still had the lead at halftime. And if they could have made a few layups in the second half, they would have been right there at the end.
– When it comes to this tournament, no one knows anything. So really, the fact that I’ve thought about it enough to write this post pretty much ensures I’ll lose. Oh well.