March 22, 2010

NCAA Bracket Busted? Misery Deserves Company


There are probably many of you out there in the world-wide blogosphere that were confident that your NCAA bracket would stand the test of time.

You looked at the bracket when came out on Selection Sunday and thought this was going to be a piece of cake. You kept your foot on the pulse of those mid-major opponents and watched all of the conference tournaments. You scoffed at mid-majors like Saint Mary's and Xavier and already penciled in Kansas as the winner for the National Championship game.

Seriously, you were ready....or at least that was the mind-set when 4.78 million entries entered the ESPN Tournament Challenge and now, no-one left has a perfect bracket. Yep...that's right nobody in the ESPN Tournament Challenge is perfect.

Now based on conventional logic you would think someone would have blindly lucked out by picking a perfect bracket up to this point but the odds of that are mind-blowing as it is.

How did we get to this point? Well, upsets always happen like Ohio over Georgetown and there will always be those teams who make a run in the tournament like Cornell. However, Northern Iowa upset of Kansas in the round of 32 pretty much blew most people chances at the perfect bracket.

To note from ESPN statistics, 42.7% of people picked Kansas to win the National Championship and over 90.3% of people picked them to at least appear in the Sweet Sixteen. Those are eye-popping numbers to say the least. (To note, Northern Iowa was picked to make the Sweet 16 at 0.4% of brackets)

So, to put it in plain terms, everyone's bracket pretty much went boom after the Northern Iowa upset. Also the constant media-hyping of the Big East/Kansas as #1/Pac-10 and West Coast Conferences are inferior probably didn't help many people make educated choices in their brackets. There goes the East-Coast Media Machine at it's finest.

For those of you that feel bad about having their bracket torn to shreds, most experts out there didn't fare that much better. 12 ESPN NCAA Men's College Basketball Analysts (who included Digger Phelps, Dick Vitale, Doug Gottlieb and Andy Katz) all picked Kansas to make it to the Final Four.

The crew from ESPN's Around the Horn all picked Kansas as their National Champion except for "Reverend" Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, he went with Kentucky. So cheer up, Amateur Bracketologists, the experts didn't fare that much better either.

In the end, what we learned about the NCAA Tournament is that the Madness of March still can't be quantified in the realm of perfection.

(By the way, most of you are probably wondering, how I'm doing at the moment. Well, I lost in Kansas for the title game but still have 6 teams that can make the elite eight and Kentucky winning it all. You want proof, here is my bracket)

By Ben Chew with No comments

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