Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Case for the Upset

Albuquerque Regional

(1) Washington vs (16) Montana - Grizzlies are bigger than Huskies. The state of Montana is bigger than the state of Washington. Um, yeah. That's about it.

(8) Pacific vs (9) Pitt - I'd hardly call it an upset if a 9 seed from one of the toughest divisions in the country beats an 8 from a mid-major - even if that 9 seed has played inconsistently and is vastly overrated in the polls.

(5) Georgia Tech vs (12) George Washington - GW beat Maryland 101-92, and Maryland beat Tech 79-71. Seems simple to me. (Of course, you have to avoid the fact that GW lost big to Wake Forest, while the Yellow Jackets lost by only 1 in overtime.)

(4) Louisville vs (13) LA-Lafayette - I would have a hard time betting against a group of Cajuns, especially after living next door to one for a year.

(6) Texas Tech vs (11) UCLA - For as many national championships as Bob Knight has won, everyone only wants to talk about his first-round losses. Hey, I guess we can't rule out another one.

(3) Gonzaga vs (14) Winthrop - Maybe Gonzaga will be really confused by not being the underdog in a tournament game.

(7) West Virginia vs (10) Creighton - 7/10 isn't that far from 8/9. You've got a former Cinderella going up against a team that may have run out of gas in the Big East finals. This one's reasonable.

(2) Wake Forest vs (15) Chattanooga - Chattanooga's another perennial Cinderalla, and Wake isn't the superstar team everyone thought they were in October. Plus, on a personal note, I can't root for Wake because Chris Paul is the name of the principal who decided to close Lorain Catholic.

Chicago Regional

(1) Illinois vs (16) Farleigh Dickinson - Well, if 1/3 of the Illini get distracted by saying "Farleigh Farleigh Farleigh" the whole game, and another 1/3 get distracted by snickering every time they hear "Dickinson," and the final 1/3 get disqualified for accidentally showing up in their orange jerseys, then this one is a cakewalk for Farleigh Dickinson.

(8) Texas vs (9) Nevada - 8/9, Nevada's a former Cinderella, Texas likes to choke in big games no matter what the sport. Doable.

(5) Alabama vs (12) UW-Milwaukee - Alabama is hot, but this is the dreaded 5-12 game, and the Panthers always seem to be a media darling come tourney time.

(4) Boston College vs (13) Penn - BC lost their first game after being outcoached by Notre Dame. Penn is the Ivy League champ. Do you think they'd have trouble outsmarting the Eagles?

(6) LSU vs (11) UAB - UAB went to the Sweet 16 last year, LSU is a team that I haven't heard about all season. My vote's for UAB.

(3) Arizona vs (14) Utah State - Arizona always seems to be a bit rough around the edges to me. You have to go with the Fighting Lane Weavers in this one.

(7) Southern Illinois vs (10) Saint Mary's - Well, which is the tougher converence, the Missouri Valley, or the WCC? And is having a cool nickname enough to make you root against the mother of your Savior?

(2) Oklahoma State vs (15) SE Louisana - If John Lucas II (that's the fomer Cavs coach and father of John III, who's the current OK St. player) can't make this game due to a delayed flight or whatever, this could greatly confuse the Cowboys - perhaps even enough for the loss? I mean, I saw Lucas coach the Cavs. He's carrying Eddie Sutton out there with secret hand signals to the bench. Or something like that.

Syracuse Regional

(1) North Carolina vs (16) Oakland - I got nothing. Really. Unless North Carolina gets confused and flies to Dayton instead of their actual first round site. Even then, it would be close.

(8) Minnesota vs (9) Iowa State - This is a hot bubble team against a school that... well, I know Jon Byrer goes there, and that Janelle McCarville - but niether of them play on the men's basketball team. I gotta go with the Cyclones.

(5) Villanova vs (12) New Mexico - Hey, it's a 5/12. If this game was decided by media vote, New Mexico would probably thrash the vastly underrated Wildcats. Unfortunately, though, I think they're actually going to play this one out and see how it goes.

(4) Florida vs (13) Ohio - Two of the many reasons to go with Ohio: 1. They're MAC-tastic! 2. That whole election thing.

(6) Wisconsin vs (11) Northern Iowa - When I see this matchup, all I can think of is Mike vs. Hannah in a wrestling match, with Meg as the special guest referee. I've wrestled Mike before, and I have to give the edge to Hannah (and therefore UNI) in this one. I'll also avoid any totally inappropriate comments about wrestling Hannah.

(3) Kansas vs (14) Bucknell - Hey, Bucknell beat Pitt. Why can't they beat Kansas.

(7) Charlotte vs (10) NC State - NC State is an ACC team. Charlotte may get confused by not being the underdog. Oh yeah, and that Philip Rivers is awesome!

(2) Connecticut vs (15) Central Florida - Maybe if they had Dante Culpepper. Even then, it's still a maybe.

Austin Regional

(1) Duke vs (16) Delaware St. - Hi, we're in Delaware. And hey, it is a state! Duke only loses if they're forced to forfeit once the tournament committee realizes how ugly Sheldon Williams is.

(8) Stanford vs (9) Mississippi St. - I honestly haven't heard a single thing about either team all year. It's a toss-up.

(5) Michigan St. vs (12) Old Dominion - Old Dominion is a 12 seed with 27 wins. Good enough for me.

(4) Syracuse vs. (13) Vermont - This former Cinderella is 26 in the RPI and held their own against RPI #1 Kansas at the beginning of the year. Look for a lot of the Jim Boeheim Face.

(6) Utah vs. (11) UTEP - Sure, Utah has Bogut and the spread option (oh wait, nevermind), but don't take it from me - just listen to all the "experts" who have UTEP as a big sleeper team.

(3) Oklahoma vs. (14) Niagara - One team had a terrible time winning big games last year. The other hasn't seen the tournament in 35 years and is hungry to play. You decide.

(7) Cincinnati vs. (10) Iowa - I don't know if I'd even call Iowa winning an upset. I saw Cincinnati play this year, and they were very sloppy. A disciplined team coached by a Bob Knight disciple should be able to handle the Bearcats much easier than the Bearcats would handle the new SAT.

(2) Kentucky vs. (15) E. Kentucky - I'm picturing a comical scene where the janitor leaves something sitting in front of the Eastern Kentucky locker room, blocking the word "Eastern" from sight. The Kentucky players walk in, for some reason dress in the EKU uniforms, and unwittingly win the game for the Colonels. Really, that's the only way it's going to happen.

OK, so I lied about the Transaction Wire today. But, there's a new link in the sidebar. Check out Corby's Blog - a blog about the bar itself. You'll notice a familiar Corby's regular has his picture up on the site.