Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---And Then There 24 Edition

Tony is the lone bracketeer to have Richmond in the Sweet Sixteen…on ESPN; just 6.5% of the entrants had that bet. Tony went 7-1 and remains in the lead. Hardy rides solo with all his Elite Eight and Final Four picks alive.

It’s official--- There are 147,573,952,589,676,412,928 different possible brackets with a 68-team field. My combination is ranked #4,219,865.

Many magnificent match-ups today. Looking especially forward to: Syracuse/Marquette, Purdue/VCU…and of course the Duke game following UNC’s opener at 12:15.

With his first rebound today, Duke’s Kyle Singler will become the 10th player in ACC history to accumulate more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Ohio State’s only two losses came at Wisconsin and at Purdue -- two places no visitors won this season.

Kentucky’s young squad gained a ton of experience in their two close, hard fought wins over Princeton and West Virginia. Ohio State had best be ready.

Las Vegas sez: Duke by 11 ½, UNC by 4, Texas by 5 ½, Purdue by 9.

Perhaps it’s a case of my poor eyesight, but I’ll bet I’ve seen at least a dozen traveling violations go uncalled thus far.

If you watch a lot of the Tournament, it is easy to get worn out be the same commercials shown ad infinitum. The McDonald’s ad with Lebron James truly sucks and sucked from the first showing. McDonald’s must think the audience is big time gullible to buy into this pathetic pitch.

It’s not your imagination---timeouts and half times are longer this year. To rake in more dough to pay for the new and inflated contract signed by the geniuses at CBS and Turner, methinks.

During the first two days I am certain Tru-Tv had more new viewers to entice with the promos of their regular programming than usually watch the network…I am just as confident they won’t attract any of those viewers for keeps.

The Visagoth Sports Net pitches from Capital One are inventive and have a high dose of cleverness…don’t know how they’ll wear, but they have more than a couple in rotation.

Rick Pitino’s addition raises the credibility and college basketball knowledge of the Tournament half time shows. He makes more sense and dispenses more meaningful info in his succinct comments than the rest of the foolish pundits combined.

Jim Spanarkel and Mike Gminski are doing a great job in the booth. Hope they are around for the second weekend. Borrowing Len Elmore from ESPN was a good call…pairing him with Gus Johnson is embarrassing. Johnson is a puker.

Over the last four seasons, the Big East has gone 43-29 during March Madness and placed four teams in the Final Four.

Florida Gulf Coast College is considering Florida assistant Richard Pitino to become its head coach.

Never have I cheered as hard for Florida as I did during the final three minutes of their triumph over UCLA. The half-court trap with about a minute and a half to go was a gem. Sidebar: none of our Bracketeers picked UCLA in this game. The other Walker (5’ 8” Erving) had 21 points to lead the Gators.

7.6 million users logged into the coverage of the Tournament on March Madness on Demand on day one.

This year’s 68-team field is the 11th different field size starting from as low eight teams from 1939 to 1950.

Michigan and Memphis share the lead in a dubious Final Four category - each has had two Final Four appearances vacated.

BYU has played in the most tournaments without a Final Four appearance with 25. Missouri is close behind with 24, followed by Xavier with 21.

There are 20 coaches in the field this year that have taken a team, not necessarily their current team, to the Final Four.

San Diego State was fortunate to get by Temple. They started “burning clock” with seven minutes remaining and merely a two-possession lead. Usually when teams start playing not to lose that early, they lose. Temple’s Juan Fernandez looks about 12 years old…but he can sure play.

The Butler/Pitt game was as well played and hard fought as any I have seen this season. Good thing Butler has more than a day off before the Sweet Sixteen. I appreciated Mike Gminski’s comment that the calls the refs miss are the no-calls…they get the calls they make correctly in the overwhelming majority.

In the main, my vast array of incorrect picks are due to over-estimating a team…in the case of Wisconsin, it’s because I simply under-estimated the Badgers.

Kemba Walker did it again. He’s a big game player, and Jim Calhoun’s not a bad coach.

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