Monday, March 30, 2009

There's a 99.76% Chance....

....My 2009 NCAA basketball bracket is better than yours. Check it out over at ESPN.com. I'm currently ranked 11,102 over there, but with around 4.6 million brackets on the site, that puts me in the 99.76 percentile. If I would have written this post yesterday, it would have been 99.92%, but those Spartans foiled my plans today of having a perfect final 4 to match my perfect Elite 8. I'm bound to drop a few more spots after the MSU-UCONN game is played, but for now I'm just enjoying my time near the top. This is definitely the best bracket I've ever had, with the only one I remember coming close was when I picked North Carolina over Illinois correctly in 2005...but everything else about it pretty much sucked.

The funny thing here is I watched very little college basketball this year, probably the least in about 10-12 years. So here was my strategy for filling out my bracket....

- The first step is drink a few beers. It worked awesome in 2005 while I was on Spring Break, so I tried it again this year when I filled it out after going out for St. Patrick's day. You don't want to drink so many that you make stupid picks, but enough that you have the guts to pick some upsets.

- I came into it with these thoughts
North Carolina seems to be the best team, but the rest of the ACC is a little overrated
The Big East is amazing and worth the high seeds
The Big 12 is underrated, but not as good as the Big East
The Big Ten will do what they usually do
The Pac-10 is a tier below the other above conferences
The SEC sucks
Pittsburgh always chokes
Butler is always overrated
Gonzaga is probably overrated
Western Kentucky is good

- These thoughts led to me not picking any SEC or Pac-10 teams for the sweet 16, and I was a little friendlier than I needed to be to the Big East and ACC, putting FSU and West Virginia in there. I did a bad job with the Big Ten teams in the first round, but the middle of the pack ones are always hard to predict. Western Kentucky was only a second away from knocking off Gonzaga, who went on to get crushed by North Carolina

- For the Elite 8 picks, I dropped in all the #1s, took the best Big Ten team over the 7th best Big East team, took a good Big East team over an ACC team, and took the best Big 12 team over a lower level Big East team. The tough one for me was Missouri-Memphis, but after looking at Memphis' schedule, I realized they may have been the biggest overrated sham in tournament history, by having really only one good win, and it was over a non-power conference team. To the right is Memphis DOMINATING conference rival UTEP. Mizzou proved me right and I was there in person to see it.

- Michigan State surprised me today, but UCONN was an easy pick over Missouri, North Carolina was my champ pick, and I applied the Pittsburgh always chokes rule and took Villanova.

I guess we'll see how the rest turns out. But from now on, I'm never filling out a bracket without being at least a little tipsy and thinking about conference strength before anything else.

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