How We Faired, Thoughts on Who Will Win and Possible Upsets

Official Bracketologist Results for 2011

First I’d like to talk about bracketology. Obviously we were very surprised with the results of the selection. The two teams almost everyone had wrong were UAB and VCU. I did miss USC, but that didn’t surprise me as I was debating them as the very last team out. Over at Bracketproject and the Bracket Matrix, they keep a tab on all the versions of bracketology throughout the country. For the last several years they have also scored the brackets. This year there were 90 bracketologists across the country, and our bracket here at 5 Borough Sports finish 26th of 90. Also we finished tied for 14th of 90 in seeding correctly.

UAB Shouldn't Be Dancing

I consider this to be decently successful considering all the absolute mess ups by the selection committee. I finished with the average amount of field misses, 3. That’s not surprising and many of the bracketologists that finished better stupidly thought that UAB and VCU deserved to be there. I think our job seeding the teams was quite well done, and most of our misses there are topics of much debate for their inaccuracy.

We are satisfied with the results of our projections, particularly because there was alot of research done and it I believe with all my being that our bracket was much like it should have been.

With that said we can now move on to the actual field.

I’d like to take this moment and agree with my cohort, eastsideryno. GUS JOHNSON IS THE MAN. March Madness is made so much better with him, and he is the best of some great announcers. I would like to take this time to shout out to my other two favorites Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery. Jim Nantz’s sweet voice caries us right through one of the world’s greatest events, the Masters in April. Bill Raftery should announce with Gus Johnson every game, between those two they could make me get so excited and laugh enough in one broadcast to last me the rest of my life.

Here’s a really funny clip combining Gus and Bill, putting their call of a Gonzaga upset a few years ago over the thrilling US World Cup victory in soccer this year. And tell me you wouldn’t watch soccer with these two?

Finally lets go onto the bracket and look at some potential upsets in the first round. I won’t include upsets that are 10 or 9’s winning.

Belmont over Wisconsin- Perhaps the most popular cindarella coming into the tournament, Belmont is an up-tempo team that forces alot of turnovers. Pretty much the exact opposite of Wisconsin. I like this matchup exactly for that reason and I give Belmont a 45% chance at winning this game. Wisconsin is a good team, but this is a bad draw.

Richmond over Vanderbilt- I love to pick Vanderbilt to get upset in the first round, basically because they almost always are. Richmond is a solid team that deserved a better seed than this and I give them a very good shot at upsetting Vandy. 60% chance Richmond gets it done.

Missouri over Cincinnati- This is probably stretching it, but Missouri isn’t as bad as an 11 seed, and I’ve thought Cincinnati was a bit overrated all year. Easy pick for an upset. I give Missouri a 70% chance to pull it off.

Morehead State over Louisville– Morehead State has the greatest rebounder in the history of college basketball. That’s right forever. Compared to Dennis Rodman, and only standing at 6-8, Kenneth Faried is a man. My only problem with this one is, the rest of the Morehead State club isn’t going to kill you. Louisville has been playing well lately and they matchup pretty good with Morehead State. I give them a 30% chance at the upset.

Wofford over BYU- This is my special. If you’ve ever seen Wofford play, then you know they are well coached. The Terriers gave Wisconsin everything they could handle last year, and this Wofford team is just as good, if not better. BYU has struggled since losing Davies, and this game is prime for the biggest upset of the tournament. I’m not overly confident or anything here, but I like this one. Wofford has beaten George Mason, and played alot of other good teams down to the wire this year, including a multi overtime thriller with Xavier. I give the Terriers a 45% chance at getting it done.

Oakland over Texas- Everyone likes Oakland, but they didn’t get the best matchup here. Texas is a very strong defensive team and that doesn’t play well to the clear strength of Oakland, their offense. I expect a good game here but I don’t love the matchup. If Oakland gets hot and Texas pulls another second half gaffe then they can get upset, but I don’t have as high of expectations here. Oakland I give a 35% chance.

Finally lets pick the play in games.

UNC Asheville over Arkansas Little Rock

Texas-San Antonio over Alabama State

USC over VCU- The Trojans are playing well and give VCU a tough matchup, as they can bang inside and also get hot from the outside. USC plays up to competition and are playing better now. I though USC was rightfully much more deserving of a bid, and I give them a very legitimate shot at upsetting Georgetown if they get past VCU. VCU and USC both want to prove they belong and look for it to be a good battle down to the end.

Clemson over UAB- The Tigers are also hot right now and haven’t played a game all year that they weren’t in it down to the wire. Clemson has an advantage inside, and look for Brad Brownell to try and exploit it, while attempting to continue their “40 minutes of hell” defense, so coined by Reggie Jackson last week. If the Tigers advance they’d face West Virginia, in an interesting matchup, where I’m sure they’d give them a run for their money like they have so many others this year.

Check back for our official bracket predictions soon, as I and eastsideryno will reveal our predictions for the upcoming Madness.

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