JackSmack: Issue #41 (NCAA Preview)

The end of the Larry Shyatt era? I think I'd call it the Larry Shyatt debacle. Bobby, here's some more names for your list in case I didn't give you enough last week: Billy Tubbs, Mike Jarvis, and Perry Clark. At least our baseball team is kicking butt.

On to some real March Madness, where we'll look at last week's conference tourneys and then take a look at the field of 64.

One of the few I nailed. Duke is the favorite until they lose. They're like the Yankees. Great show put on by N.C. State, though. Virginia, have fun in the NIT. I was pretty much right on with the seeding of the 4 teams that got in, except I thought N.C. State might get a 5 or 6.

Nobody could've picked this one. Mississippi State sweeps through everybody. I couldn't believe it. LSU and South Carolina both made nice runs. I think they seeded everyone in this league accordingly.

Big Ten
What a run by Iowa. It just wasn't enough to get by Ohio State. As for the seeds, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan State are right where I projected them. I thought Ohio State would get a 2 after the tourney, but they got a 4. Wiconsin blows my mind. I still thought this team would get a 3 or 4 seed, and then they get an 8. No way. And Minnesota should be in the dance.

Oklahoma pulled off a great tourney run, and a great win over Kansas. Don't forget last year, though when OU won the Big 12 tourney and then lost early in the dance. I think the seedings are pretty legit for the six that got in, just look out for Mizzou.

The only other tourney I got right. I love Lute Olson come March. I thought Oregon might fall to a 3 or 4, but the worst is Cal. I had them as a 10 or 11 seed, and they get a 6. Oh well.

Here are my beefs for the selection committee that I haven't already stated. No way UConn deserves a 2, no way. No way Notre Dame deserves an 8 or St. Johns a 9. Who did you screw? Butler and Minnesota. Who shouldn't be in? Boston College and Utah.

Alright, before I run through the regions and tell you who I like and don't, I'm going to lay some ground rules:

--This year, it is a crapshoot, and if my brackets blow up, I think most people's will, too.

--Last year, everyone raked me after the 1st 2 rounds, for not getting many upsets right. I'm supposed to believe people picked Utah State, and then Temple and Penn State in the Final 16. I ended up getting 3 of the Final 4, the championship game, and the winner. That means be patient with your picks and mine.

Now, on to the brackets. What scares me is that I have 3 (1) seeds going to the final four, and I have all the (8)'s winning the 8-9 games. The only lower seeded upsets I have in the first round are:

(10) Hawaii over (7) Xavier

(12) Mizzou over (5) Miami (remember a 5 seed goes down every year in the 1st round.)

(11) Southern Illinois over (6) Texas Tech

(10) Pepperdine over (7) Wake Forest

On to the regions:

Not a great bracket. I think Southern Cal can give Duke all kinds of trouble. I like Pitt and Alabama to get to a great Sweet Sixteen matchup. I just don't see much else to look for in this region.

Obviously, and by far, the strongest region, this is a crapshoot inside a crapshoot. I don't think Cinci gets past this weekend. I got Missouri and Ohio State in a toss-up 2nd round game, and in the bottom, I think Gonzaga and Arizona will decide who plays OU.

By far the weakest region, Maryland should roll to the final four. I don't buy UConn, and I got Georgia and N.C. State down low.

I'd say this is the 2nd toughest region. Kansas won't have a cakewalk and with Florida and Illinois at 4 and 5, that's a tough draw. I think the bottom of the bracket is pretty loaded.

My Final 8:

Ohio State-Arizona



My Final 4:




I have a Duke-Maryland final with Duke winning it all.

Like I said though, I could easily see Kansas losing in the second round or right after, I can see Duke running into trouble, even Maryland. The West is the hardest pick, but ‘Zona's always been there for me.

Let's see what unfolds into the Sweet Sixteen after this 1st weekend. Keep up the feedback. Contact me at: jacksmackcu01@yahoo.com.

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