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My favorite time of year, sports wise!! I like the Illini, because they'll basically have home court advantage throughout the tournament!!! North Carolina could give them some problems with their big men, but I think the team play of the Illini, and the motion offense Bruce Weber set up will suit them well! And Dee Brown is the one man fast break...all we need is for Deron Williams to show up and shoot well!!

My Pick: The Illini.

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Originally posted by kurt

Okay, it's time; anyone feeling lucky? How about the Grand Prognisticator? Any forecasts?

Hey that's the GREAT Prognosticator, pal. I'm not a piano. [:D]

It too early for anything but picking your own favorite, we don't even have brackets yet. No matter how good a team is, the brackets are important. We still have the big conference tournaments to go.

Brian G.

The Great Prognosticator [:-basketb

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Michigan State has a good coach, and a good team...but the Illini went Michigan, and beat them on their home court. The Spartans have to come here to Illinois, this time...I have a difficult time believing the outcome will be any different. A good game, yes...the win-no different. Plus, the Illini have more depth, and a better defense. The Big Ten tourney starts tomorrow, though, and all should soon right itself in the basketball world! Either way, it's still the best time of year, sports wise!! Go Illini!!

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Well all of the dance cards have been punched and the music will start next weekend. I'll find time tomorrow to go over the brackets, but first...

It seems the basketball gods have a twisted sense of humor. My beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs (a 9 seed) will be playing the right and honorable Douglas Hansen's Stanford Cardinal team (an 8 seed) in the very first round (Friday in Charlotte, NC). 64 teams in it and they have each other right off the bat. That stinks. Oh well, I sense a wager in the offing, perhaps a large steak in Fort Lauderdale.

As slow as it's been, I pray no one calls with an inspection that can only be done on Friday. I'd have to take it.

Brian G.

Polishing Up My Dancing Shoes and My Crystal Ball

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Originally posted by Gordon

I have Miss. St. beating Stanford in my bracket. Hope that makes you feel better!!!

I see that game as a 100% toss up. Either team could win or lose, narrowly or big. Oy!

Douglas and I just agreed on a dinner wager to be collected in Ft. Lauderdale. If I lose I'm taking him to Mickey D's. [:D][:-dev3][:D]

Good luck with your brackets Gordon. If you get a chance post your picks, particularly the upsets. I'll have mine in here before tomorrow.

Brian G.

Got My Dancing Shoes On [:-basketb

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Okay boys and girls, here we go. Like last year I'm not picking any 1, 2, or 3 seed games, there's no fun in that. 4 vs. 13 is as uneven as I'll call. First round...

Taking the Favorites:

Alabama over Mil-Wisconsin

Boston C. over Penn

LSU over Ala-Birmingham

Pacific over Pitt

Georgia Tech over G.W.

Louisville over Lou-Lafyette

Texas Tech over UCLA

West Vir. over Creighton

Minnesota over Iowa State

Villinova over New Mexico

Wisconsin over N. Iowa

Utah over UTEP

The favorites are the favorites for a reason y'know.

The Upsets

Nevada over Texas

St. Mary's over S. Illinois

N.C. State over Charlotte

MS State over Stanford

Old Dominion over Michigan State

Iowa over Cincinnati

I could be anything from a genius to an idiot with these picks. Frankly, if you took out the 6 or 8 best teams ALL of the games would be dang near a coin flip (on paper).

Beyond the First Round:

The first 1 seed out...Washington.

Duke will be the 2nd 1 seed out, falling to Syracuse in a great one (Rnd 3).

Sweet Sixteen surprise...Pacific

SEC sleeper...LSU, who will knock off Arizona in Round 2

One complaint:

Can we PLEASE get rid of the stupid play-in game? I think it's absolutely cruel to have the bottom 2 teams play for the 64th spot. It's like having 2 gladiators fight to the death, with the winner being awarded the right to come back in a few days to take on a tiger bare-handed. Whoope. Just pick one of the 2 teams, and let the other go to the NIT.

The Great Prognosticator has spoken!

Brian G.

The G.P. and General S.O.B.

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This is posted @ 9am, before the games start. I took a vacation day so I could stay home & watch the games all day (yes, I really am a basketball junkie!!). I wanted to take another one tomorrow, but that day is taken already.

Going with the same philosophy as Brian, I picked mostly higher seeds, & picked some of the battle hardened conferences on the east coast to go far-though I did get some looks at the upsets I chose. However, I agree the play-in game is stupid. The teams that played each other won their conference tournament and should be in the field of 64 automatically. If they wanted to have play-in games they should expand it for the bubble teams only. Give them a one game playoff basically, then seed them in the field.

Now...who really had Oakland beating Alabama A&M? My sheet is screwed already!! On to the first round:

Illinois; Nevada; Alabama; BC; LSU; AZ; SIU (yes, I picked them, though it was hard. I've seen quite alot of how they play); Ok. St.

Wash; Pitt; G. Tech; L'Ville; UCLA; Zags; Creighton (same conference as SIU, again, seeing their style of play); Wake Forest.

NC; Minn; Villanova; Florida (I had a hard time not picking Flo to go far-but their next opponent is NC, & the ACC & Big East are the strongest conferences in the country right now); Wis; KU; NC State; UConn.

Duke; Miss. St.; Old Dom; Syr; Utah; Okl; Cinc; Kent.

Brian, I picked Miss. St. over Stanford, because perennially, Stanford doesn't do well in the tournament. I have Duke & Washington bowing out in the 3rd round. I'll post my 2nd round picks before those games start, and try not to wimper at the picks I don't have left!!

Let the Madness Commence!!

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Hey guys,

Its the new guy here, and dare I say a super UK fan. Although they are not very impressive this year. I just wanted to ask a question. I am not a UOfL fan,but can anyone tell me how a team can be ranked in some polls as high as 4th in the country, win their conference, and get a #4 seed in the playoffs. Oh well,Go BIG BLUE WILDCATS. Although, depending on the team that Cincy brings, that could be our last game. I've seen Cincy put it on UOFL pretty bad before. Thay are just so damn inconsistant, never know what team your gonna get. But man they looked great today. Scary to a UofK fan.

T.

a

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Originally posted by kurt

I seemed to have missed Illinois being named anywhere(?).

Who? [:D] Just kidding.

Illinois is a #1 seed. I didn't pick any of those games because they're a lock in the first round. 16 seeds are 0 - 80 coming into this tournament. I'll start picking everything next round.

You may notice I don't have them as either of the first two 1 seeds out, if that helps.

Gordon,

I think the whole idea of filling out the entire set of brackets before the tournament even starts is NUTS. Don't get sucked into that, hell it's hard enough from one round to the next. Take 'em one round at a time. [:-basketb

Brian G.

Bama Done Let Me down Already!! [:-crazy]

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Originally posted by Brian G.

At the end of day 1

Favorites:

Alabama over Mil-Wisconsin wrong

Boston C. over Penn rightid="blue">

LSU over Ala-Birmingham wrong

Pacific over Pitt rightid="blue">

Texas Tech over UCLA rightid="blue">

West Vir. over Creighton rightid="blue">

Utah over UTEP rightid="blue">

Upsets:

Nevada over Texas rightid="blue">

Iowa over Cincinnati wrong

Beyond the First Round:

SEC sleeper...LSU

Wrong. My big disappointment of the day. LSU left their brains in the locker room, and gave UAB more help than they needed. Few teams could hope to squander a big interior advantage as completely as LSU did.

6 - 4 counting the LSU thing, 6-3 without it. Not too bad for the first day. Lots of teams with 1st round jitters today, even heavy favorite Illinois had to work for it.

For my Irish friends who don't really have a team with Notre Dame absent, let me recommend Gonzaga. A scrappy team with a very good 6' 8" player named Adam Morrison. The lad can shoot the rock.

Brian G.

Come On Bulldawgs! [:-dog]

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Here's how bad my bracket is. Yes...I'm 23-10 (if you count the play-in game loss). Yes, some of the upsets I picked came through (how do you like Miss. St. crushing Stanford in the 2nd half, Brian?), but some of them didn't. 23-10 isn't a bad record. However...the rest of my sheet is good for nothing but starting fires!! With Syracuse out now, one of my eventual teams to play for it all on April 4th is gone!! Unbelievable!!! But let's here it for Vermont and Bucknell!!! It doesn't get any better than this!!! What a great time of year to be a basketball fan!

Question: does anyone else scream at the T.V.? Either when others are with you, or alone? Hmmm...just wondering...(not that I do that myself, mind you...just taking an "unsolicited poll").

Now for the 2nd round:

Ill; I had BC facing off & winning against Alabama, so that's shot. But I'm still picking BC. AZ; OK. St.

Wash over Pacific (I had Pitt beating Pacific, but still picking Wash); G. Tech; Zags over Texas Tech. (with Bobby Knight's history lately in the tournament, I picked UCLA to win, but now sticking with the Zags. That kid Morrison is a stud on the court!); Wake Forest over W. Virginia (Creighton would have had the game, if not for a stupid last minute turnover).

NC over Iowa St.; Flo over Villanova; Wisconsin over Bucknell (glad I didn't pick KU to go to the Final Four); UConn over NC. St.

Duke over Miss. St. (sorry Brian-the dream has to come to and end); both of my next two picks lost, Old Dom and Syr. So I'll have to "improvise" on this one. With the tournament experience that Izzo has at Mich. St., and now that they can hit free throws again, I'm going to lean with MSU over Vermont, but what a great story that would be (and already is) if the Catamounts could pull another win out for their coach who's retiring after this season; Utah over Oklahoma; Kentucky over Cincinnati.

And there you have it. I controlled my whining about my sheet as much as I can!!! But you should have heard me earlier, when Syracuse lost!!! (they're out...they're out...they're out...)

What a great time!

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Day 2

Favorites:

Georgia Tech over G.W. rightid="blue">

Louisville over Lou-Lafyette rightid="blue">

Minnesota over Iowa State wrong

Villinova over New Mexico rightid="blue">

Wisconsin over N. Iowa rightid="blue">

Upsets

St. Mary's over S. Illinois wrong

N.C. State over Charlotte rightid="blue">

MS State over Stanford rightid="blue">

Old Dominion over Michigan State wrong

That makes me 13id="blue"> - 7 in the first round games, pretty darn good overall. I'm a happy prognosticator. Speaking of which...

What about them DAWGSid="maroon"> boys?!!! I've seen about a dozen of their games this year, and they've not had a better all-around performance than this game. Poor Stanford got out of sync and never really recovered. Roberts was terrific (as usual), Campbell and Frazier came up big, the guards didn't screw it up...what a night!


Round 2

The Favorites:

Illinois over Nevada

Boston College over Mil- Wisconsin

OK State over So. Illinois

Louisville over Geo. Tech

Gonzaga over Tex Tech

Wake Forest over W. Virginia

N. Carolina over Iowa St.

Florida over Villinova

Wisconsin over Bucknell

Oklahoma over Utah

Kentucky over Cinncinati

The Upsets

UAB over Arizona

Pacific over Washington

N.C. State over UConn

Vermont over Mich. St.

Mississippi St. over Duke

About that last one...

I may never get the chance to even see State play Duke again. Duke didn't look very sharp, State did, and if by some wild, 10,000 to 1 chance State were to beat 'em and I had picked against 'em...well I can't allow for the possiblity. Gotta go with my dawgs here.

Brian G.

Beware the Dawgs [:-dog]

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Good luck Brian! It would be nice to see the Dukies toppled early, but Coach K and his team have too much tournament experience for me to pick against them today. Now mind you, I had the same feeling with Jim Boeheim at Syracuse, so I could be blowing smoke here!! I'm just glad Illinois didn't lose their first round game, and would be the first time a #1 seed lost to a #16 seed!!! Kind of a glass is half empty and full in that position!

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Day 3

The Favorites:

Illinois over Nevada rightid="blue">

Boston College over Mil- Wisconsin wrong

Gonzaga over Tex Tech wrong

Wake Forest over W. Virginia wrong

Oklahoma over Utah wrong

Kentucky over Cinncinati rightid="blue">

The Upsets

UAB over Arizona wrong

Pacific over Washington wrong

Well I really stank the place up today. [:-crazy]

Hell I coulda throw darts at a frickin' board and done better most days. Ecchhh! I went from 13id="blue"> - 7 to 15id="blue"> - 13 in one day.

How about this nutty tournament though, eh boys? Ain't this fun?! Gee, I'm sooooo glad we don't have anything like this for college football, that would be just AWFUL, wouldn't it?

Great games between Kentucky and Cincinnati & West Virginia and Wake Forest, fantastic stuff! I thought Wake was gonna come through for me until Chris Paul fouled out...at that point I knew they were done.

Brian G.

Praying for Redemption on Sunday [:-angel]

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