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The Big Dance 2006


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I'm still grouping the poop, but if anyone wants a printable bracket you can actually read, try this one.

http://cbs.sportsline.com/collegebasket ... ntable_men

Feel free to jump into this thread with anything you have to say about the tournament, teams, predictions, whatever.

I have to say the Big East laid a major egg in the first round. Man, so much depends on how you're playing NOW, no matter what you did all year long.

The SEC is off to a great start (undefeated at 4 - 0), with only Kentucky and Arkansas left to play in round one.

#3 Gonzaga almost went down to #14 Xavier, and we would have lost Jimmy's 43rd cousin, Adam Morrison, out of the tournament. That would have been tragic on the eve of St. Patrick's day. [:-clover] [:P]

Predictions start tomorrow.

Brian G.

The G.P. Is in the House [:-hspin]

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Alrighty, here we go. These are mostly favorites, which should be no surprise in the frist round. I also confess to taking the remaining SEC teams as a pure "homer", even though the last two are not particularly strong this year (Arkansas & Kentucky). I do have a few upsets (guessing my butt off), because there will be more upsets.

West Virginia over Southern Illinois

Iowa over Northwestern State

N.C. State over California (upset)

Texas over Penn

Memphis over Oral Roberts (no nasty jokes now boys)

Arkansas over Bucknell

Pitt over Kent State

Kansas over Bradley

UConn over Albany

Kentucky over UAB (could easily go the other way)

Michigan State over George Mason

North Carolina over Murray State

Villinova over Monmouth

Wisconsin over Arizona (upset)

Northern Iowa over Georgetown (upset)

Ohio State over Davidson

So there! May the blind luck be with me. If I don't do well with this batch I'm getting out Jake's dart board for help. [:-blindfo

On the network news last night they said the total lost productivity over the life of the tournament was estimated at 4 billion dollars. [:-bigeyes

Brian G.

I Only Want 1 Million of It, Just 1 [:-indiffe

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Originally posted by Brian G.

West Virginia over Southern Illinois (right)

N.C. State over California (upset) (right)

Texas over Penn (right)

Memphis over Oral Roberts (right)

Pitt over Kent State (right)

UConn over Albany (right)

Kentucky over UAB (right)

North Carolina over Murray State (right)

Ohio State over Davidson (right)

Villinova over Monmouth (right)

Wisconsin over Arizona (upset) (wrong)

Northern Iowa over Georgetown (upset) (wrong)

Iowa over Northwestern State (wrong)

Arkansas over Bucknell (wrong)

Kansas over Bradley (wrong)

Michigan State over George Mason (wrong)

Total: 10 - 6

*sigh* What is it with these teams? Don't they know I've picked them? [;)]

Wisconsin never showed up, Northern Iowa had it until they went stone cold in the last five minutes, Northwestern State killed me with a long buzzer-beater (0.5 seconds on the clock), Arkansas I knew to be weak (but you don't want to play them next year), Kansas just got outplayed, and Michigan State did too. Oy.

Scare of the day goes to gutsy Albany, who gave # 1 Connecticut all kinds of problems. For a while it looked like the first 16 to beat a 1 might happen. Honorable mention to # 15 Davidson for pushing # 2 Ohio State to the wall.

Hey what is this, nobody out there has a team? Or a pick?

Brian G.

Prognosticating Without a Clue [:-boggled

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Okie-dokie, next round.

Duke over George Washington

LSU over Texas A&M

West Virginia over NW State

N.C. State over Texas (upset)

Bucknell over Memphis (upset)

Pitt over Bradley

Indiana over Gonzaga (upset)

UCLA over Alabama

Connecticut over Kent

Illinois over Washington

North Carolina over George Mason

Tennessee over Wichita State (tight)

Villinova over Arizona

Boston College over Montana

Florida over Mil-Wisconsin

Ohio State over Georgetown

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I still haven't even seen a few of these teams. Duke you don't pick against, LSU looks strong, I doubt if NW State has another miracle in it's pocket, N.C. State looks underated, Bucknell is loaded with seniors who were here last year, Pitt is solid, Indiana is on the upswing, Alabama needed 30-something points from a 9-point-per-game guy to win the first game, Kent can't take Connecticut, Illinois I have to pick to stay married, North Carolina/Tennessee/Villinova/Boston College were all picked on a conference strength basis, and Ohio State is a raw guess.

Such is the precise science of picking winners. [:-dunce]

Brian G.

My Guess is as Good as Yours [^]

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Just curious. Has anyone ever made book off of Brian's predictions. I don't know anything about sports and such, but it looks like if you were to bet on every one of his predictions you'd have some losses but would come out ahead most of the time.

How do you do that Oh Great Prognosticator?

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Duke over George Washington (right)

LSU over Texas A&M (right)

West Virginia over NW State (right)

Villinova over Arizona (right)

Boston College over Montana (right)

Florida over Mil-Wisconsin (right)

UCLA over Alabama (right)

Connecticut over Kent (right)

N.C. State over Texas (upset) (wrong)

Bucknell over Memphis (upset) (wrong)

Pitt over Bradley (wrong)

Indiana over Gonzaga (upset) (wrong)

Illinois over Washington (wrong)

North Carolina over George Mason (wrong)

Tennessee over Wichita State (tight) (wrong)

Ohio State over Georgetown (wrong)

total 18 - 14

Well the blind guessing caught up with me, and I split this batch right down the middle. Assorted thoughts:

The upsets continue and no one is safe.

What happened to the Big 10 teams??? They all let me down.

The SEC is down to the two teams with real power, Florida and LSU (in that order). Unfortunately LSU gets Duke next. Florida could go Final Four, with any luck at all.

Gonzaga rebounded very well. They looked weak and 1-horse dependent (Adam Morrison) in the first game, but this time it was a far better team effort.

The team all of the other teams should be afraid to play right now: Memphis. I took a flyer against them with an experienced team, but they're gonna be a huge problem for anyone and everyone. They run like hell the whole game, they're quick on offense and defense, they have no fear, and they're deep. Unless they hit a cold shooting game, they're going Final Four for sure and could win it all.

Mike, the way betting works you have to figure in the point spread the odds makers are using. I've never tried it myself...I'm afraid I'd get too many right early on and be sucked in. Some years I've seen most of the teams and have a good idea of who's got what, but not this year. I wouldn't advise anyone to bet these picks, unless they can afford to lose.

It's still a great tournament, and I'm enjoying it. From here things really begin to tighten down fast; pressure, pressure, pressure.

Brian G.

I'm A-Pickin', and I'm A-Grinnin' [:-cowboy] [:-basketb

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I couldn't be happier to be wrong about LSU. They played thier best game so far at a very good time, and Duke gave them more than enough help. They get the winner of West Virginia vs. Texas.

No shock about Memphis. They'll have the winner of Gonzaga vs. UCLA next. I'll take Memphis right now, either way.

I'll also take:

Texas over West Virginia

Gonzaga over Washington

Brian G.

Soaking It Up! [:-party]

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Texas looked good for the first half against West Virginia, but WV came roaring back in the second half - raining 3-pointers. WV tied it up with 5 seconds to play but Paulino managed to get off a 3-pointer with .8 seconds to play. Texas 74, West Virginia 71. Whew!

LSU is going to be tough. I make no predictions.

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Originally posted by Paul MacLean

LSU is going to be tough. I make no predictions.

Chicken! [:-dev3]

Those were two wild finishes last night in the late games. I couldn't believe Gonzaga blew it the way they did. They led the entire game (by as much as 17!), were up by 9 with 3 minutes left, and never scored again to lose by 2. What's a poor prognosticator to do? Knotheads!

Oh well, I'm still tickled that LSU found thier focus and stayed alive. I think it's a toss-up between them and Texas, so I gotta take my SEC boys and pray.

Brian G.

More Tonight [:-basketb

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Okay, here's tonight's batch.

Connecticut over Washington

George Mason over Wichita State

Boston College over Villanova

Florida over Georgetown

I've been dancing around it, but I'll go ahead and take a longshot pick for Memphis to win it all. Nobody left is gonna beat Memphis unless Memphis helps them do it.

Brian G.

Pickin' on Memphis [^]

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Okay, time to tidy up and tally up from this round.

Memphis over Bradley (right)

Texas over West Virginia (right)

Connecticut over Washington (right)

George Mason over Wichita State (right)

Florida over Georgetown (right)

Duke over LSU (wrong)

Gonzaga over Washington (wrong)

Boston College over Villanova (wrong)

Total: 23 - 17

On-going trend: The come-from-ahead losses continued with a really ugly one from Boston College. They coulda won, they shoulda won, but they didn't win. *sigh* I will say that was the worst officiated game of the tournament thus far, but B.C. had a meltdown in the last few minutes of regulation and couldn't score for squat. I actually took heart that both of my picks in the late games were a little behind at the half...and damned if they both didn't win.

Connecticut gets the ugliest win of the tournament award so far, no question. 26 turn-overs in a Sweet Sixteen game, and they still won. Yuck!

The rest of the weekend:

LSU over Texas

This could easily go either way, I'm just taking my SEC boys so I can enjoy the game more.

Memphis over UCLA

As I've already said, I like the Tigers to go all the way. UCLA hasn't been very impressive anyway. Probably the widest margin of victory for the rest of the weekend (double-digits?).

George Mason over Connecticut

I can't help rooting for these guys now. They've come so far after being poo-pooed for even getting in. Besides, look at how Connecticut is playing.

Florida over Villanova

Florida finally got a tough game from someone (Georgetown), and they survived. I think that's a good thing for them. Villanova has been almost as unimpressive as Connecticut, and I gots to go with the other SEC team here.

A tad of crowing (forgive me):

My beloved SEC has 2 of the remaining 8 teams, and may well be half of the Final Four by Sunday night. An all-SEC final is unlikely, but possible.

Brian G.

The Great Prognosticator Is Enjoying The Dance [:-party]

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I just watch what they give me (the local cable company & CBS affilliate), along with highlights from the ever popular SportsCenter. I like the way they staggered the games Thursday night. We got to see the end of all four games and various parts in between. It's really narrowing down now. I hope to see all of every remaining game.

Brian G.

The G.P. Watcheth [:-bigeyes

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You gotta be kidding me!? The red-hot Tigers went stone cold and stupid for an entire game. Well, I said Memphis would have to help whoever beat them, and boy did they ever. 2 for 15 from the 3 point line, and both of the 2 were under 15 seconds to go in the game. Turnovers by the boatload, bad passes, missed shots...hell I can remember at least half a dozen missed lay-ups!

On the up-side, this is very good news for LSU. Memphis is out and UCLA still looks unimpressive. LSU has an open path to the championship game if they don't fall apart.

LSU - Texas was pretty much as expected, a tough game the whole way. I don't know what happened to Texas in the first few minutes of overtime, but they made a flurry of mistakes that wound up costing them any real shot at winning. "Big Baby" Davis was terrific for LSU. Amazingly quick hands and feet for a 300+ pound man.

Lordy, if Florida can just get it done now...

Brian G.

Bring on Tomorrow [:-jump2][:-jump][:-jump2]

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Originally posted by Brian G.

LSU - Texas was pretty much as expected, a tough game the whole way. I don't know what happened to Texas in the first few minutes of overtime, but they made a flurry of mistakes that wound up costing them any real shot at winning. "Big Baby" Davis was terrific for LSU. Amazingly quick hands and feet for a 300+ pound man.

Brian G.

Bring on Tomorrow [:-jump2][:-jump][:-jump2]

OUCH![:-crazy]

That drought in overtime has plagued Texas a couple times this year, I was hoping it wouldn't happen again. I think the better team won - I might even feel better if LSU goes all the way.

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Updating....

LSU over Texas (right)

George Mason over Connecticut (right)

Florida over Villanova (right)

Memphis over UCLA (wrong)

Total 26 - 18

3 out of 4 for the GP in that round, undone only by an inexplicable meltdown by the hottest team in the tournament...go figure.

And so it is that the SEC is half of the Final Four, and may own the championship game. If these teams were playing the next round on Tuesday night I would feel very, very good about it. UCLA isn't playing well at all, and George Mason has been swimming against the current since the opening round. But as Memphis has proven, you never know (especially with a week off).

Florida over George Mason

G.M. at least has played well to get here. You gotta give it those guys, they don't give up, but if UConn had been on thier game it would have gone the other way. Florida, on the other hand, is also playing well, and has better overall talent and more size than G.M. does. For G.M. to win this next game Florida will have to cool off during the week and G.M. will have to stay hot. I don't think it'll happen.

LSU over UCLA

LSU has been pretty good all tournament, but really took it up a few notches in the Duke game (and since). UCLA has been ugly with a capital U. Unless LSU comes in cold and UCLA comes in hot, I can only see one outcome here.

If this pans out I'm gonna have to think long and hard about the final. We'll see.

Brian G.

Can't Wait

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As predicted by the Great Prognosticator, Florida has removed Cinderella's slipper. But first things first...

A big tip of the cap to George Mason for the terrific run they had in this tournament. They barely got in, people who didn't quite make it complained, but in the end the pick was more than justified. They had help from other teams who didn't play up to thier own talent level, but they were right there to take full advantage. They played hard, they played smart, and they played from buzzer to buzzer every time. Kudos gentlemen, kudos all around.

Florida just continues to play well and fully up to thier talent level. They already had the largest average margin of victory in the tournament, and added to that with a 15 point win tonight. They won inside and outside with help from the supporting cast, like Horford and Humphrey, and the usual solid play from the stars.

If it's Florida - LSU in the final, that could be a helluva game.

Brian G.

Gueax LSU! [:-tiger]

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Wow, what a difference a week can make. LSU played thier worst game of the tourney and UCLA played thier best by far. The way they came out throwing up long jumpers (and missing) you would think LSU didn't know what kind of team they were. The big horses never got out of the gate and it was practically over at halftime.

UCLA was smart in the way they handled Big Baby Davis (who the idiot announcer kept calling "Big Daddy"). When he got the ball down low they went after him hard, foul him or not, just don't let him score. He got frustrated and started missing. He also got tired; what did he do last night?

Oh well, it's a big win for UCLA and LSU will be right back next year if they can keep the underclassmen in the fold. Yeah, good luck.

So...

Current total: 27 - 19 Only 1 left.

No surprize, I'm sure.

Florida over UCLA for the championship

Florida has been the most consistant team in the tournament and has beaten all comers handily. They're deep and loaded with talent, they play inside and out, good on offense and defense, and they have the tourney MVP-to-be in Noah. The only way they lose is for UCLA to play yet an even better game and Florida to have a significant breakdown. It could happen, but the odds are against it.

Brian G.

The Last Gasp of the GP (until football baby!)

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And so it ends. Florida brings the championship back to the SEC after an 8 year dry spell (I think that's right). UCLA couldn't get one of thier patented ugly wins against the razor-sharp Gators, who played as well tonight as any game all tournament. UCLA's best game was Saturday night against LSU, but they slid back to ugly-ball again. Noah as MVP was probably the easiest prediction of the whole thing.

The GP finishes at 28 - 19, which isn't bad considering my ignorance at the beginning.

So now we fade to the laidback summer sports of baseball and golf, and wait for fall to bring some excitement back once again. May the Yankees miss the playoffs and Barry Bonds go down to a career-ending injury tomorrow.

[:-jump][:-jump2][:-jump]

Brian G.

Summer Has Officially Arrived For Sports Fans [:-indiffe

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Yeah, that was a yawner. I could hear UCLA clunking the rim in Chicago. I was hoping for a reasonably exciting game, but no.

Thanks, o' Powerful Grand Prognosticator (or is that Prog-Nasty-cator?) for these predictions. Until next tournament time, keep your powder dry...

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