I mean, the President only got 11 out of 16 right on the first day, so I guess I don't feel too bad, getting only 10. But he didn't lose any second-round winners, whereas the day's biggest upset was of a team (Illinois) that I had picked into the Elite Eight.
Well, at least that's out of the way. Now I can enjoy the games without worrying about whether I need to get them right or not. I am cooked on day one.
Just two of the tournament's seven Big East teams played on day one. UConn looked terrifying and Villanova looked shaky. (Though anybody who watched that American team play should understand why those who call for the elimination of the mid-major auto-bids are dead wrong. That's what this tournament is all about -- a team like that playing good, solid, fun-to-watch basketball and putting themselves in position to really, truly, accurately believe that they have a chance to win an NCAA tournament game. The upsets and near-upsets in games like that are what this tournament is built on -- why it's the event it is every year. A tournament without the Americans and Cal State-Northridges wouldn't be as cool.)
My picks for today (or, "Teams You Should Run Right Out and Bet Against Now While You Still Have the Chance"):
Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin (though you know which way this blog is rooting)
Oklahoma State over Tennessee (coin flip)
Kansas over North Dakota State (but you have to think about it, right? It's Kansas.)
Utah State over Marquette (UPSET SPECIAL!!!)
Arizona State over Temple (Even though the Pac-10 didn't show much on day one)
Pitt over East Tennessee State (Has ETSU ever seen anyone like DaJuan Blair?)
West Virginia over Dayton (if the game were in Dayton, maybe. But it's in Minnesota)
Missouri over Cornell (to Andy Bernard's chagrin)
Utah over Arizona (too much Keith Van Horn? Oh wait...)
Louisville over Morehead State (MSU will always have this past Tuesday)
USC over Boston College (again with the Pac-10. Why???)
Xavier over Portland State (Xavier is another Elite Eight team -- can't lose two)
Siena over Ohio State (...)
Wake Forest over Cleveland State (though everybody likes the upset here...)
Michigan State over Robert Morris (MSU could get every rebound in the game)
Florida State over Wisconsin (ACC vs. Big Ten? Should be no contest. Should be.)
Syracuse game tips at 12:15. Bedtime looks like at least 12 hours later. Getcha popcorn ready, as a bizarre man once said.