Yes, I know I just did an entry about this not too long as a Thursday Throwback entry. That was before the Tourney started though. Once the games started going it was an entirely different animal. That entry was really more of a reflection of what March Madness has been to me. This one deals with how great it has been this year. Rather interesting considering that I didn't think this would be one of the better Tourneys before things got started.
I remarked that I hadn't filled out an office pool bracket in years. Now that I think back on it, that's not entirely true. I just remembered that I did one last year. The reason I had forgotten about it was because I didn't come anywhere close to winning. I don't even think I picked the winning school. Therefore, I probably blocked out the fact that I had even filled one out.
However, I know I didn't get into a pool this year. I did that intentionally. I wanted to see how it would be watching the Tourney without having anything vested in it. I didn't even have a favorite team coming into this one. Surprisingly, I discovered that the games are MUCH more fun to watch when you're not a slave to any brackets. You can latch on to individual stories and pull for that school without having to worry about having something riding on the outcome.
I was able to enjoy things more like the fact that there were a record 11 teams from the Big East in the Tournament and guess how many are left come this weekend? A big fat zero. In fact, 9 of them didn't even get out of the second second round. And this was supposed to be the conference that was the best in the NCAA this year. That's just further proof that they need to take a better look at their selection process. No conference should get that much favoritism when it's obvious there are more deserving squads out there.
Case in point is VCU. Plenty of the experts were talking about how they shouldn't have even been in the Tournament in the first place. Even given the fact they had to play in to get in the regular field of 64. They've been playing with a chip on their shoulder ever since. Every game they've played in has been epic as a result. I find myself facing a conundrum as they go up against Kansas for a spot in the Final Four. Of course I want my home-state team to prevail, but you have to love VCU's underdog story. Looks like I'll get to cheer that story on afterall (yes, I cheated on this post since it's dated on Saturday but was actually done on Sunday when it was already made official that they beat the Jayhawks).
There were a couple of schools that I really had it in for for my own selfish reasons. The first was BYU. I don't care how good Jimmer Fredette is, I still think that he is a prime example of one of those kids who who will be good in college only. Plus, I firmly believe that if he was the one who had broken that whole Mormon code thing instead of Brandon Davies that they would have found some way to keep him playing. They're lucky they were able to get as far as they did.
The other was North Carolina. It's nothing against the school personally. It's just Harrison Barnes. I had done a post a while back about his whole decision to play for UNC. Regardless of any arguments anyone tries to bring up, my contentions remain the same. Therefore, I will continually cheer for any school that plays UNC while he is there. I realize it's petty. That's just how I roll in this particular instance.
I tried to think of who I think has the best shot to win it all of the teams that are now left. I still honestly don't know. I mean we're looking at a Final Four with Butler and VCU in it. Who would have ever seen that coming? And I thought for sure Arizona was a lock with the beastly way Derrick Williams was playing. But then UConn stopped them. So if I had to hitch my ponies to a wagon it would be UConn. However, since there are no brackets riding on it anyway, I just really want to see a great game.