Bracketology is the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets for the postseason.
Bracketology is an inexact science and that is why the ladies who go by team color or the guy who says a spider can beat an orange have just as much of a chance to pick the Final Four teams as Jay Bilas does.
Before I predict the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament, and again fail at my bracketology course, let me give a few quick thoughts.
In 1991, Syracuse was the first two seed to lose to a 15 seed. I don't think Syracuse will be the first one seed to lose to a 16 seed but that is why they play the game.
The Pac-10 has two schools in the tournament and after 25 straight years, one of them is not Arizona. Arizona's Sean Miller can cheer for his old team, Xavier, and hope the Pac-10 can find a way to go 1-2 in the Big Dance.
The regular season champ, Cal, is an eight seed and the tournament champ, Washington, is an 11 seed. Without Washington's win over Cal in the Pac-10 Tournament Title Game, the Pac-10 would of had only one team make the NCAA Tournament.
I have never bought into the fact that teams were left out of the Big Dance. If you are on the bubble then you are not good enough to win the whole thing so is it really a snub? Washington and Houston won their post season tournaments and that left Virginia Tech and Mississippi State on the outside looking in but none of those four teams would even make the Sweet 16.
So let's look at my brackets since they are all on the money as of right now at 1:14 PM/MST on March 15, 2010.
The Play-In Game
One of the teams started 0-11 and the other team didn't. Duke will end the title run of the play-in game winner in the real first round.
The No. 1 overall seed, Kansas, has a tough region to get back to the Final Four for the second time in three years. Ohio State might be the best two seed this year.
Upsets: Houston will stay hot and beat Maryland in the first round, ending the brilliant college career of Greivis Vasquez. San Diego State will outlast Tennessee in another first round upset.
Regionals: Kansas will face Michigan State while Georgetown goes against Ohio State. Kansas is a favorite to win it all but they will fall to Ohio State in the Elite Eight. Thad Matta leads a talented Buckeye team with Evan Turner doing it all as he has done all year long. David Lighty, William Buford, and Jon Diebler will have to step up as Kansas, with Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, is the best team in the tournament this year.
Syracuse has a second round date with top-25 Gonzaga looming. Kansas State and Pittsburgh are both tough teams in the lower half of the bracket.
Upsets: The first two rounds look to be pretty safe for the higher seeds. I am picking Butler to beat Syracuse in a third round upset.
Regionals: Syracuse faces Butler while Kansas State goes up against Pittsburgh. Matt Howard leads Butler over Syracuse as the first one seed falls. Pittsburgh has been on a nice run in recent years but has not yet made it to the Final Four and Kansas State continues that trend. Butler stays hot with another upset on their improbable march to the Final Four.
Kentucky has the most talent on paper in the tournament this year but they do have a lot of youth as well. Kenny Mayne used to say that they don't play games on paper, they play them inside of television sets. Texas was ranked No. 1 this year and has fallen on rough times. West Virginia won the rugged Big East Tournament.
Upsets: Cornell will be the next in line of double digit seeds to make it to the Sweet 16 with wins over Temple and Wisconsin. In a mild upset, look for Missouri to beat Clemson in round one.
Regionals: Kentucky versus Cornell while New Mexico faces West Virginia. Kentucky will end the run if the Big Red with little problem. The New Mexico/West Virginia game should be a classic and look for the Mountaineers to move onto the Elite Eight. Kentucky will overmatch West Virginia as the Wildcats return to the Final Four.
Duke is the top seed in an uneven region. Purdue had a major injury. Villanova is not playing their best ball. Baylor is having a great season and Notre Dame is playing their best ball right now.
Upsets: Siena will handle Purdue who is missing Robbie Hummel. St. Mary's will beat seven seed Richmond. In a major upset, the Pac-10 will get a tourney win when Cal beats Louisville.
Regionals: Duke goes against Texas A&M while Notre Dame faces Villanova. Duke will win a tight game over A&M while Notre Dame stays hot in an upset over Villanova. Duke makes it back to the Final Four with an easy win over Notre Dame.
The Final Four
Duke and Kentucky is a classic tournament matchup as the two played in one of the best games ever back in 1992. Kentucky changes the past and wins a classic over Duke as the Wildcats play on Monday. Ohio State takes care of Cinderella Butler as the nation again marvels at national player of the year Evan Turner.
My head tells me that Kentucky will win the Championship Game but in bracketology, your heart is just as smart as any other body part. My heart says that Ohio State pulls off the upsetand wins 83-79.
I am going to pick my heart over my head, once again proving why I have a failing grade in bracketology.
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