2010 NCAA Tourney: The Older I Get, the Less I Know About March Madness
The 2010 NCAA Tournament is only three games old, and there has already been three weeks worth of big moments and memories.
After only two overtime games in the entire 2009 tournament, this year's tournament has already matched that total in the opening session of games.
I have been watching the NCAA tournament for 20-plus years, and just when I think I've figured things out, March Madness rears its ugly head and destroys my bracket before the ink has a chance to dry.
My picks for the first three games? Villanova, Notre Dame, and Florida. For those keeping score, that's a two seed, six seed, and a 10 seed. That's nothing outrageous, with just a minor upset of Florida beating BYU.
Villanova survived a major scare from Robert Morris, but in the end, foul trouble spelled the end for the Colonials.
Villanova coach Jay Wright benched starters Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher to start the game, but the Wildcats proved too strong and avoided the upset.
Old Dominion trailed for most of their game against Notre Dame, but they upset one of the hottest teams entering the tournament. The madness began, and the first bracket buster had been found.
BYU pulled away from the Florida Gators early, but Billy Donovan's squad rallied from a 13-point second half deficit with a chance to win it in regulation.
Florida couldn't convert at the end of regulation or at the end of the first overtime. The Cougars didn't need any more openings to secure their first tournament win since 1993. They pulled away in the second overtime and ended the Gators' season.
So after three games, my bracket had a record of 1-2. Not horrible considering everyone's bracket would have been busted if Nova had gone down in defeat. The problem for my bracket comes with the ramifications of the two losses I picked.
I bought into the hot play of Notre Dame recently and picked the Fighting Irish to reach the Elite Eight, beating Baylor and Villanova in the process.
The Gators also hurt me severely with their loss since I not only picked them to upset BYU, but also the two seed, Kansas State.
Consider my bracket busted, but my fun is hardly over.
The outcomes of first round games affecting games slated to take place next week is what makes March Madness the greatest sporting event in the country. A Robert Morris upset would have only added to the excitement.
I was worried when picking my bracket realizing I had all four No. 1 seeds making it to Indianapolis. Chalk never seems to play well in March, but maybe this year will be different.
Many fans and insiders have agreed that this has been the hardest tournament to pick in recent memory. There are 15 legitimate teams that could win it all, and the remainder have more than a toss-up chance of doing serious damage.
No other event in sport gives players and teams to go from total obscurity to mainstream super-stardom in such a short period of time.
As I write this, both Murray State and Sam Houston State are winning their games as well. Will they be able to hold off their powerful opponents? Maybe, maybe not but you can be sure that they games will be filled with more drama and excitement than anything you'll see in any other major sports playoff format.
Filling out brackets in March gives fans that never watch a single game all year the chance to look like basketball savants, while it makes die-hards like myself look foolish.
I don't mind a busted bracket, it makes for the best stories and the greatest memories. My only hope is that in the end, the best rise to the challenge and the Final Four is filled with No. 1 seeds. Somehow, that dream seems to be a long-shot after only three games, but I wouldn't want or expect anything different from March Madness.
To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here .
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