Monday, March 12, 2012

Don't get Upset Crazy

Davidson beat Kansas earlier this year. Can the Wildcats upset Louisville on Thursday?


The biggest mistake people make in filling out NCAA Tournament brackets is going nuts picking the double-digit seeds.

We're talking about dousing a salad with ranch dressing, practically killing any healthiness in the dish.

Picking all the No. 13 seeds to beat No. 4 seeds, for example, is stupid. Could New Mexico State beat Indiana? Sure. What about Montana over Wisconsin? Yeah, could happen. Ohio over Michigan? Definitely possible. Davidson over Louisville? The Wildcats beat Kansas earlier this year, so why not?

The point is while each of those could happen, the chances are only one of those teams will pull an upset. That means, percentage-wise, picking all No. 4s to advance would get you 3 out of 4 games correct; going upset crazy and picking all No. 13s would leave you batting 25%. While still higher than Brandon Inge's batting average, that's not good in a March Madness pool.

UPSET ALERTS: The following are games that national pundits believe could be upsets:
  • SOUTH-No. 12 VCU over No. 5 Wichita State
  • SOUTH-No. 13 New Mexico State over No. 4 Indiana
  • SOUTH-No. 14 South Dakota State over No. 3 Baylor
  • SOUTH-No. 15 Lehigh over Duke
  • WEST-No. 12 Long Beach State over No. 5 New Mexico
  • WEST-No. 13 Davidson over No. 4 Louisville
  • WEST-No. 14 Iona over No. 3 Marquette
  • EAST-No. 13 Montana over No. 4 Wisconsin
  • MIDWEST-No.12 California over No. 5 Temple
  • MIDWEST-No. 13 Ohio over No. 4 Michigan
  • MIDWEST-No. 14 Belmont over No. 3 Georgetown
  • MIDWEST-No. 15 Detroit over No. 2 Kansas


Those are 12 potential upsets and I didn't even look at 7-10 or 6-11 games. On the CBS Selection Show, Seth Davis boisterously picked South Dakota State, Ohio and Belmont to win, pegging the Bruins into the Sweet 16. He might have picked more -- it seemed like he picked all the games listed above to be upsets! -- but my point is this: There is no benefit from picking that many crazy upsets. When you FINALLY hit an upset, you'll have missed so many that your excitement level can only be a notch above depressing.

MY SUGGESTION: Pick no more than two No. 13 seeds or worse to win a game. If you pick, say, Ohio to beat Michigan and Davidson to beat Louisville, you'll have thrown your darts. If neither happens, no biggie; so what if you went 0-2 on your "upset specials." Even if Harvard upsets Vanderbilt and you didn't pick it, chances are most other brackets didn't have it either. Picking upsets is a lot like living life: You have to pick your battle. Pick too many and the bad far outweighs the good.


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