In yesterday’s post I mentioned that my strategy for NCAA pools relies heavily on picking the favourites. After all, at least on paper, they are the better team. You might recall that I even mentioned that the tactic often costs me when there are major upsets, particularly in the first round.
So when there were no less than five shockers yesterday, you could imagine my delight. Further, the three upsets I did pick (UTEP, Florida, San Diego State) managed to lose. All told, I am now ranked sixth (out of six) with only half of my picks correct. Yikes.
My one saving grace is that I still have a possible 180 points available to me, third best in my league. Nonetheless, I need things to go well for me today if I’m going to recover.
At the same time, I thoroughly enjoyed all the games I watched yesterday, especially the upsets. Yeah, it was killing me in my pool, but they were incredibly entertaining.
Villanova’s match with Robert Morris is the perfect example. For my bracket to stay alive I desperately needed ‘Nova to win. But despite myself, I was cheering for the boys from RMU. It’s a cliché, but I just loved their hustle.
Of course, this is what makes March Madness great. That sense of desperation, that swelling of emotion with each shot, each steal, every made basket. Even an impartial observer gets wrapped up in the action.
That emotional investment does a lot to gloss over a lot of the problems with the level of play. There are glaring errors made by all the teams in the tournament, particularly when it comes to defence. I can’t tell you how often I caught myself yelling at the TV yesterday as I saw an ill-advised double team. Discipline is also always an issue with such young players, so tactics quickly fall apart.
But it’s that reckless play that makes March Madness so fun to watch; it’s completely unpredictable and usually has a wild finish. You never know when a team is going to fall apart.
I’m looking forward to seeing how day two plays out. Hopefully it’ll be as exciting as yesterday.... only with things going my way.