You know how I know I picked a bad bracket? I was glad UConn lost this afternoon. I would have felt guilty had they beaten San Diego. UConn was so uninspired - like they were supposed to get to the second round automatically. Like they were entitled. San Diego showed up and played hard. Good for them. And good for the fact that San Diego or Western Kentucky are going to the Sweet 16 - they both deserve to be there. UConn doesn't deserve to sniff it.
Their performance today reminded me why I never pick them, and why it felt so wrong for me to have them going to the Final Four. They did the same thing the year George Mason made its run. They just play stupid, and almost lazy. They make bad decisions. I'm embarrassed for having to cross them out so many times on my sheet. It should never have been there in the first place. I can only hope now that someone like San Diego makes a deep run in the tourney, a la Mason a couple of years ago. That's the only thing that will save my bracket.
I also realized that the only reason I ended up with UConn in the Final Four was spite. I don't think I went into this in depth, but I don't buy all of this UCLA Love (no pun intended...although I did make the effort to capitalize the "L", so maybe it was intended). Sure, they're good. But they've only barely gotten by opponents leading into the tournament (and 70-29 opening round wins don't count - that's like beating up on a high school team). So my remaining hope is that my instincts were true - even if they led me in the wrong direction with UConn - and Texas A&M or Western Kentucky, or San Diego, or even an upper seed like Xavier makes it out of that bracket, and saves mine.
OTHER TOURNAMENT NOTABLES:
-Would you believe I was actually sick on the opening day of the tournament? I went home early Wednesday after I was feeling kind of sick, puked a few times Wednesday night, and couldn't make it in on Thursday. No wink, wink here. Honest to goodness. So the good news was I saw most of the opening round (there was a good amount of sleeping - I was really sick). The bad news is I'm still sore from throwing up.
-Tennessee is a fraud. Always. This is one of those times where I wish you could weight certain picks. Because I would trade all of my UConn losses for the Butler over Tennessee pick in the next round. I would bet my bracket on a Butler win.
-I love when there is no 5pm game (the one that they don't show on TV). I think this usually happens on the Friday of the tournament. It's especially good when two of the games go into overtime, as the Drake and UConn games did on Friday, pushing the off-air time into the 6 o'clock hour, which meant less than an hour until the games started up again. I love it.
-I'm also liking the new Holiday Inn Express ad campaign, where they play up their breakfast bar as though it were a singles bar. They're funny.
-The Drake-Western Kentucky game was classic NCAA Tournament. Team comes back from way down to take lead. Team that blew lead hangs on for dear life and gets overtime. Favored team rights ship in overtime, and is in position to win with 5.7 seconds left. Underdog gets three-pointer at buzzer to win. Celebrate your 5-12 upset. (I had it.)
-The other good thing about the Friday night games - there's always another option (not that I'm actively looking for one). But when Boston University has a good hockey season, they are involved in a Hockey East semifinal on the Friday of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. So I'll also have that to watch in between some of the games - BU versus Vermont, 8pm.
We'll be back to baseball after this weekend...but as I've said before, I kind of get a one-track mind during this weekend.