USA TODAY Sports
Hi, folks. I've created a bracket at FOP for anyone who's interested. You can join by following the link here; join the pool named "GABA March Madness Bracket." Any questions, just let me know. No prizes for this one--it's just for fun and games.
As for wit and wisdom regarding how to fill out your brackets, I can't offer too much, as I haven't watched a whole lot of CBB outside of the SEC this year. I do have a handful of observations, though:
--Personally, I think Indiana and Louisville are the two best teams. Indiana's loss in the conference tournament gives some cause for concern, but the Big Ten was a meat grinder this year. Its teams are well-prepared for the rigors of big game after big game, and Indiana is the best of them. Excellent, balanced team that's built for a deep run. Louisville, from the Big East, played a similar schedule, and it caught fire at the end of the season after a mid-season slump and won its conference tourney. Either of these teams would be good picks to win the national title. The thing is, though, that, in typical fashion, the NCAA has given these two teams brutal brackets. Duke is in Louisville's bracket, while Miami is in Indiana's. It just so happens that you could make an excellent case that Duke and Miami deserved top seeds over Gonzaga and Kansas. You have to be particularly miffed if you're Louisville. You get the top overall seed and get stuck in a bracket with a great Duke team. Really, if Duke doesn't draw its kryptonite in Maryland in the ACCT, it probably wins the thing and gets a top seed. In any event, look forward to some great Elite Eight action when Louisville takes on Duke and Miami takes on Indiana. Neither Duke or Miami would be bad picks to win it all, either.
--If you're looking for a 12-over-5 pick, you might consider the SEC's own Ole Miss Rebels. First of all, they're hot, coming into the tourney on the heels of the program's first conference title in 30 years. Second of all, having watched this team a few times this year, I think their problem is occasional lack of focus, particularly in the lesser games. When they're focused, they're a good team, but that's not always the case for them. This isn't an uncommon problem for a team led by a player like Marshall Henderson, who is a loose cannon at times and who chucks up around 10 threes per game. Despite these faults, when Henderson is focused, he's a dangerous player, as he showed during the SECT. If he keeps playing well, the Rebels could win some games in the tourney.
--Lastly, take everything you read here or anywhere with a grain of salt. This has been something of the CBB equivalent of the 2007 season in CFB. There is no dominant team, and there are tons of teams in the field that have looked great at times and awful at others. (Take a look at Minnesota's resume. And to think SEC fans think Ole Miss is hard to figure out.) Therefore, expect plenty of upsets in this year's tournament. Should be fun.