Like many, my brackets are busted with Kansas getting bounced in Round 2 - but a good chunk of my smart bracket remains otherwise intact - regardless, here's how I'd call this weekend's games.
Northern Iowa over Michigan St.
Ohio St. over Tennessee
Ohio St. over Northern Iowa
Ohio State's the only team I had right, in both smart and fun brackets - I had them going to the Elite 8 and then losing to Kansas. With as much confidence as you can have given the nature of the tournament thusfar, I'll take the Buckeyes to come out of the weekend - Northern Iowa was good this year, every bit the team that Michigan St was - their making it to the Sweet Sixteen is only a shock because of who they took out - given the Spartans injury situation, I'll take them to go one more successful round and root for them to make the final four.
Ohio St's giving 4 1/2 and that's a stay away: Northern Iowa's getting one and a half, and since I like them outright I like the number - but just a tiny bit. None of the numbers this weekend is appetizing - like my thoughts when we got to the NFL playoffs, the lines are really too tight at this point in the season to present real opportunities.
Syracuse over Butler
Kansas St over Xavier
Kansas St over Syracuse
The only team I have left in my fun bracket is Xavier (the other 3 teams, BYU, Florida St, UTEP) - but the smart bracket has 3 of the 4 (I had Pitt and not X) - I'll stay with my original smart guy bracket result and go 'Cuse, KSt - and then Kansas St. to come out. I'll root for Butler in the region.
Looking at the numbers, Butler's getting 6, which seems a little fat given the Syracuse injury. KSt is giving 5, which is a stay away.
Kentucky over Cornell
West Virginia over Washington
Kentucky over West Virginia
I had Kentucky/West Virginia still here in both brackets (with Wisconsin in both, and Marquette/New Mexico as my 4th team). The fun bracket had Wisconsin beating WVU - the smart bracket WVU beating Kentucky - and now I'm hedging my bets; like the West, I'll stick with my orginal Elite 8 matchup with Kentucky/West Virginia - but I'll bend to the poor Big East performance and go Kentucky to come out. I'll be rooting Cornell and Washington.
Looking at the numbers, WVA is giving five, which looks like a tick heavy given how well the Huskies (Pac 10, baby!) are playing right now. Kentucky is giving 9 and that's a stay away game.
Duke over Purdue
Baylor over St. Marys
Duke over Baylor
In both brackets I had Duke beating Baylor.
Now, here's where, despite what looks like a rough tournament run thusfar, I spin it in my direction.
If the Sweet Sixteen games turn out the way I expect - my smart bracket will have 7 of the 8 final teams left, only Kansas called incorrectly. The lesson being that even in a Cinderella heavy tournament - it's smart guy chalk that carries the day at the end.
St Marys is the team I'm most rooting for the rest of the way; I'm gonna root for Duke to beat Purdue.
Baylor's giving 4, and since the game's in Houston I'd be inclined to give them. Duke's giving 8 and I don't want any part of that game.
So - let's reset - my original fun guy final four:
My orginal smart guy final four
And my current final four
We'll see how this works out.
I haven't written anything, so I'm largely making this up - but my plan is a Wrestlemania 26 preview for Wednesday; my 3 fantasy baseball drafts are over the weekend, I'll probably do something. My baseball picks will be mid next week.