First Round Picks Sure To Go Wrong

I am using my internet bully pulpit to display my bracket publically because I can. I am an anonymous internet god, and you will obey me unlike the real Yahweh/God/deity/Vishnu/Budda/Allah/Jhvh fellow that you pay only pay lip service to, you pox ridden whore, before slinging your sin about the town. And now to the ultimate in quasi amateur sport . . .

Annually, I randomly choose a pseudo expert person or pseudo expert computer to use science for my first round picks. For the rest of the rounds I use a combination of my eyeballs, my hoops IQ, Santería, and divination using one large goat. I never use the same choosing machine twice. I might as well be using one of those queer safety dart boards. I am pretty much the opposite of Huckleberry.

This year, I chose ESPN Insiders Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner. Though his content is on Insider, you can view his methodology here. Basically, they look for first round upsets based on Giant Killers (Mid or Low Majors 5 seeding spots lower than their opponents) and possible Slain Giants. Giant Killers have high defensive and offensive efficiency, low turnover percentages, shoot the three pointer well, and high offensive rebound percentages. Possible Slain Giants rely on free throw margin offensively and defensively, turn the ball over more than they force turnovers, don't defend the three pointer well, and give up offensive rebounds. The free throw thing is counterintuitive, but it boils down to one bad referee can derail the season of teams that rely on getting to the line and keeping other teams from getting to the line. Judging by the quality of the officiating in the NBA and the Big XII, this seems to be significant.

I also am vehemently anti-Big 10 and Pac 10. I think they all suck except Michigan St. There are too many and they are overseeded (except Wisconsin and USC). I am for the Big East.

My other relevant Bracket Picking Strategy is: It does not matter what happens as long as your Elite Eight are intact.

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The Full Bracket

Midwest First Round Winners:

Louisville, Ohio State, Arizona, Cleveland State, West Virginia, N. Dakota State, USC, Michigan State.

Basically, Kansas doesn't defend the three pointer well, can get outrebounded (Baylor), and turns it over on more possessions than they create turnovers. NDSU has Ben Woodside who is the Michael Jordan of the Dakotas (wildly innapropriate comparison alert!). Kansas has not played their best basketball lately.

Wake Forest is mildly schizophrenic. They will either win it all or lose in the first round. I went lose in the first round because Cleveland State has the traits of a Giant Killer.

More importantly, neither Wake nor Kansas were going making it past the Sweet Sixteen, so I can afford to kill them.

West First Round Winners:
UConn, BYU, Purdue, Washington, Marquette, Missouri, California, and Memphis.

Pretty damn chalky. Vegas made BYU a solid favorite and they didn't build those hotels on the backs of Aggie basketball.

East First Round Winners:
Pittsburgh, OSU, Wisconsin, Portland St., UCLA, Villanova, Texas, and Duke.

FSU and Xavier are the numbers 1 and 3 Giants most likely to fail. The more I think about Beau Ryan v. Leonard Hamilton, Pomeroy with Wisco at #30 and FSU at #35, and that disciplined defense v. FSU out jumping everyone, the more I like the Badgers. More importantly, neither of these teams are getting past Pitt, so it doesn't really matter.

Note on the popular VCU over UCLA pick: Even though VCU is the Giant Killer most likely to slay (40.6%), UCLA has a 0% chance of being slain based on the five year run of Brenner and Keating's statistics.

South First Round Winners:
UNC, LSU, Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Temple, Syracuse, Clemson, and Oklahoma.

Illinois is waiting to die. While they are very good defensively, they are going to get pounded on the glass by the Hilltoppers. Temple does all the things (rebounds, good turnover percentages, etc) that a Giant Killer needs to do, and ASU doesn't get offensive boards and gives up lots of threes.

Other items of note:

OU is going down early, either by Clemson or Syracuse.

I love Syracuse's draw.

I am a UNC skeptic. I am not picking a team to win the tourney when their point guard is wearing a boot and their best remaining player is a white guy named Tyler with skipjack eyes.

I am a UConn skeptic. Hasheem Thabeet has been the most talented player on the floor in every college game he has played in. How many has he dominated? Three? And, that is your bell cow? Not to mention, Dejuan Blair can whisper his name in a forest and he will fall down.

I pick Pittsburgh and Duke to go two rounds farther than they actually go every year. I hope I am wrong again.

Texas really got the best possible draw that they could get as a 7th seed. I don't think they will capitalize, but at least there is a faint glimmer of hope.

Also, there is much wonderful March Madness content by Trips Right here and here and here. Pray for TR's kids because they have to run figure eights every time AJ heat checks.

Scipio Tex opines here and here and here. I think this last article was going to be named Fuck the Basketball before Sailor Ripley slashed and burned. Color me intrigued.

Huckleberry has amazing statistical analysis here. Ten'll get ya five that Huckleberry has a chart near the thrown with relevant statistics of his bowel movements for the last 25 years.

Now tell me why I am a moron. It is more fun that way.

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