NCAA Tournament Day 2 blog: Bracket-filler reactions and analysis
This hit home againt now that we're officially on upset watch. Ole Miss is more athletic. Wisconsin can't let this turn into a track meet in the closing stages. That steal-layup to put the Rebels up one elicited moans from nearly the entire room...and one obnoxious cheer from someone who had just walked in.
Bad enough that he was outnumbered, but then he actually tried to back up his pick in the face of overwhelming opposition.
He beat a hasty retreat to the next room.
Matt (12:00 p.m.): I feel bad for the fans who paid to see Wisconsin-Mississippi. 31 percent shooting by both teams? Terrible. Again, though, Wisconsin is made to win games like this.
Temple-NC State is underway in the first 8/9 matchup today. Pretty sure 8/9 is terrible for everyone involved. For fans, there's no big risk/big reward for picking either team. For either team, advancing is "rewarded" by playing a No. 1 seed. For the No. 1 seed, they run a serious risk of a second-round upset if 1) they're not on top of their game or 2) the 8/9 was underseeded on Selection Sunday.
Matt (11:20 a.m.): Can't ignore how public in general has pumped up the MWC while saying in the same breath Pac-12's reign has been declining. Day 1 couldn't have disagreed more.
Looking at Wisconsin right now, I'm a little concerned. Again, they're my lowest-seeded Final Four pick, but they've got 9 first-half turnovers and just 27 percent shooting against Ole Miss near the end of the first half.
The one thing I think will keep them in every game: rebounding. They've got four guys snagging better than five boards per game, and playing ugly (and frustrating your opponent in the process) is the best way to knock off the heavyweights.
Landon (11:06 a.m.): (Landon says nothing. Instead, faint noises of weeping coming from the corner of the room where Landon finds himself in the fetal position, mourning the demise of his bracket.)
I was perfect yesterday until I left work. In the final four games of the day, I went 1-for-4, and UNLV's loss roasted me. Stick a fork in me; I'm done.
Suffice it to say, never again will I put my bracket faith in the Mountain West Conference. The only team that came through for me yesterday from the MWC was Colorado State. The MWC is just rotten all around.
Matt (10:45 a.m.): Welcome to Day 2 of our March Madness reaction blog, where Landon and I plan on saying what the average bracket-filler thinks as he sees his picks picked apart by reality.
Yesterday was rough if only because Landon's bracket kept preening over my own. He was Miami. He couldn't lose. He was like me, only opposite.
Then Harvard and California happened.
Cal's win was actually the bigger equalizer, since Landon had UNLV winning the entire thing. True story. As for me, the only game that affected my bracket beyone the Round of 32 was the Oregon-OSU game. I know Oregon looked good in the Pac-12 tournament, but I was scared to death of overestimating them after them so much while helping cover Utah. It's easy to get a better opinion of a team you see a lot, as opposed to one you've rarely watched.
So far Duke's doing what they should, but I've got my Final Four darling Badgers under close watch the entire way. Wisconsin is to me what UNLV was to Landon: the big-risk Cinderella pick you have to nail in March.
Matt Petersen is the Sports Web Editor and Landon Hemsley is Sports Content Manager for DeseretNews.com. You can follow them on Twitter at @TheMattPetersen and @EarlOfHemsley respectively.
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