Saturday, March 19, 2005
Using King Kaufman's scoring algorhithm I've got 250 points, which is okay, but I've lost three sweet sixteen teams (Kansas, Syracuse, and 'Bama). King's system, by the way, assigns 10 points for a first round pick, 20 for a second, 40 for the sweet sixteen, 80 for elite eight, 120 for final four, and 160 for picking the champion correctly. It's worth using because King is tracking about a dozen media outlets - and the NCAA selection committee - which provides grounds for comparison.
Other first round misses: UAB over LSU, Texas Tech over UCLA, and West Virginia over Creighton. I always pick Creighton, but should have known better this year. UAB was a real surprise. As for the Texas Tech game.......that's a tough pick to explain. I guess I thought that UCLA had too much talent and that Bobby Knight tends to beat more talented teams the second or third time he plays them rather than the first.
Today I'll be rooting for Gonzaga, Pacific, Utah, Boston College, Illinois, Arizona, Wake Forest, and Kentucky. Utah would be a minor upset, but I'm counting on Andrew Bogut to be the second coming of Danny Manning and to pull the Running Utes into the final four. Pacific would be a major upset, but I think there's reason to be optimistic. Washington is overrated and small, Pacific is underrated and big.
For the record, my other crazy final four pick is Louisville. I've got North Carolina and Illinois in the championship game, with Illinois winning. That's a homer pick, obviously, but Illinois is pretty darn good.