I was feeling pretty good about my predictions after the second round since I’d picked 13 correctly out of a possible 16. What followed was a disaster as I only managed to pick one Final Four team correctly ( North Carolina) .The other three picks ( Duke, Louisvlle and Memphis) all flamed out, two of them failing to make it to Elite Eight. President Obama did just as badly since he had picked Louisville, Pittsburgh and Memphis in addition to North Carolina. The only difference is that he had North Carolina winning it all while I had them losing in the final to Memphis.
My biggest mistake was in discounting the Big East Conference, three of whose teams had been seeded # 1 . Even though I went to West Virginia and even though I knew more about this conference than any other, I have this lingering awe of the ACC . North Carolina and Duke have been perennial powerhouses and I thought that they were shoo-ins for the Final Four. UNC fulfilled expectaions but I couldn’t believe how thoroughly Villanova outclassed Duke. Nothing that Coach K did seemed to work and Duke must have been relieved when the final buzzer sounded and it was all over. Villanova’s victory over Pittsburgh can’t be classified as that much of an upset since it was close ; besides, it was a repeat of the regular season meeting between the two teams. I’m thoroughly impressed with Villanova, a very well coached team that plays tough.
For me , the other big surprise was Louisville losing to Michigan State. Louisville had appeared a complete team as they won the Big East Championship and I didn’t think Michigan Stae would be able to dethrone them … mostly because I didn’t know much about Michigan State.Connecticut looked formidable as they disposed of Missouri ( which had earlier upset my pick to win it all, Memphis) and they have a good big man in the middle in Thabeet.
Having done so badly with my picks, I don’t feel right about choosing a winner. I will however be rooting for Villanova because I like the team, not that I feel they are the best team left . I hope this isn’t the kiss of death !