Mar 212002

Are you really that surprised?

It’s the same old story, just a different year.

Yeah, your brackets for the NCAA Tournament are in shambles; so are everybody else’s. But how is this different than any other year?

In weeding out the Sweet 16 from the original field of 65, the upsets get more frequent year after year. You know this, too. You pick a No. 12 seed to make it past the first two rounds every year, and one always makes it. Missouri proved that true this year. Problem is, we never pick the right one.

Three No. 12 seeds advancing past the first round? Wyoming beating Gonzaga? Oregon’s good at basketball now, too?

It sounds crazy, but things like this happen every year. And we all saw it coming; we just didn’t know from where.

So as much fun as the first two rounds are, now it’s time to get serious. Just like every year, some jokers may still be alive in the Sweet 16, but the big boys are still there. Three No. 1 and three No. 2 seeds were part of the final 16, and then there are the storied programs like UCLA, Indiana and Arizona.

After this weekend, four teams will remain, and I guarantee you, it’ll be just like any other Final Four: There will be teams you could have picked to get there back in November, and at least one that doesn’t belong. The odd team out never wins it all, but there always seems to be one.

Remember two years ago when Michigan State, North Carolina and Florida were three-fourths of the pie, and out of nowhere, Wisconsin completed the Final Four? Two years before that it was Carolina, Kentucky and Stanford with Utah as the surprise.

So you see, it happens every year; the first two rounds are crazy, the Sweet 16 has some Cinderellas but the big boys are still around, and the Final Four is somewhat predictable.

This year’s tourney seems to be following the same trend. Upsets are found in every round, but the deserving teams keep on winning.

As long as your picks weren’t off the wall, you still have a chance, right? Good teams are still left and will keep winning. They always do.

Well, except for Duke.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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