Shabazz Napier is ready for the madness, are you?
As of 7 p.m. yesterday the stress of waiting for the selections show was replaced with something even more fun: the stress, doubt and delight of actually filling out your bracket. This year SB Nation has teamed with Yahoo! to create a special "Wisdom of the Crowds" bracket to compile the collected knowledge of the network and put it toward some predictive good.
To that end we're inviting you to fill out your bracket with Yahoo!, and then, once you're done making your choices, we want you to join our own UConnBlog Pick'Em Pool. I'm just a humble student so we don't have any cash prizes, but what I can offer you is the chance to take over the site for the day, so the winner will be allowed to both write a post for the front page of the site and pick the blog's motto for the day.
Once you've made a bracket at Yahoo! you can join our private group, here's your required info:
You'll need a GroupID number to access it. That number is: 129005
You'll also need a password, which is: kembawalker
Feel free to give your bracket whatever silly name you want, but if you can please put your UConnBlog handle in brackets behind it. For example, here's my name: El-Amin's Fish House [Porter] and your bracket might looks something like this: I Am A Dirty BC Fan [AnonymousCoward].
Now, let's have some fun with the bracket by picking when each and every Big East team will get eliminated.
In seed order:
1. Syracuse -- Out to Vanderbilt in the Sweet Sixteen. You'll probably read a lot in the next couple of days about Syracuse's diminishing turnover differential and how it'll hurt the Orange. I say forget that number and focus on this one: 8, as in Elite 8, a place Syracuse is never allowed to visit.
3. Marquette -- Out to Michigan St. in the Elite Eight. I actually really like Marquette's draw. Murray St. doesn't fill me with fear despite their gaudy record and Missouri has never heard of defense. The top half of the West is brutal though and if Michigan St. doesn't beat them Memphis will.
3. Georgetown -- Out to Kansas in the Sweet 16. I've seen more than a few people picking Belmont to shock the Hoyas in Round 1. I don't see that happening -- JTIII will have the Hoya's upset loss to Ohio a few years ago on his mind and will keep his team well-prepped, but I don't think the Hoyas stand a chance against Thomas Robinson and the Jayhawks.
4. Louisville -- Out to New Mexico in the Second Round. Ooof, what a terrible draw. I like Pitino and definitely would not want to play against Peyton Siva again, but even if the Cardinals get by a Lobos team that the computers love they'll be torn to pieces by the winner of Michigan St. / Memphis.
6. Cincinnati -- Out to Florida St. in the Second Round. Texas was a borderline bubble team that Cincinnati should be able to push around with ease, but Florida St. is an entirely different beast. The Seminoles will be able to match and exceed the Bearcats' defensive intensity. If anyone is going to be "this year's UConn" I'd put my money on this red hot FSU team.
7. Notre Dame -- Out to Duke in the Second Round. I know Duke is a weak two seed, but Notre Dame isn't built to take advantage of those weaknesses. Add in the fact that the Blue Devils will be playing an NCAA home game and it's bad news for the Irish.
9. UConn -- Out to Kentucky in the Second Round. I'm incredibly wary of UConn's ability to get past Iowa St. in the first round, but a combination of homerism and belief in Jim Calhoun's inability to lose 1st round games (non-blown out knee of your point guard division) means I'm advancing the Huskies. I can't pick them past Kentucky though, certainly not in Louisville. Can UConn win? Sure. Will they? Doubtful.
10. West Virginia -- Out to Gonzaga in the First Round. West Virginia's big strength is on the boards, but Gonzaga is heavy on outside shooting which creates a lot of long rebounds that will limit the effectiveness of the Mountaineer big men.
12. South Florida -- Out in the First Round to Temple. I'll take the Bulls over Cal because absolutely no one should lose to a Pac-12 team, but beating a strong Temple squad is a bit much.
Yahoo! Tourney Pick'em supports SBNation and the best college sports tournament of the year. Join the bracket pools of Drew Brees, Michael Phelps, and Lil Wayne-- all while competing in the $5 million Perfect Bracket and $10,000 Best Bracket Sweepstakes. Be part of the best and biggest Yahoo! Sports tourney game yet – sign up today!