There’s just something that feels intrinsically good about filling out the first bracket of March. In parenthesis is each teams Kenpom ranking as of regular seasons end.
Assorted and randomly ordered notes:
By far the hardest two games to pick were DU/UD and William and Mary/ College of Charleston. In both cases I probably went heart over head. With DU/UD both being at relative full strength for the first time in three meetings, it’s tough to project based on the head to heads. And with their teams rosters fluctuating so much during the season (Delaware’s only due to their own stupidity, of course) the year long stats for both teams can just about be tossed too. I picked DU for two reasons: The Dragon players are smarter, and well, have you met me? I can’t pick UD over DU in the tourney.
In the case of W&M/ C of C, where both teams won their road games against each other, it’s a bit of a mess. Two things I know to be true: W&M is going to be more smoked on the glass then grass is at Andre Nation’s house Jimi Hendrix concerts, and C of C will cough up the ball like they’ve got swine flu. I’m betting on a strange arena with an oddball shooting background (stage at one end?) and the usual conference tourney shooting woes making the rebounding the more important of the two. Also of concern for W&M is Thornton’s under-performance down the stretch with below average offensive games in five of his final six games, W&M went 3-3 in that stretch. And hey, no one has ever lost money betting against W&M in a conference tournament. Literally. Ever.
(Ducks all of the perfectly nice W&M fans throwing rotten fruit and Bruiser’s conference tourney records at me)
In playing Andre Nation-less JMU in the first round, Towson catches a break as they see what I believe to be the weakest team in the whole field in their first game. Charleston is a good draw for them and a team that they have handled relatively easily in both meetings this year, their slow pace will also help Towson’s lack of depth in back to back days. If they get to the final, they’ll have home court, and likely be going up against either Bru or Monte Ross. So yeah, TU will be the pick for most people going into this one.
Funny, move the team out of Richmond and the home team still becomes the favorite. It’s like the anti-super bowl or something.