With the first two brackets out of the way, we'll move on to the South and West this morning before the tournament kicks off in just over (wait for it)...two hours. Good Lord I'm excited.
Memphis vs. Texas-Arlington: The only intrigue in this game is whether or not Worldwide Wes will be on the sidelines. No way, Wes won't show up until at least the Sweet 16. Memphis.
Mississippi St. vs. Oregon: You couldn't have two more mismatched PGs than Jamont Gordon and Tajuan Porter if you tried. Gordon is a big (6'4"), bruising guard who thrives on bullying opponents in the paint while Porter is a midget (5'6") who is an absolute gunner. This guy takes shots that I wouldn't take in a pickup game. Gotta go with the SEC here.
Michigan St. vs. Temple: I have a feeling on this one, Neitzel's gonna struggle to get his shot and Dionte Christmas will introduce himself to at least 1/4 of the nation. Owls...Woo? Owls. (Wow, that was bad).
Pitt vs. Oral Roberts: Traditional tournament flameouts vs. a school known to hate flamers. Flameouts it is, Pitt.
Marquette vs. Stanford: Dominic James erratic jumpshot scares the shit out of me, but not quite as much as the incessant dribbling and questionable shot selection of Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford. Marquette.
Stanford vs. Cornell: The Lopez brothers are waaay too big for the Big Red, at least I think thats what Cornell is called. No matter, its not like I'll have to remember the nickname for long.
St. Mary's vs. Miami: This game feels like a reverse upset. I mean, is anybody picking Miami here? No? Alright, me neither.
Texas vs. Austin Peay: I think Texas is going to go out early this year because they're too dependent on Augustin and Abrams. Just not this early.
UCLA vs. MV State: So who's looks dumber? Jerry Rice when he was still rocking dreads whilst on the Raiders or Kevin Love and his skinny beard. Love, of course.
BYU vs. Texas A&M: TJ hates the Aggies and, well, so do I. BYU's defense is too much in this one.
Drake vs. Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers are underrated but they're running into an efficient and talented bunch from Drake who still feel they have something to prove nationally. Drake.
UConn vs. San Diego: I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid on the Torreros and their late season run. I mean, that could kill my bracket.
Purdue vs. Baylor: Everybody's rooting for Baylor, well, except me. Purdue's scrappy and Matt Painter is an underrated coach.
Xavier vs. Georgia: Fuck Georgia, there I said it. I rooted for them on Sunday (Going against everything I know and love) and there's no way I'm doing that again this decade.
West Virginia vs. Arizona: With all the talk they'll be about Chase Budinger and Joe Alexander in this game, Jerryd Bayless is the best pro prospect you'll see. He's also going to have plenty of time to start prepping for the draft after the 'Cats lose to WVU.
Duke vs. Belmont: Duke's not as good as they're seeded, but they're miles ahead of Belmont, obviously. If this is on your TV, then it might be time to start drinking.
So that's it. Those are all the first round picks. Unlike Jerry, I have actually won money in these pools before. In fact, I've taken first place twice in the past three years so, you know, I'm pretty awesome and you might want to follow my lead here. Actually, I wouldn't ever mimic anything that I do but I've got 30 years worth of hindsight to teach me that lesson.