State of My Bracket: Sweet Sixteen

After one thrilling weekend of March Madness basketball, my bracket hasn’t busted, my teams aren’t out, and the games have been awesome. Right now, my entry, Final400, ranks eighth in the 30-team track and field team league and second in the four team league for my dad’s work. That may not sound great, but thanks to having only two Elite Eight teams knocked out and one Final Four team, my bracket has the highest potential in both leagues. Here is the best and worst of my bracket after the opening weekend.

My Best Picks

  • While everyone else was groaning and moaning when Villanova got upset (and later Duke), I pumped my fist because I called that neither would advance past the Sweet Sixteen.
  • Currently, I’m a perfect eight for eight for teams in the Midwest and South brackets, and still have the two favorites in the West bracket, Gonzaga and Arizona.
  • Aside from Virginia, three of my four Final Four teams are alive, including both of my championship teams. While the entries with Duke, Louisville or Villanova as champs are toast in the bracket contests, I’m feeling confident about Kentucky over Arizona.
  • They don’t seem like underdogs, but as a seven-seed, the Michigan Wolverines qualify as a Cinderella story. I’m thrilled that they made it to the Sweet Sixteen, but am hoping they fall to the Oregon Ducks next round.
  • My best pick of all was making only one bracket. Now I that I only have one shot, I have clear rooting preferences and care more about that one bracket. Another good decision was to mostly pick teams that I root for and pick against my enemies.

My Worst Picks

  • If I could take out the East bracket, my entry would be almost perfect. But I can’t. My Final Four pick from the region, Virginia, got waxed by Florida 69-35, and my brother isn’t letting me forget it.
  • Another note on the East region- I can’t get any more points. My original Sweet Sixteen picks of SMU, Duke, Virginia, and Villanova are all eliminated.
  • This year was not a good year for first-round upsets. I picked Bucknell, Princeton and Nevada, all 11 seeds or higher, to advance, but each lost in the Round of 64.
  • SMU, on the other hand, was upset in an epic buzzer-beating game against USC. Seeing them as a trendy pick, I chose the Mustangs to reach the Sweet Sixteen. USC did lose the next round, but that was one pick I wish I could take back.
  • One of my personal tendencies is to pick against teams that I would root against. That rule suited me well when Duke was eliminated early, and even when my Final Four pick Virginia lost I wasn’t too mad because Florida won. But I have regrets. Namely, I should’ve picked Xavier to beat Maryland. I originally picked Xavier to go to the Sweet Sixteen because I’m the only one of my friends that can pronounce “Xavier,” but switched to Maryland because they were the state school. Bad choice. Maryland lost, and I lost an opportunity to roast Maryland fans and to root for Xavier. I’m hoping Xavier doesn’t compound the mistake by upsetting my Final Four pick Arizona.


Enjoy the Sweet Sixteen!

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