by Bryan Holmgren
Round Two of my Round Two previews: Kansas State and Wisconsin. Apologies to George Mason, but are the Cats the best 11-seed ever? Time will tell. Perhaps tomorrow. More bloggings from the Omaha...
My basic rule of thumb when it comes to picking NCAA tournament teams - pick like a girl (no offense ladies). I've won countless pools (three) in my life by suspending what sports knowledge I have (not much) and sticking to three simples laws:
- (1) I never pick any team that I actually like. For example, I've never once selected KU as my national champion. It's never once come back to haunt me. I've never picked K-State, either. Mostly because it's been a while since I last had the chance. Point being, if the Hawks, Cats, Shockers, etc win and it messes up my bracket, I don't care. If my team loses... well, at least I still have some consolation. It's win-win (or lose-lose... hmmm).
- (2) I try to pick at least one somewhat significant upset per region early, but by the time the elite eight roles around, my bracket is safer than Virginia Beach. There's a reason the top seeds are seeded higher - they have a better chance of winning, which gives me a better chance of doing likewise (and you wonder why a majority of the people out there end up out-smarting themselves?).
- (3) When in doubt I pick against the Big 10 team.
It's not that I don't respect the Big 10. They've had a national finalist in two of the last three years and are usually a pretty decent bet to land at least one in the Final Four. But for some reason the stumbles seem to outweigh the triumphs in my mind. Last year #2 Wisconsin loses to UNLV in the second round. The year before #2 Ohio State takes an 18-point beating at the hands of 7th seeded Georgetown... also in the second round. This has all the makings of a curse. Or at least K-State hopes it is. Which makes for a nice segue into our K-State/Wisconsin preview.