If you are anything like me you have spent or will spend the better part of Monday through Thursday morning reading bracket predictions and team profiles and sleeper picks from all corners of the interwebz. Unless your full-time job is to watch and then comment or report on NCAA Basketball it is nearly impossible to know even a little something on all 68 NCAA Tournament teams. Most of us would be lucky to be able to name the mascots on 50 of the 68 teams. Forget about knowing the leading scorer for Norfolk State (Kyle O'Quinn) and St. Bonaventure (um...they are the Bonnies I think).
I'm not going to try and pretend that I am intimately familiar with most of the field (though I bet I could name 64 of the 68 mascots). But let's put the "experts" on record so we can look back to see who really knew what they were talking about.
Digger Phelps - ESPN TV Analyst
During a commercial break, ESPN put a quick Digger promo on where he stated that Michigan State is the most likely 1-seed to make the Final Four. His reasoning was they play incredible defense,is an outstanding tournament coach and they are playing really well right now. I might tend to agree with Digger on this one but time will tell.
Myron Medcalf - ESPN Reporter/Blogger
I hesitate to put Myron in amongst the "experts" but he gave us a few gems in this 10 bold predictions for the Tournament (truth in advertising, I filled out my TDG Yahoo Bracket as the opposite of Myron's 10 bold predictions). I put Myron here because one of his predictions is that Michigan State will be the first 1-seed knocked out of the tournament. Other bold predictions? No Big East team in the F4 but two Big 12 teams. Vanderbilt in the Final Four. Long Beach State and the winner of VCU/Wichita State will be in the Sweet 16.
Andy Staples - SI.com
Paul Daugherty - SI.com
Goes way out on a limb and predicts that none of the at-large teams from non-power conferences will make the Final Four. In other words don't count on another VCU this year. I hesitate to put this one up
Ken Pomeroy - Kenpom.com
I love Pomeroy's efficiency stats, I live by them. But he is predicting that this is the year a 16 seed knocks out a 1 seed! Most likely it will be the winner of Lamar/Vermont over North Carolina, but don't sleep on UNC Asheville.
Steward Mandel - SI.com
UNLV and Michigan in the Elite 8 and Belmont in the Sweet 16.
Seth Davis - SI.com
Really hasn't made any bold statements but he did give us five sleeper teams (Notre Dame, Murray State (potential Final Four team), Wichita State, Temple, Belmont) and five higher seeded teams that may be in trouble (Duke, Missouri, Georgetown, Ohio State, Baylor).
Jay Bilas - ESPN
Bilas goes pick-by-pick through the tournament (Insider access only). Not only did he go with all four #1 seeds in the Final Four he has them all facing the #2 seed in the Elite 8. Eventually he went with Kentucky over Syracuse in the championship game. Bilas gets included for not being willing at all to step out on a limb.
Pat Forde - Yahoo.com
#15 Detroit over Kansas in the first round! Points for being bold. #12 VCU into the Sweet 16 again, negative points for lack of creativity. But this exercise is about being right so we will see. Finally, Forde goes a little crazy with a Memphis vs. Murray St regional final in the West with the Racers making the Final Four.
(I'll add more as I see them, feel free to do the same in the comments)
I am also planning to track many "expert's" brackets to see how they fare against my pool of friends and family.
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