(SCSD now has multiple daily posts. Don't miss the others below.)
As I write, Robert Morris is up 8 on Villanova with four minutes left in the first half. That would be good for Duke, and also hilarious for my bracket pool. Be warned: this will be a fairly typical and possibly aggravating story. One of the people involved is an older woman from my workplace who (of course) gave me a paper bracket at about 10:30am this morning instead of submitting it on ESPN. It was her first time participating in such a pool.
Needless to say, she hadn't filled out at least 15% of the bracket, including the Final Four slot from the East and South region. After I helped her finish, I took a closer look at the details. The picks mostly went by seed, except for one interesting anomaly. It just so happens that the woman is from Pittsburgh. You know who else is from Pittsburgh?
Robert Morris University!
(That's the actual Robert Morris. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Which is way more than Fred "Dumb-Dumb" Villanova ever did.)
Apparently her friend works there, and she knows people, and blah blah. Long story short, she has RMU in the Sweet 16. Normally I approach early upset bids with a degree of caution and fear. More times than not, they end in disappointment. But this new beginner's luck angle pretty much guarantees that Nova is a goner.
On to the South picks. Top first.
Honestly, I just got so sick of everyone saying we were going to lose to Louisville that I picked Cal. Simple as that. Do I think they have a legitimate shot to beat Pitino's crew? Yes. But it's a toss-up, and in normal circumstances I probably would have rolled with the Big East. But I'M MAKING A STATEMENT!
Siena over Purdue might be the trendiest upset pick this year, and I'm on board. Without Hummel, I don't think Purdue has much to offer, and it's fun to pick a 13-seed and have a little confidence. Plus, they're from New York. Had to do it. But that's as far as I go. In the second round, it's gotta be A&M.
I promise that St. Mary's pick was made before I knew Villanova was in a dogfight with RMU. Truly. And actually, I'm still not sure how I feel about St. Mary's over Richmond. That's one of the best opening round games, but it's another example of the committee doing a terrible job (Clemson-Missouri should have been split up to face these teams). I have Notre Dame over Baylor in round 2, mostly because they've been very hot lately (and are up 8 on Old Dominion at the half) and I don't trust the Big 12.
Robert Morris up 6 at the half. OHBOYOHBOYOHBOY!