I had the brilliant idea to do bracket picks immediately and lock those in then come back and do another set that would be my official picks then compare the two.
I ended up hardly making any changes.
This morning I put Seton Hall in the Elite Eight, and a larger part of the reason than I would like to admit is that I felt like I needed to make SOME change to justify the entire experiment.
My final bracket didn’t change much from my original bracket pic.twitter.com/jtDIkVbFqs— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) March 15, 2018
That said, I do like the Pirates against Kansas since the Jayhawks have questions in the front court and they usually disappoint in the tournament under Bill Self.
Seton Hall has been around for a little while now, has veterans and is due to break through.
I saw Auburn against Dayton, of course, and was really impressed, but I am still nervous about having them in the Sweet 16 anyway since they limped down the stretch.
I have talked myself into the Tigers being able to use a couple of days off to come back to the tournament rejuvenated.
I considered taking Wright State out of the Sweet 16 because I’m not sure if the Raiders can get enough offense two games in a row to win two games in a row… but I have Loyola knocking out Da U in the first round.
Wright State nearly beat the Ramblers in the season opener, and the Raiders are a much better team now than they were then, so it only makes sense to pick them in the rematch.
Plus, how tantalizing would a Wright State-Cincinnati Sweet 16 game be?
I mean, it would be horrible to watch from a style standpoint, but the subplots would be great and the irony insane if the Raiders pulled off another upset.
That’s way down the road, though, and of course my confidence WSU can knock off Tennessee probably means I will be wrong right off the bat.
My other first-round upset winners are St. Bonaventure and New Mexico State. I guess Providence counts, too, since they are a 10 seed against Texas.
My national championship pick is Villanova over North Carolina in a rematch of the 2016 title game.
The Wildcats and Tar Hells are part of an all-blue Final Four with Duke and Kentucky.
Should be good for ratings, eh?
In non-basketball news, some new rules were announced for minor-league baseball yesterday.
I summed them up and added some takes, but it is worth revisiting.
Trying to rig the end of the game stinks in general.
I get why they are doing it, but I don’t like it.
I do find the pitch clocks necessary given how many pitchers have taken to slowing down the game to a crawl.
I am totally with the people who love the timelessness of baseball, but pitchers have taken it too far (with a huge assist from batters who step out way too often and umpires who let them) over the past 10 years or so.
Hopefully teaching them different habits earlier in their careers will prevent needing them in the majors, but I’m skeptical…
Minor League Baseball announces wins matter even less than we thought https://t.co/m2JKrQzWqx— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) March 14, 2018
We can’t get out of here today and hunker down for basketball without looking back at a busy first day of the 2018 NFL league year.
The Bengals didn’t do anything new but confirmed their trade for Cordy Glenn.
The Browns signed Carlos Hyde but lost Joe Thomas to retirement and finalized all the other stuff that had already been reported.
RELATED: Comparing Hyde to Jeremy Hill
AJ McCarron found a new home with the Buffalo Bills, but it doesn’t look like it will be long term.
He probably could have gotten the same money to stay in Cincinnati as a backup, but I’m sure his desire to prove himself as a starter was greater than any concern about money.
One has to assume Buffalo is going to draft a quarterback in the first round, which will immediately start the clock on McCarron’s time there.
As I’ve said before, I am in favor of giving any rookie QB a year to sit, but teams rarely do that.
I guess the best-case for McCarron is he is lights out this fall so someone else wants to give him more money after he is released by the Bills in 12 months.