- QUESTION: How is your bracket looking?
StegerWithSwagg- After two straight successful years with my brackets, my brackets don’t look as great. I still have my potential winner out there in Ohio State, and I have definite confidence in them, but c’mon…I was in last place after the first day and haven’t moved up that much since.
OBrienSchofieldismyHero- My bracket officially died when VCU tuned up Purdue, Morehead State finished off Louisville, and Florida State hammered Notre Dame. Ew. I got the entirety of Wisconsin's bracket right to this point (picking Butler to knock out Pitt), at the very least.
BT Hoops- Like a lot of people, my bracket died with the VCU upset over Purdue. Texas lost. Pitt lost. Butler is advancing far. This year my bracket didn't go as planned.
babaoreally- My NIT bracket is looking pretty good. My NCAA Division I bracket is pretty bad.
MacHammer- Is completely null and void and this point. I had several upsets like Richmond over Virginia, but thanks to Pitt and Purdue I am not looking very solid in the end.
apy5000- My bracket's doing great! But only if you compare it to everyone else's. I would actually feel pretty good about things if Texas could have just held on versus Arizona. If that had happened, my final four of Ohio State, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin would be completely in tact. The Big East collpasing certainly helped me as I had Old Dominion beating Pitt (hey, I knew someonewould beat Pitt), but I had St. John's in the Elite Eight, so it was also kind of bad.
Carly- I'm down two Elite Eight teams (thanks, Purdue and St. Johns!), but I'm hanging my hat on the fact that my Final Four of Ohio State, Duke, Wisconsin, and Kansas are all still around.
(More Q&A after the jump!)
QUESTION: Who was the most surprising team this week?
StegerWithSwagg- Coming from a guy who has seen almost every team play sometime this season, there’s no shock from me when it comes to Butler or VCU one bit. They are both extremely talented squads that are led by great coaching. To me, it’s Connecticut. After owning the Big East tournament, the experts believed that they couldn’t stay on the tear that they were on. And, look at it now, they are still the same team. Kemba Walker is PRETTY GOOD.
OBrienSchofieldismyHero- VCU. Came out of nowhere, and handed Purdue a horrific loss straight out of the Gene Keady years. Michigan came close, too, coming within 3 of beating Duke after walloping Tennessee (And Bruce Pearl was just fired).
BT Hoops- The most surprising team goes to VCU. No one expected them to go far in the tournament and everyone complained that they even got in. They beat Purdue to get to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time. Other surprising teams are Butler and Florida State.
babaoreally- Obviously the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. They are the only team so far to win three games in the tournament.
MacHammer- VCU for sure. They were getting a lot of flack for even getting invited to the tournament, and then they completely dismantled two very good teams.
apy5000- VCU! Not just that they've won three in a row but they made their opponents look silly. They've absolutely dominated. Combine that with Jay Bilas' rant against VCU and UAB on Selection Sunday and ESPN's Chad Millman talking up first round foe USC, and I'm pretty shocked that VCU is where they are.
Carly- Can it be anyone other than VCU? TV analysts ripped the selection committee for their inclusion of VCU and UAB, and VCU has undoubtedly shown that they belong in the tournament.
QUESTION: Who was the most disappointing team this week?
StegerWithSwagg- Not shocked with either Pittsburgh or Notre Dame. But, Purdue?! C’mon! There may be five or six writers on BT Powerhouse that are Purdue fans, but that isn’t me. I still had faith in this team. I joke about the Hummel injury to my friends, but honestly thought this team had the legs to make it to the Final Four. They got embarrassed on Sunday against VCU.
OBrienSchofieldismyHero- Michigan State. For one half, they looked as dead as they'd ever looked, and then woke up too late to save the day against UCLA. This entire season was a colossal disappointment for their fans, and a first-round exit perfectly caps it off.
BT Hoops- The most disappointing team is Purdue. They had a legit shot at an Elite Eight, if not more this year, with the way their region was set up and they blew it on the defensive end, something they take a lot of pride in at Purdue. They couldn't stop anyone on the defensive side of the ball, giving up over 90 points and losing to a 11th-seeded VCU.
babaoreally- Besides Purdue (which I don't want to talk about), I would say Tennessee. They were only down by four at halftime, but managed to lose by 30. I wasn't surprised that they lost, but I thought that they would put on a better showing for their beleaguered coach.
MacHammer- Louisville. Morehead State?! Come on Rick. No disrespect to Morehead because they simply outplayed the Cardinals, however this game should never have been close. It is also my number one reason for thinking the Big East is CRAZY overrated.
apy5000- Disappointing? Definitely Pitt, even though I did have them out before regionals. My pick of Wisconsin in the Southeast was mostly based on the public loving Pitt to go straight to the Final Four and playing against that. 2-seed Florida got crushed in their conference final and so did 3-seed BYU. 4-seed Wisconsin and 5-seed K-State lost their first conference tourney games. All this made Pitt seem like an easy pick in the Southeast and obviously the way that they lost was brutal as well.
Carly- Pitt fans should probably have come to expect a tournament flame-out by now, but to see Tom Izzo and the Spartans go one-and-done in March (especially after putting together a mini-run in the Big Ten Tournament) is truly shocking.
QUESTION: Looking at the Sweet Sixteen, who do you see making it to the Final Four?
StegerWithSwagg- Ohio State is such a complete team so I cannot argue with that one seed. The same goes with Duke especially with the re-addition of Kyrie Irving. I think either of those two teams will end up winning the whole thing. Kansas has the easiest road to Houston, so that’s another one seed. As for the Southeast region, I personally like Butler. Of all four of the teams remaining, Butler is the only team I trust to win a ballgame. They have all the aspects needed to win games…coaching, leadership, confidence, and depth.
OBrienSchofieldismyHero- Probably Ohio State and Duke, with a much-slimmer possibility for the Wisconsin/Butler winner to join them. UK is going to be a tough out for Ohio State, though. I think it's only a matter of time before UNC and Kansas go down, along with UF.
BT Hoops- With the Sweet 16 set as it is.. I think the Final Four teams will be Kansas, Duke, Ohio State and BYU.
babaoreally- Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin
MacHammer- Ohio State, Kansas, Duke and Butler
apy5000- Obviously I am sticking with Ohio State and Kansas because they haven't given me any reason not to. I also still like Wisconsin because their stiffest competition is out of the way... supposedly. In the West I think Duke will get to Houston, but I'll be pulling for SDSU.
Carly- I think Ohio State will struggle with UNC, but will eventually secure their spot in the Final Four along with Kansas, Duke, and Wisconsin. Why not stick with my bracket predictions?
QUESTION: What was your favorite game / shot / moment of the first weekend?
StegerWithSwagg- I watched every possible game. My living room was set up with three tv’s running the NCAA tournament. The best game was Washington and North Carolina because of the pace of the game was fast and it was a constant back-and-forth affair. The shot by George Mason’s Luke Hancock was cold-blooded. Just a drop back and shoot. It was, as Gus Johnson sang, pure! My favorite moment was the final seconds of the Butler and Pittsburgh game solely because it shows that it’s all about a single call or mistake that means the ballgame.
OBrienSchofieldismyHero- Easy call; Jordan Taylor's game-saving block against Jacob Pullen in Wisconsin-Kansas State.
BT Hoops- My favorite game was the Butler/Pitt game. It was crazy at the end. Truly what March Madness is all about.
babaoreally- That Jordan Taylor block on Jacob Pullen was fantastic.
MacHammer- Juan Fernandez' ridiculous shot to win over Penn State. You could not help but feel horrible for Battle and Co after that game.
apy5000- My favorite shot is something that I will remember forever. Talor Battle's 30-footer to tie the PSU vs. Temple game going into the final possession. Yes, I will probably remember Juan Fernandez's winner even more because of how painful it was, but the question says favorite, not most memorable.
Carly- Morehead State's three-pointer to beat Louisville. Fantastic.