When you compare my second-round picks to John’s, you’ll notice a small but significant change in diction; namely, he uses “New Pick” whereas I use “The Pick.” This is because I had my most successful first round I can remember, going 24-8 and losing only two Sweet 16 teams. My hunches on Old Dominion, Cornell, and Murray State (and even on Wisconsin struggling but surviving) all played out to plan. Even my vindictive decision to knock out Georgetown in the second round has paid off.
What does this mean? Well, basically that what you’re about to read is going to be all wrong. Everything I based my first-round picks on will destruct in the second round. BYU will not be able to make a jump shot or its free throws, Cornell will forget to go inside to Jeff Foote, and Butler’s crisp execution will be enough to trump UTEP’s athleticism but not Murray State’s. If the Tournament were a game of poker, I’d be trying to buy out now.
But at 24-8, I’m pot-committed.
2. Villanova vs. 10. Saint Mary’s
Original: Richmond over Villanova
What I’ve Learned: If you made a list of the three most impressive first-round teams, the Gaels would have to be on it (behind Ohio and Cornell). Omar Samhan was dominant (and I mean dominant) in limited minutes, and Saint Mary’s surrounded him with four dead-eye shooters. The Wildcats were taken to the brink by a Robert Morris squad that didn’t even have it’s A game and saved by what could best be described as dubious officiating. The Gaels have played two excellent games against solid competition back-to-back; Villanova hasn’t played one in over a month. Tough to turn it on now.
The Pick: Saint Mary’s Continue reading »