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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bracketology, Just Because: Final Edition

It's Judgment Day, Joey Brackets. Will your precious Jaguars survive? May the best bracketologist win.

In the edict for those of us on the Intertubes that use words to describe college basketball in informed (hopefully) and entertaining (rarely) ways, the right to create a bracket is indelible. It's right there with making fun of Dick Vitale and finding Erin Andrews attractive in the "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness" portion of our Constitution. And even though you can go basically anywhere else to get one of these bad boys (including here, here, here and here), I'm going to post my projected bracket every Tuesday and Friday until Selection Sunday anyway, with each including a extra special bonus*: a profile of a Bubble team or two.
*bonus may not be extra or special

Since it's basically impossible to post an entire bracket in a Blogger post without burning the retinas of readers, you can check it out in beautiful yet annoying spreadsheet form by clicking the link below. (Hypothetical conference champs, the yellow cells, based on conference tourney seedings; confirmed auto-bids in teal or whatever that is).

Bracketology, March 16, 5:45: FINAL EDITION

Bracketology, March 16, 5:10
Bracketology, March 16, 4:30

Last Four In:
St. Joe's
Ohio State
Arizona State
Villanova
First Four Out:
South Alabama
Virginia Tech
Illinois State
Massachusetts

No Bubble profiles today, it's a bit too late for that. But I'll be doing some updates to chronicle any changes that might be needed as a result of these last conference championship games.

5:40 p.m. Eastern- Georgia wins and many are pissed. Actually, this is a completely unreal story and one that should be embraced. All the turmoil the Bulldogs have been through, Dennis Felton's job being on the line and the weirdness that was the SEC Tournament; you can't help but root for them. But don't tell Villanova and Arizona State fans that. The win knocks the Sun Devils out of my bracket, even though I think they should definitely be in. But I'm trying to get this thing correct, so I gotta do it. Georgia is a No. 13, Western Kentucky moves up and that link there is my final Bracket of the season (thank God). Let's see how it measures up and enjoy some damn Madness already.

5:10 p.m. Eastern- Kansas is your Big 12 champ and No. 1 seed in the Midwest after a thrilling win over Texas. Both teams look like legit Final Four squads and possible title contenders. Wisconsin is going to beat Illinois pretty handily and could make a case for a No. 2 seed, over either Georgetown or Duke. The Blue Devils beat the Badgers though, so it'll probably come down to them and the Hoyas. As much as I hate Georgetown, I think they deserve that spot for winning the regular season of a league that might have seven teams in the top 30 seeds of the Tournament. Georgia is up 10 right now with 6:30 left. So I think they are going to knock out Nova or Arizona State. My heart says Nova, but in the interest of having an accurate bracket for future boasting and self-promotional opportunities (read: I'm a dick), I'll probably drop the Sun Devils out. This will be a heartbreaking thing to do, but this Bracketology business is not for the timid. The Bulldogs would probably be a No. 13 seed, with San Diego or Western Kentucky moving up to the 12-line.

4:36 p.m. Eastern- The winner of Texas and Kansas will be my fourth No. 1 seed. If Georgia wins, and it is up 10 at half right now, Villanova and Arizona State are the two teams that should be worried. I personally think the Sun Devils should be in by virtue of their top 50 record, but they would be the lowest RPI to ever get an at-large bid (since RPI was invented by some black-souled antagonist) so that spot might be more perilous than I consider it. I would put Nova out first, but it's pretty close. Also, the committee probably likes South Alabama more than me and I think that is the one team that will be included that I don't have. And Virginia Tech might have played UNC close, but tons of other teams have narrowly missed big wins so I'm not sure why that one should matter more. Otherwise, I'm not seeing what's so tough this year; all the league tournaments have kinda sorted things out. I don't see how you could make a case for any of those squads besides South Alabama over the ones I have. But surely someone in the Committee will and much angst will result. The funny thing is that with all the Bubble nonsense, Kansas and Texas are playing one of the better games of the year right now, and hopefully that will shift the focus to, you know, the teams that actually matter, leading up to the Selection Show. We'll see what happens this afternoon and I'll have a final bracket to see how it compares to the real thing and all the other Bracketologists out there. And I'll be doing a log (not a live blog) of the Selection Show so look for that.

Previous Bubble Profiles:
March 14, Villanova and Virginia Tech
March 13, South Alabama and Illinois State
March 11, Arizona State and Mississippi
March 7, Ohio State and Florida
March 4, Maryland and New Mexico
February 29, St. Joe's and Kentucky
February 26, Rhode Island and UAB

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