For basketball fans of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament:

Best time of the year for basketball viewing! Despite the big money involved and exploitation of student athletes, it’s still pretty pure, really intense competition. It’s great to see smaller schools compete favorably against larger, big money schools.

I haven’t paid real close attention to college hoops nationally this year, focusing more on regional competition.  When I decided to enter the ESPN bracket contest 45 minutes prior to the first contest yesterday, I had no clear sense of the various team profiles and strengths/weaknesses. I took ten minutes to fill out the bracket and crossed my fingers knowing that in some way it’s something of a crap shoot as it has been historically.

I was pleasantly surprised to get 11 of 16 correct for the first day of first round games. And of the five wrong only one affected my sweet sixteen picks (San Diego State.)  Marquette, UNLV, Georgetown, and Vandy were the others who failed me, but, thankfully, I didn’t pick them to make the sweet sixteen.

My ESPN ranking: 110 pts, 87.4%, 601,601 rank, and ppr 1740.

Fifty-six contestants picked all sixteen games correctly. (Their ppr: 1760.) Unfortunately, I can’t access all the individual results to make a better assessment of my standing, but I’ll be interested to see how my picks do today.  My significant upsets today: Cornell over Temple, Missouri over Clemson.

2010 NCAA bracket

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