Guide to NCAA Bracket Expert Picks (aka What Not to Do)
One of the best things about March Madness is comparing your picks with the foolish peons in your pool. But it's even more fun to compare yourself with the supposed "experts." You know, the people who are paid to do this for a living that you beat every year. Well, we've got you covered on the 'expert picks' and here's a full rundown on their brackets.
We're a little disappointed, but not surprised, that most of the ESPN crew of "experts" are unwilling to release their picks until after tip-off. Have no fear, their picks will still be entered here so you can mock them until your throat is sore.
First, we'd like to point out Mike Gundy's dear friend, Jenni Carlson [bracket], picked Duke in the Finals. That's Garbage!!
The Guys We Love to Pick On
- Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com), who is usually eliminated by 3pm on this opening day, has picked Wisconsin to the Final Four and Baylor to the Elite Eight. Yes, you read that right - Baylor. I wouldn't be surprised if he thought it was Butler. [bracket]
- Bill Simmons (ESPN) leaves us a lot of fodder. First there's St. Mary's over Texas (a matchup the Longhorns won by 19 earlier this year), then there's Clemson over Kansas, Davidson over Georgetown and USC going all the way to the Finals. I bet you're stunned he went with the other SoCal team to win it all. [bracket] I'd say with confidence the Sports Gal would take him, but she has Villanova in the Elite Eight. [bracket]
- Tony Kornheiser (ESPN/Wash Post) went with a great deal of chalk. His biggest first round upset is Kentucky over Marquette, and it appears he's been listening to Bobby Knight, as he has the Panthers beating Memphis. UCLA over Kansas for TK. [bracket]
- Joe Lunardi (ESPN) who I should admit, accurately picked all 65 teams in the dance, got happy with the 10-seeds. Bracketologist/Pimp picked South Alabama to beat Tennessee and Arizona to beat Duke. UCLA over Kansas for him as well. [bracket]
- Jon Wilner (San Jose Mercury News), our dearest friend from college football rankings, picked South Carolina to win it all! OK, no he didn't, but he would if it were an option. Jon has UCLA over North Carolina like 80% of other experts. [bracket]
Boldest First Round Picks
- Dan Shanoff (Sporting News), after successfully hedging all his picks in the WSJ column, went with Winthrop AND George Mason to meet in the Second Round. A matchup I will wholeheartedly root for, but it's not going to happen. Shanoff also has West Virginia beating Duke pleasing the entire non-sucking blogosphere. [bracket]
- Kelli Anderson (Sports Illustrated) picked 13 Siena over 4 Vanderbilt. [bracket] Although Mike Greenberg (ESPN) also did this, and he has all four 1 seeds in the Final Four. Way to be gutsy, Greeny. [bracket]
- Mike Freeman (CBSSports.com) picked 13 San Diego over 4 Connecticut. This bolds well for the Huskies as few things Mike predicts come to fruition. [bracket]
- Dan Patrick (Sports Illustrated) still has Georgia on his mind. He's buying Dawgs will keep the run alive against his hometown team, Xavier. [bracket]
- Grant Wahl (Sports Illustrated) is also about the Siena Saints bandwagon. I'm not going to call this crazy because Tay Fisher can stroke it. What I am going to call crazy is Oral Roberts into the Sweet 16. [bracket]
Boldest Late Round Picks
- Dennis Dodd (CBSSports.com) got a little crazy with his South Bracket and has Stanford beating Michigan State in the regional final. Then he went and picked the Cardinal to beat UCLA, but fortunately lose to North Carolina in the Final. [bracket]
- Mike Golic (ESPN Radio) has Butler into the Elite Eight. What's not so surprising, it that he has Double Cheeseburger into the Final Four. [bracket]
- Jeff Goodman (FoxSports) may end up being my new best friend, but I'm not so sure the Spartans are reach the Final Four. Yes, he has Michigan State returning for the 5th time in 10 years. [bracket]
- John Halpin (FoxSports) for whatever reason went with Clemson (over Kansas) and Purdue into the Elite Eight. If both of those happen, I'll go back and pay tuition at both schools. [bracket]
- Dan Wetzel (Yahoo!Sports) should be commended for his lack of chalk. He may also finish last. Dan abidded by the Bill Self rules and has a Clemson vs USC Midwest final. Wetzel also has Marquette into the Elite Eight. [bracket]
- See: ESPN picks to be entered when they become available.
All Aboard the USC Bandwagon (which means they'll lose)
- Seth Davis (Sports Illustrated) [bracket]
- Stewart Mandel (Sports Illustrated) has the Trojans marching to the Final Four. Must be some USC Kool-Aid floating about the SI offices. UCLA over North Carolina [bracket]
We'll be tracking upwards of 65+ experts and their bracket standings throughout the next three weeks.