Fair warning: If you haven’t entered our Bracket Fiasco, you have a few hours — a scant few hours, I stress — to do so. In addition to the traditional Final Four sweatshirt, this year’s winner will receive a Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone and accessories from Verizon. (Total value: $950.)
Already the NCAA tournament has produced three eye-opening results in its First Four: Tennessee, which wasn’t a lock to make the field, surged from 12 points down to beat Iowa in overtime; North Carolina State, which almost nobody thought would make the tournament as of 6 p.m. Sunday, beat Xavier, and Cal Poly, which entered the Big West tournament at 10-19, beat Texas Southern and is now among the last 64 teams standing.
Now Cal Poly gets to play unbeaten Wichita State on Friday, and you’d have to think the Mustangs’ road will end there. But you never know. As for N.C. State: The Pack stand a very good chance of reaching the round of 32 — No. 5 seed Saint Louis is next up, and the Billikens have lost four of five. As for Tennessee: The Vols have won five of six (with the loss coming against top-ranked Florida) and figure to take down No. 6 UMass in the round of 64.
The Big Dance begins in earnest at 12:15 p.m. today, and if you pay attention to basketball in the Buckeye State, you’ll be watching. First Ohio State plays Dayton in one of those obvious-rivalries-that-isn’t — kind of like Wichita State-Kansas, or Georgetown-Maryland, or Kentucky-Louisville circa 1982 — and then Cincinnati faces Harvard in a game being tabbed as another Crimson upset. (Harvard beat New Mexico last March. But I like the Bearcats today.)
But what, you ask, do I know? The answer, as ever, is not much. Every year the Bracket Fiasco underscores the point. But I fill out a bracket all the same because … well, because it’s fun. And if you fill out a Bracket Fiasco bracket, you could have yourself a new phone plus glory untold, and who’s not up for (or down with) that?
This word to the wise, then: If you haven’t entered, get cracking. It’s like the folks over at the Georgia Lottery say — you can’t win if you don’t play. So please do. And we thank you in advance.
From myajc.com, our premium site: Key NCAA question — will No. 4 seeds storm the Final Four?
Also from myajc.com: In this Bracket Fiasco, I like Florida over Louisville.