Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a Day of Madness - Day 1 Recap

Well, the first day of the NCAA Tournament is now in the books and it was definitely a day of drama as the first 16 games featured buzzer beaters, three overtime games (one more than all of last year), seven of the 16 games being won by the higher seed, and eight of the 16 games being decided by five points or less. All in all, it definitely lived up to its name - March Madness.

One of the biggest shockers of the evening session came when my dad's alma mater No. 14 Ohio University shocked No. 3 Georgetown 97-83 to give the Big East a 1-3 record on the day. No. 9 Wake Forest also overcame an eight-point deficit in overtime to post an 81-80 victory over No. 8 Texas. The two No. 1 seeds that played flexed their muscles as Kansas and Kentucky both cruised to easy wins.

What will tomorrow's action hold as 16 more games will tip off just after noon ET again? Hopefully just as much excitement and drama as today. I enjoyed having a rare day off to just sit back and be a fan, and I'll have to try to keep updated tomorrow while working our baseball games during the afternoon before watching all the evening games.

With 16 games in the books and so many upsets, I am pleased to congratulate Troy Current (pictured above with his fiancee) as the leader in the clubhouse after the first day in my bracket contest. Troy is one of my former student workers and a current Mount Vernon Nazarene University admissions counselor. Maybe working courtside at all those Cougar games gave him all the experience he needed to become a bracketology expert. Obviously it's not helping me if you check out my personal bracket.

Troy successfully picked 13 of the 16 games and only missed on Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Montana. When I asked Troy what his strategy was with his bracket, he told me that he did a lot of research on before filling it out. Obviously, all that research has paid off so far. An avid Buckeye fan, Troy only let his heart carry him so far as he has the Buckeyes falling to Kansas in the Elite Eight. (See his complete bracket below.)

In addition to Troy's success, I want to give a shoutout to the people currently breathing right down his neck in a tie for second place having correctly picked 12 of the first 16 games: Ryan Halley, Julie Burke, Michael MacEachern, Matt Miller, James Mummert, and Steve Miller. And while not leading the pack, two other sleepers to watch for our my wife, Carla Parsons, and Eric Smith, who both still have the potential to earn the most points if the rest of their picks are correct.

Speaking of my wife, I need to just admit that my brief two-year winning streak in our own personal bracket contest is well on its way to coming to a screeching halt as she correctly picked 11 of the 16 games right on Thursday, while I was a dismal 8-for-16. However, if she wins, am I really a loser since I still get to go out to dinner with her? She just gets the bragging rights once again, but what's new since it's been that way in 10 of the past 17 years anyway. Just proud to say that I have a great wife who knows her sports.

Well, time to get some sleep so that I can wake up and enjoy the madness again tomorrow. I can't wait to see which games Gus Johnson is calling.

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