The tournament
is up to a record 20 participants. Over the past five years,
participation has gone from 7 to 7 to 11 to 17 to 18. Now 20. It’s still
your option to

fill out a bracket
through noon tomorrow.

I have listened to the ESPN gurus tell me who they like: #13 Cleveland State
over #4 Wake Forest, #13 Mississippi State over #4 Washington, #11 Utah
State over #6 Marquette. Surprises, upsets, these. In years past, I
let this chatter seep into my thinking about who to pick. Wake Forest was
awful late in the season; Washington…the only thing I know about Washington is
that they wear purple and yellow; and Marquette is down a senior guard. In other
words, these are upset picks that seem reasonable to me, which means they’ll
probably be wrong.

So, I look for other unexpected teams to advance to the Sweet Sixteen because
1.) I have not noticed them and 2.) I am not picking them in my bracket: #10 USC,
#14 American, #11 Temple. These teams are invisible to me. Are they in the
tournament? Seems so. Thus, even though I have not picked them, I have come to
expect that one such team will arrive in the Sweet Sixteen. Why not

I have eight first-round upset picks and two second-round upset picks. My
hunch is that it would be cowardly to have fewer and reckless to have more.


  1. While filling out another bracket, I realized: Picking Marquette to go to the championship is dumb. I made some new adjustments to your pool.

  2. A good idea. You are right; it is dumb. All brackets selecting Marquette to go to the championship have been banished.

    I see that Ph. is trying to get over on the group by entering two brackets.

    With 21 teams, it is possible for the first time in EWM Yahoo! pick ’em history to finish outside of the top 20.

    The newest rule: +50 points for each upset pick.

    Go Huskies! Go!

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