Special Event: March Madness: NCAA basketball tournament 2017
March 16, 2017 10:07 AM - Subscribe

The US college basketball tournament is on! Men's and women's, let's try having both in here. There's also a MeTa for brackets if you're into that.
posted by LobsterMitten (81 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder if it's possible for my partner's bracket to become a flaming ruin in the very first game of the Men's tourney.

One can hope. Plus if that does happen I'll pick him up a treat at the grocery store (just like he would if my bracket had that happen).
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:13 AM on March 16

brackets born knowing / one slice of spring suffices / eat treats & fuck duke
posted by fleacircus at 10:17 AM on March 16 [3 favorites]

fuck duke

posted by French Fry at 10:46 AM on March 16 [8 favorites]

Princeton down 3 with 19.5s left....
posted by fleacircus at 11:12 AM on March 16

...but no.
posted by fleacircus at 11:21 AM on March 16

I was very annoyed that I couldn't set my defenses to be able to watch. I had to resort to switching to incognito and turning off uBlock completely.

I usually ignore college basketball until Championship week and try to get a feel for what teams I like then. Circumstances overtook this year, so I have no idea about anything. Which is to say, I'll take all chalk to the final four, but I got 'Nova over UNC for the championship.

Gotta say, down by 1 with 8 on the clock, Princton needed to take a percentage play. What a heartbreaker.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:21 AM on March 16

Oh geeze Gonzaga, pick it up already. You've been tied to, or trailing, a 16 seed all game.

flibberti "I picked Gonzaga as champ and do not want this to be a historic match" gibbet
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:28 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]

History is always great, as long as it is happening to someone else's team.


eck "Did you know that Steve Nash was on that 1993 Santa Clara team?" eric
posted by eckeric at 11:43 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]

Aaaand unrelated (or perhaps, completely related) to the tournament: Tom needs to go Crean out his office.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:48 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]

Looks like West Virginia has dialed in how much fouling they're allowed to get away with.
posted by fleacircus at 12:12 PM on March 16

Welp, I had made SDSU over Gonzaga as my 16-1 upset pick. Fail.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:01 PM on March 16

WVU's defense doesn't work as good with tournament refs. Sad!
posted by fleacircus at 1:45 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

Oh shit, my Middle Tennessee pick is looking all right
posted by Existential Dread at 3:16 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

I picked the wrong 5-12 upset.
posted by eckeric at 3:32 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

Oh, Vandy. 😱
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:38 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]

I was pulling for Northwestern over Vanderbilt, so I was happy with the outcome--but that was a pretty heartbreaking way to give up the deciding points.
posted by egregious theorem at 4:50 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

I note that the background color for Fanfare is, at least on my monitor, essentially Wildcat Purple.

Yay Cats.

Anybody else an alum?
posted by Justinian at 5:06 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

Undefeated teams in NCAA tournament history:
- Northwestern
- UC-Davis
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:23 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

TV Tip: If in doubt, when you tune in, just root for the team in the colored jerseys (vs white jerseys). They're the lower-seeded team.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:31 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]

Yay wildcats! A school I went to (only for grad though) finally advanced to round of 32!
posted by ghost phoneme at 5:52 PM on March 16

Watching VCU vs. St. Mary's (because winner plays Arizona as long as they get past North Dakota). Both these teams are scary.
posted by carsonb at 6:17 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

Any Kentucky fans in the house? Villanova? As long as we're all Wildcats here.
posted by carsonb at 6:19 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]

St. Mary's with the rarely-seen "whiteout" lineup in the tournament. An asterisk applies, though, as apparently they're mostly Australian.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:25 PM on March 16

Staff too. It stands out.
posted by carsonb at 6:29 PM on March 16

Xavier is yet another vindication of my Catholicism weighting system in making bracket picks!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:42 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]

A Kentucky fan here, carsonb, in a house with two UK grads. Basketball season is rough.
posted by minsies at 7:26 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]

Not that there's any real hope of this, but I would be tickled if Arizona ended up meeting Northwestern in a few rounds. Not only would it be Wildcats vs. Wildcats, but it's as close as I could ever see to a grad/undergrad institutional faceoff. (I did my undergrad at that other nerdy Chicago private university, but that'll definitely never happen)
posted by egregious theorem at 8:27 PM on March 16



posted by Existential Dread at 9:59 PM on March 16

My partner's bracket for today only diverges from mine by one pick (I picked Arkansas; he picked Seton Hall; we both have our pick getting smushed by North Carolina). I'm up 2 from yesterday. Where we diverged: I picked Florida in their game against ETSU; I picked St. Mary's in their game against VCU; I picked Iowa and not Nevada, and my only 'mistake' was believing Northwestern couldn't win their first March Madness game ever. Go Wildcats.

Today, the only 'vital' games for us are the high-seeds not being upset (Duke, North Carolina, Baylor, UNC, Louisville; we both want Oregon to make it to the next round, at least) and Wichita winning. If that happens, our brackets will still be mostly intact.

My women's bracket is pretty chalk, so I'm hoping it's a chalky tournament.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:49 AM on March 17

Currently in second place in the office bracket, with Northwestern and Gonzaga my two wrong picks. The guy in first place has gotten every pick right thus far, which is impressive. I see he picked MSU over Miami, which I think will be his undoing.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:36 AM on March 17

the Mefi men's bracket has a 100% correct player as well, it's a great way to start.
posted by French Fry at 9:44 AM on March 17

Holy hell, Michigan! Crazy game.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:19 PM on March 17

Ark/Seton Hall: Reasonable people can argue whether that was truly a Flagrant I foul, but goddamn I hate it when a ref call determines the final outcome of an otherwise tight game.
posted by donnagirl at 1:14 PM on March 17

USC wins! I should have done a bracket with 4 Pac-12 teams in the Final Four....
posted by eckeric at 2:18 PM on March 17

That WAS a flagrant foul, I don't think there is a good argument against that.

I think it's still reasonably called flagrant even in the context of deliberate late game fouls. That wasn't a hug at half-court or on the inbounds. It was a shove in the back of a guy kinda driving on the basket.

The Seton Hall player messed up. He tried to do the deliberate foul and he did it wrong. The net effect of his mistake was an extra turnover, which I think isn't totally out of line.

I DO think it woulda been better if the ref had called a common foul anyway, but.. I don't think it's a horrific injustice or the worst call ever or anything.
posted by fleacircus at 2:21 PM on March 17

SMU lost while I was typing that... I think that might be the first true upset of the tournament? Kenpom had SMU 77% to win.
posted by fleacircus at 2:24 PM on March 17

It's good that SMU lost, though, as it saves the NCAA the trouble of vacating actual tournament wins three years from now.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:30 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]

This Wichita State / Dayton game is pretty fantastic.
posted by fleacircus at 5:54 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]

This is a very bad stretch by Miami.
posted by eckeric at 7:10 PM on March 17

Wow. South Carolina is really running away with this one.
posted by egregious theorem at 8:50 PM on March 17

~~~ WOO HOO ROUND OF 32 ~~~

The first round was short on chaos, but that means this round should be loaded with competitive games? None of those sad Cinderella letdown games, at least.

Except you, Northwestern. You're doomed. Though maybe not. Anything can happen. (It won't though; Gonzaga will win.)

Maybe some Vegas lines will be interesting to consider:
West Virginia Humans by 2.5
Villanova Cats by 6
Gonzaga Dogs by 10.5
Florida State Humans by 7
Butler Dogs by 3.5
Arizona Cats by 5.5
Florida Alligators by 2
Purdue "Actually, Boilermaker's Monster" by a nose hair.
posted by fleacircus at 8:09 AM on March 18

If Wisconsin takes this, I won't even be mad.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 2:05 PM on March 18

I have had a soft spot for Wisconsin ever since their adorable fascination with stenography, but a Villanova loss would wreck my otherwise reasonably successful bracket.

Sports are the worst.
posted by egregious theorem at 2:08 PM on March 18

Well, alrighty then. :/

I hope the Badgers take it all the way.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:15 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Yay the badger!
posted by fleacircus at 2:16 PM on March 18

Yep. Go Badgers!
posted by egregious theorem at 2:17 PM on March 18

I like upsets in general, but I dislike the Badgers and their brand of slow, goony basketball. This team seems slightly less goony than in the peak Bo Ryan "6-8 guys with buzz cuts" era, but still.

Anyway, the king is dead. March Madness!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:20 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Wisconsin, notorious Wildcats-killer, strikes again!

I'm sweating bullets about the Arizona/St. Mary's game. The Gaels' center looks specifically trained to wreak havoc on the (AZ) Wildcats interior defense.
posted by carsonb at 2:53 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Another Wildcats team down, but Northwestern looks like they gave Gonzaga a helluva game! I hope the trend doesn't continue to the next Wildcat game. =O
posted by carsonb at 4:56 PM on March 18

Even though it would have completely busted my bracket (I have Gonzaga winning it all) I would have given just about anything for Northwestern to prevail. They really gave it their all.
posted by donnagirl at 4:57 PM on March 18

seen on twitter:

All-time NCAA Tournament winning percentages, purple wildcats division:
Kansas State .507
Northwestern .500
posted by fleacircus at 5:58 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]

Go Cats!
posted by egregious theorem at 7:27 PM on March 18

My lady Wolfpack are still in! Which is awesomesauce, since almost everyone else we were rooting for has fallen out.

(We talking NIT anywhere?)
posted by joycehealy at 7:41 PM on March 18

I think it would be okay for NIT talk to go here. All I know about it is lol Syracuse.
posted by fleacircus at 8:13 PM on March 18

Pretty much, re: Syracuse. The entire first game the announcers were busy talking cash money shit about how this poor Syracuse team, they're so disappointed, they should have gone to the big dance, etc. Then, when they were busy mopping up my Spartans (we had a good year and a good end to the season and we are only losing a couple of seniors, we will be back), it was all, look at these Orangemen, couple more games and they're going to be in Madison Square Garden where they belong. It's no small amount of satisfaction to see them go out. :)

Otherwise, NIT wise, UTA is still in (and kicked BYU's ass, what a fun game that was to watch other than the refs not calling anything on BYU - how you hit someone in the face or knock someone on their butt, hands in the air because you know you did it, and not get a foul?) and TCU is still in, so while we're not too happy about how the big dance is going, my household is pretty satisfied with the NIT results so far.
posted by joycehealy at 7:30 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

hands in the air because you know you did it

That has to be one of my "favorite" things that players do: when they have their arms up, but not actually quite straight up, and they foul because of that — then they stand there for awhile with their arms up incredulous, but like... clearly their arms are not straight up.
posted by fleacircus at 10:45 AM on March 19

I think it would be okay for NIT talk to go here. All I know about it is lol Syracuse.

Hells yeah, let's talk NIT! Mostly because I work for UAkron and we made it out of the first round! Go Zips!!!!!
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:57 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Woo Michigan!

(If you want a definition of karma, one of my UM grad school classmates who went to Lousiville for undergrad called Wagner a "typical Michigan punk" at the half.)
posted by Etrigan at 11:51 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

I'm very much enjoying Wichita State's gritty style of play. They're not intimidated at all by the big bad Wildcats.
posted by Become A Silhouette at 12:25 PM on March 19

Re: Michigan and Louisville, I think the bigger karmic debt is because THE BLOCK WAS FUCKING CLEAN

I'm still pissed about that.

My work bracket is set so that the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight wins are weighted by seed, so a win or two more by Michigan and I'm set. Go Blue!
posted by Existential Dread at 4:19 PM on March 19

posted by fleacircus at 8:16 PM on March 19

Precipitous drop in levels of Duke.
posted by fleacircus at 8:39 PM on March 19

Here is IMHO the best tweet roasting Duke.
posted by fleacircus at 9:15 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]

That tweet is a thing of beauty.

Was too busy doing other things...any trip action, or did dude learn his lesson at long last?
posted by Existential Dread at 9:18 PM on March 19

I didn't see the whole game, but Grayson Allen stayed pretty much in the background.
posted by fleacircus at 9:40 PM on March 19

South Cackalacky redeems humanity, shames Duke. I really was hoping Allen would cry.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:54 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

No one here may care about about the WBI except for me, but our women won their game yesterday and are in the semifinals and I'm making flailing kermit hands this morning. :)
posted by joycehealy at 7:21 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]

The Duke loss has torched my bracket and I am so, so happy about it.

(It almost, though not quite, makes up for U.Va.'s horrendously embarrassing showing on Saturday.)
posted by thecaddy at 8:14 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]

Oh, no, @chainsofreedom, your Zips are playing the Mavs! I just hope this is a good game.

... also, who is that big guy on the court, and what the heck did y'all feed him?
posted by joycehealy at 5:18 PM on March 20

Who, Isaiah Johnson? They call him Big Dog. He has a wingspan of over 7 feet! Good game to UT-Arlington; although I know our guys don't want to leave yet and come back home to the snow.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:27 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]

Yea, he was huge. And really good, dang. And y'all played a good game!
posted by joycehealy at 6:46 AM on March 21

... and we're playing Bakersfield and I think that frightens me.
posted by joycehealy at 11:38 AM on March 21

Go ducks! Use that Nike powah.
posted by fleacircus at 5:24 PM on March 23

Chris Boucher being injured might be devastating, they said. Oregon will struggle, they said.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:09 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Oh well. My bracket is basically a three-car pileup at this point. Womp womp.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:44 AM on March 24

The performances of Tyler Dorsey have certainly increased calls in Greek sports media to get him a spot in the national basketball team (though draft would complicate matters).
posted by ersatz at 3:29 AM on March 29

Hey, check out Mississippi State!
posted by eckeric at 7:41 PM on March 31

We're a little late to the game - we just got a chance to watch the game tonight - but what about those Horned Frogs?!?! :)
posted by joycehealy at 6:27 PM on April 2

Be careful, everybody. We're all in foul trouble tonight.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:56 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]

And, here's One Shining Moment.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:45 AM on April 4

Dangit. Between UConn losing on the women's side, and Gonzaga (my hope) losing to *the one team* my fiance correctly predicted would go far, I'm pretty sure I lost both first-chance (by one point) and second-chance brackets (by more than one point) against him.

posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:42 AM on April 4

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