Monday, March 28, 2011

Misery loves company

Dispatch/Neal C. Lauron
Well, Ohio State fans, we are not alone.

The early giant-kiling winds I sensed with Duke and SDSU's losses on Thursday turned into a full-blown cyclone over the weekend.

For the first time in my memory, absolutely none of the top eight seeds (#1s and #2s) will be playing this weekend in the Final Four in Houston.  The last time even no #1s made it was 2006, and before that, it was 1980.  In both of those years, there was a 2 seed playing, so I'm not sure this has ever happened.

The funny thing is, as devastated and fustrated as I was after Ohio State shot their way to an early spring break, the fact that the same fate befell all the other top seeds somehow makes the medicine go down a little easier.  And despite my disbelief in seeing the Buckeyes play so poorly, and still nearly win, I certainly did enjoy the weekend games, and probably will next weekend as well.

And of course, roughly 70% of Americans have zero teams remaining in their NCAA brackets, and 99% of fans are even more heartbroken than normal.  Count me as part of the majority here. reports that, out of nearly six million entries on ESPN, exactly two had all four Final Four teams correct.  Only about a thousand had even three of them, and only about 2.1% of them had three teams.  Crazy.

Even crazier, the leader of all 5.9 million brackets overall is one of the people who picked the Final Four correctly (they have VCU over UK in the final.)  But the other one is ranked 6,343rd in the challenge. 

But no matter what team you root for, the fact that the Butler Bulldogs--the team that Cleveland State just couldn't handle--has made it to the Final Four for the second straight year, is nothing short of amazing.  The fact that they will be playing a team called Virginia Commonwealth?  Priceless.