March Madness Contest and NIT Update

http://www.gamedaydepot.com/sb-nation/college/shakin-the-southland

Our March Madness Bracket Contest is nearing it's winner as we begin day two of Elite Eight games. Meanwhile, the NIT begins its Final Four games this week.

March Madness Contest Update

Three huge Sweet Sixteen games cleared up our contest on Friday.

Nobody still in contention had Tennessee in the Elite Eight, but Michigan advancing past them was the death blow for many who picked Duke and thus did not have a horse in that fight.

Virginia's loss to Michigan State was a big dividing point for the group. Quacking Tiger was in position to take the pool had UVA found a way, but with the Michigan State win, he and the others who had Virginia in the Final Four were pared out.

Kentucky was involved in yet another tournament classic as they knocked off Louisville and effectively bailed out those who had Wichita State winning the region. It's not often said, but so much about winning your pool isn't just picking the right teams, but getting lucky and having other teams limit the damage for you when you pick wrongly. For those who chose Wichita State to beat Louisville, they got bailed out and nobody will gain points from the UK vs. UL game as Kentucky was quite the sleeper and from my look through the brackets, was not picked by anybody to advance past the Sweet Sixteen.

In Elite Eight action, Florida did their part to help us stave off total chaos. The Wisconsin vs. Arizona game was the one to watch though, as a couple placed his bet on the Badgers and so many others picked Arizona. It turned out to be an OT thriller. Wisconsin's fantastic 7-footer, Frank Kaminsky, carried the load for the Badgers. At the end of overtime, Arizona was gifted a possession when an out-of-bounds call was reversed upon replay review. Maybe they saw an angle I didn't, but it looked like the replay was confirming a great call on the court. Either way, Arizona got the ball with just barely over 2 seconds remaining. Rather than taking one or two dribbles, Nick Johnson took four or five and the buzzer sounded before he got a shot off. Wisconsin's win has huge shock waves for our pool. It knocked me from my perch at the top and essentially killed the chances for most. There are three major contenders still around and the breakdown is pretty simple. I haven't looked through every bracket (but close) and my scenarios aren't collectively exhaustive, but this basically sums it up.

Bracket Name Points Points Possible Scenario Needed
AParker 80 108 If Michigan State doesn't advance to the Final Four, he has it in the bag.
TigerSean 75 115 Needs Michigan State to play for a National Championship.
Ryan Kantor 74 110 Will need Michigan State to reach the Final Four and lose to Florida.

Just as a reminder, you had to sign up with SB Nation on their contest's Facebook group. If you did not, you are not eligible to receive the free tee shirt.

NIT Update

The NIT is down to its Final Four and Clemson is the only non-1 seed to make it to Madison Square Garden. No teams remaining, played a road game on the path to New York City.

The first matchup is Tuesday at 7pm and features Clemson and SMU. SuperTigerC will be publishing a preview shortly so I won't discuss SMU in-depth here. Looking at SMU's resume, I see they beat Memphis, Cincinnati, and UConn twice. Our only wins against NCAA tournament teams came over Duke and NC State. Their most commonly used lineup features 6'9" and 6'7" in the post, so we shouldn't be bullied in the paint, even without Blossomgame.

On the other side of the bracket, Minnesota and FSU will face off after the conclusion of our game (9pm, but you know it'll be running late). Minnesota beat Florida State in the ACC/B1G Challenge earlier this season, but that game was played in Minnesota. KenPom has this as a virtual toss-up favoring FSU slightly. The Gophers are by no means small, but Florida State's front line is just huge. Without Blossomgame I'm concerned about going up against that front line, so should we win the early game I'll be cheering for Minnesota. Heck, we'll all be cheering for Minnesota regardless. Both semi-final games will be televised on ESPN2.

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