OK, I’m a hoops nut. Slightly more so even than a Steeler football fan – OK, way more so! While Brown’s fans get all hyped about off-season moves that might just stop a Steeler blitz, I’m busy analyzing the shit out of a field of 65 desperately trying to get it all figured out by Thursday noon.

So, if from Thursday to Sunday my posts are a bit light…you’ll know why. Now, on to my initial reading of the bracket:

First and most glaringly – Home-state Cincy Bearcats got SCREWED! In a big way. Air Force? Not even in a weak ass conference final and they are in? That’s just bad. Sure Cincy went 6-10 down the stretch, but they beat Syracuse AT Syracuse in February as well as West Virginia, then barely lose to Syracuse again days ago…Air Force on the other hand lost mostly to teams not even in the damned tournament (Wyoming TWICE)! Cincy hangs in there with a 19-12 record in a murder’s row of a conference. Very poor job.

Toughest region? I say The DC region with what is surely the toughest 11-6 matchup as well as a tough 12-5. Fittingly, the selection committee did my team, Kentucky, no favorites by giving us UAB in the first round (It was either that or Marquette I figured – seeing how both teams have recently put tourney upsets on us). No worries this year though. Our big test will come against #1 UConn as we drew the dreaded 8-9 matchup.

Easiest region? Uh, Atlanta. Duke should have no trouble getting out of this region. The weakest 2, the weakest 4, and an exhausted Syracuse is 5. I like the 3 in Iowa though, but no way they give Duke much trouble – even in the regional final.

12-5 upset pick. There’s always one. This year I have two. Montana over Nevada and A&M over Syracuse.

16-1? Nope. Not this year.

Lowest seed to make regional final? I think 6 seeded Michigan State can make it out. They will have to overcome #3 UNC and #2 UT, but both are not impossible. Hell, we beat Tennessee! Look out also for #8 George Washington. If they get by Duke they’ll make it to the final 4.

My team? Honestly, I think out in round 2. UConn will give us matchup fits…unless Shagari can do to UConn what he did to Utah last year. I will be glad to have a shot at them in round 2 given this season. UAB won’t be easy, but I don’t think they run us to death either. Tubby has to cut Rondo and Bradley loose. Rajon could end up taking over this game if he is allowed.

OK, time to get circling and hope for very little red ink come Thursday. Enjoy the national holiday that is known as the NCAA Tournament!

Update: Ok, finished circling. My Final Four?

Duke – Memphis

UConn – Ohio State

Championship: Duke (78) vs. Ohio State (79)