What a Fiasco! I’m 5,461st in the NCAA contest I founded!

The ageless Joe Mazzulla and West Virginia had a better day than I did. (AP photo)

The ageless Joe Mazzulla and West Virginia had a far better day than I did. (AP photo)

It’s not exactly a great moment when you awake on the second full day of the NCAA tournament to find you rank 5,461st of 5,742 entrants in the contest you founded. But that’s where I, Mark Bradley, stand in Mark Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco after as bad a prediction day as I’ve ever known. (Which is saying something.)

I went 7-9 in Thursday’s games. My two major upsets — Belmont over Wisconsin and Wofford over BYU — never came close to fruition. The two major upsets I chose not to pick — Morehead State over Louisville and Richmond over Vanderbilt — actually happened. The Michigan State comeback against UCLA fizzled. Old Dominion lost to Butler on a last-second putback. Missouri and St. John’s and Clemson all lost, and only Clemson was ever in its game.

To which I say: Rats. But now we move forward. The good news is that I have all my Elite Eight working. (The less-good news is that only three of the eight have actually begun play.) Today I’ve picked two more double-digit seeds — VCU over Georgetown and Georgia over Washington — and I can’t say the doings of (Full) Day 1 have filled me with optimism.

That said … (Full) Day 1 was one heck of a deal. Four last-second winners. Two huge upsets. Morehead State came very close to being the only team from Kentucky still playing. Butler is still doing as Butler does. And the price for hiring Chris Mooney away from Richmond keeps going up, which might not be the best news for Georgia Tech.

And me, I’m near the bottom of my own contest. Just between us, I would not classify that as a major upset.

By Mark Bradley

111 comments Add your comment

Rufus

March 18th, 2011
9:25 am

georgia will blow your bracket wide open! Georgia???? You’ve got to be joking. 3-9 versus 1-50 rpi??? Georgia teams are always out of condition, football, basketball, whatever, that’s the rap.

bhorsoft

March 18th, 2011
9:26 am

bhorsoft

March 18th, 2011
9:27 am

Rats, guess not.

Not doing much better. Losing Mizzou was a big blow to my brackets. Approaching the day with optimism.

Rufus

March 18th, 2011
9:28 am

Mark,

How many of Fox’s 20 wins were against teams with a decent rpi, say 40 or better? 2? 3?

That’s what you look for in teams who go deeper in the tourney.

Rufus

March 18th, 2011
9:31 am

If you’re elite 8 is still in tact, you can finish well in the contest. Who carews, you’re a top notch writer, not a Vegas picker.

Rickster

March 18th, 2011
9:33 am

I’m at 26 points – 140th place.

NEVER pick against ‘Zaga in the first round! :-)

Mark Bradley

March 18th, 2011
9:36 am

UGA is 3-9 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI

Mark Bradley

March 18th, 2011
9:36 am

I don’t know why I picked against Gonzaga. Or West Virginia. Or Morehead

Rickster

March 18th, 2011
9:36 am

I missed Temple over Penn St, UCLA over Michigan, and Morehead St over Louisville. No one in their right mind would have reasonably picked Morehead over Louisville.

Mark Bradley

March 18th, 2011
9:37 am

Or BYU. Or Butler

Mark Bradley

March 18th, 2011
9:38 am

Actually, I’d mentioned Morehead State twice as a possible upset team. But I didn’t think the Eagles could upset Louisville.

RBailey

March 18th, 2011
9:43 am

Mark, it is not where you start, it is where you end up. Heck, you started out at the MHS Advocate and look where you are now.

GTBob

March 18th, 2011
9:44 am

I’m 788th right now. Went 12-4 on day 1. Not too terrible. Louisville’s last second collapse didn’t help me though.

bucket

March 18th, 2011
9:46 am

Wow. I was actually 12-4 yesterday, but 2 of those picks are going to kill me later, especially Louisville. Really surprised there was no call @ the end of the Louisville game. Whether it was actually a foul or not is generally irrelevant when the higher seed is involved in the shooting!

El Bravo

March 18th, 2011
9:47 am

MB, I had a bad day myself but from a basketball standpoint it was one of the best days in the history of the tournament. Parity is here to stay and I would not be surprised if we don’t see the first 16 over 1 upset within the next five years. The depth in this tournament is impressive.

Paul in RDU

March 18th, 2011
9:48 am

My worst loss was Belmont against WI. My company’s HQ is near Milwaukee and I was smack talking the boss. I am still comfortable on my local teams going further in the tourney than theirs though.

bucket

March 18th, 2011
9:49 am

Mark, I have been trying to play nice with you lately, but I am really going to be angry with you if you have given the Dawgs the kiss of death!

Rickster

March 18th, 2011
9:49 am

Luckily I had Kansas beating UofL further down the line, so that won’t hurt me too much.

I went 13-3! :-)

Rickster

March 18th, 2011
9:55 am

I picked Richmond ’cause I thought they were the #12 seed that had the best chance to beat their opponent.

Mark Bradley

March 18th, 2011
9:57 am

I try not to pick upsets against good coaches — Pitino, Stallings, etc. Might need to reconsider.

bucket

March 18th, 2011
9:59 am

@ Rickster – Wish I had shown more faith in Kansas now! All is not lost, however, as I still have a chance for 3 of the final 4! We shall see!

elroy

March 18th, 2011
10:04 am

hope you didn’t jinx UGA by predicting them to win a couple of games. now i am not liking UGA’s chances.

CJ

March 18th, 2011
10:10 am

I wish I had done a little more research on Mizzou on Utah State. Mizzou has no idea what a rebound is and Utah State apparently doesn’t know how to score when their go-to-guy is out. Whoops.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

March 18th, 2011
10:13 am

Yeah I lost 3 of the 4 games deceided in the last 7 seconds. That goes along with St. John and Michigan St. The good news is I am ranked higher than Bradley! LOL! All kidding aside, that is the beauty of March Madness, having a opening day so capturing like that. Look forward to todays games!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

March 18th, 2011
10:16 am

Mark,

I thought with the pressing defense St. John ran and the talented perimeter players they have they would handle Gonzaga better than they did. Gonzaga played a beautiful inside/outside game along with dominating the boards. St. John ran simply into a terrible matchup for the teams skill set.

wdm

March 18th, 2011
10:17 am

No one is surprised you don’t know what you are talking about. And just as a side note, I checked Google and you also rank 5,461 out of 5,462 sports journalist.

JTH

March 18th, 2011
10:22 am

Don’t quit your day job!

Buckeye

March 18th, 2011
10:26 am

dawginlex,

Wasn’t it you who said Wisc. was crap?

Buckeye

March 18th, 2011
10:27 am

Good luck Howard ( before I was Trey) and Co. Once you’re drafted and sign, I’ll call you Howard ( before I was NBA).

Go Bucks!

dougmo2

March 18th, 2011
10:33 am

Mark, what’s going to kill you is your southeast region. Dude, you got shredded.

Dirty Dawg

March 18th, 2011
10:39 am

That’s not all that bad, Mark, when you consider that the, so-called, ‘Experts’ on ESPN – all six of ‘em – missed a batch of theirs too. Not as many as you and me, but a batch. They missed on Penn State, Louisville, Old Dominion and Utah State, and they still have a bunch of upset picks that could ‘go-south’ on ‘em today. As for picking UGA, like me you probably thought, ‘what the hell’, so I miss one, the upside outweighs the miss. For you maybe it’ll mean folks like me won’t be on your rear-end so much for ‘doggin’ the Dawgs’…for me, it’s just that I needed to pick ‘em cause I never like ‘pulling against my money’.

Mr. Holmes

March 18th, 2011
10:39 am

Still hopeful over here. All Elite Eight teams remain, only lost two Sweet 16s. Tip of the hat to the Zags for a great game against St. John’s. Missed Vandy/Richmond so not sure what happened there.

UGASlobberknocker

March 18th, 2011
10:40 am

8-8 #5204..my worst first day ever by far. My Final 4 is still standing..but only 2 of them played yesterday. only lost one sweet 16 team..MO.

Oh well, the green beer was still very tasty

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

March 18th, 2011
10:42 am

3448 Is where i rank at the moment better than last year is all i can say about that. 7 of my elite 8 are still in which is not saying much at this point.

UGASlobberknocker

March 18th, 2011
10:44 am

How many people entered this thing ? If I am 8-8 and #5204. Id hate to see the # on the guy who went 6-10.

UGASlobberknocker

March 18th, 2011
10:45 am

never mind…re read the article..Man Im worse that I thought

Jackets 2011

March 18th, 2011
10:51 am

Mark, you’re an entertainer.
Like Cedric.
You scored yesterday with your concise and accurate summation of Coach K but I deserve a assist for bringing up the issue.

Rickster

March 18th, 2011
10:51 am

Still can’t believe that KY came within a 3-pointer of losing to Princeton!

Dink

March 18th, 2011
10:52 am

Not sure why Belmont seemed to be such a popular choice, never thought they could handle the Badgers. But Morehead St really surprised, I thoght you picked them MB? Hats off to their HC who went for the win. Zaga was really impressive last night.

Go Dawgs!

Can't believe you picked uga

March 18th, 2011
10:53 am

You are obviously biased.. Bark Bradley

Dirty Dawg

March 18th, 2011
10:57 am

Seemingly every sports talking head (so to speak) – at least for the radio guys, I assume they’ve got heads – is making a joke about ‘Morehead’ State, but the jersey they showed on TV, a pretty young coed, I assume, with ‘I (heart/love) Morehead’, topped the list. Maybe this has been going on forever – at least in Kentucky (you ought to know Mark) – but it was new to me.

Jackets 2011

March 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Paul in RDU
How’s your job security though?
Your boss’s team lost after you smack talked him?
Your last paycheck is in the mail.
Just kiding.

Jackets 2011

March 18th, 2011
11:01 am

Folks
Both Mark and Jeff generally have to say nice things about Tech and Uga.
When they don’t is after a number of years of falling returns.
Plenty of fans are egging them on by then.
Sometimes they’ll be homers.
Other times they try to hit the nail on the head and spark some controversy.

Jackets 2011

March 18th, 2011
11:06 am

Since most of this state’s archrival fans usually pick doom for the other side’s teams, I’d like to rank Bulldogs/Huskies as a toss-up.
Should be a good game.
Should the Dawgs get past U-W, the Heels await and a stadium full of baby blue and probably not too many calls.
As Clemson and Tech find out each year in Greensboro.

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 18th, 2011
11:07 am

You should publish the screen names of the 281 people who did worse than you.

Paul in RDU

March 18th, 2011
11:08 am

Actually Jackets 2011, my last day is next Friday. I start work in NH a week on Monday.

joe

March 18th, 2011
11:10 am

Yesterday I said Vandy, UT and UGA all lose in the first round…still on track with that one…

BuckheadBill

March 18th, 2011
11:18 am

Hey Pitino, come on man. I had you in final 4.

gdawginkalamazoo

March 18th, 2011
11:19 am

Paul in RDU, personally I don’t run any smack until the scoreboard advises me that I can.

Paul in RDU

March 18th, 2011
11:24 am

gdawginkalamazoo,
I hear you on that one, but my boss and I enjoy doing it at times (and we know it is just complete BS)