How Busted is Your Bracket? | Noah Gaines

Week one of March Madness has come to a close and, as many figured, there are 0 perfect brackets left in ESPN and CBS tournament challenge. Unlikely upset outcomes such as Murray State (12) over Marquette (5) as well as the round of 32 matchup between UC Irvine (13) and Oregon (12), who beat Kansas State (4) and Wisconsin (5) respectively, can contribute to renowned bracket busting.

On the flip side, some will be too aggressive. Some will seek to pick that one upset that nobody would this was possible in hopes of wrecking the field of fellow competitors in their bracket pools. This can also contribute to the ruining of ones bracket. Experts and people alike picked Yale (14) to upset LSU (3) in the first round, yet LSU won the game and has recently beat Maryland (6) to advance to the Sweet 16 taking place next weekend. Another example was New Mexico State (12) defeating Auburn (5) in the opening round of the tournament. Auburn wins that game then goes on to upset Kansas (4) next round by a whopping 14 points. That’s demoralizing for that one person, the further that team goes the more busted your bracket is going to get.

With all the occasional upsets in this year's tournament, the top three seeds in every region have advanced to the second round. Experts call this “chalk” due to the little variety amongst the elite teams in the tournament in terms of results. The tournament is just commencing and many intriguing matchups can thwart this “chalking” phenomenon and create some turmoil in the minds of bracket pickers.

Major games next week allow for some divide between that one bracket picker who assures that all #1 seeds make the final four (which has happened once in tournament history in 2008) from the true college basketball fan. The most intriguing matchups are Gonzaga (1) against Florida State (4) and Auburn (5) versus UNC (1). Auburn is coming off a SEC tournament win and was considered underseeded by many experts. They also looked very sharp shooting the ball against a good Kansas team on Saturday. Florida State has size and the ability to rotate a plethora of players onto the court. This would keep their players fresh while Gonzaga lacks similar depth, specifically in the backcourt.

I wish everyone luck on their brackets moving forward, but most importantly, go Blue Devils.