George Mason Advances!

Props to George Mason for a dominating victory over Michigan State last night. And it was great for Jim Larranaga to prevail despite suspending Tony Skinn. In the world of modern college sports it is great to see a guy do the right thing and still win.

The hardest part was being away from my Mega March Madness for the first two days of the tourney. I was on vacation visiting family for Spring Break and--horrors!--I had to watch whatever CBS put in front of me. How do people still live like that?

Consider this an open thread to talk about the first two days of March Madness if you like.

JLR (mail) (www):
Way to go George Mason!

On a more downbeat note, three of my sleeper picks for my NCAA bracket have gone down in flames.

Marquette (my pick for a Sweet Sixteen spot) lost in the first round to Alabama.

Seton Hall (my pick for another Sweet Sixteen spot) lost in the first round to Wichita State.

Iowa (my pick for a Final Four spot) lost in the first round to Northwestern State on a buzzer beater.

But my bracket still has some hope. Go Pitt!
3.18.2006 10:30am
Mikeyes (mail):
Let's see, during that George Mason v. the Rest of the World kerfuffle about FAIR v Rumsfeld, I proposed that the NCAA tournament decide who was in the right. So far GMU has lasted longer than Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Michigan, and Yale (OK, I cheated, none of them got in.) But they have survived the first round whilst Berkeley, Michigan St., Wisconsin, UPenn, Kansas, and Marquette are on the sidelines. Of course Duke, Texas, UCLA, Boston College, Georgetown, and Ohio State still survive. We will see if God will choose a winner in this "LSAT Duel." (With apologies to Eric Jager.)
3.18.2006 11:08am
SenatorX (mail):
UoF Alumni here(the wife too), still in it!
3.18.2006 11:09am
Mikeyes (mail):
I have to admit I am on tilt. I picked all but one of the winners so far (I picked Montana and Northwestern State and I don't even know where they are) but managed to pick Kansas to win it all. I think I will lie down now.
3.18.2006 11:18am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Basketball. Hmmm. Round orange ball, lots of skinny guys running back and forth in baggy shorts?
3.18.2006 11:40am
countertop (mail):
Go Vols!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3.18.2006 12:12pm
James Lindgren (mail):
For those of you who bet, recognize that in recent years the ultimate national champion usually wins both of their first two games by 10 points or more. Among top 4 seeds (and the winner need not be a top-4 seed), that leaves BC, FLA, UCLA, LSU, Duke, Memphis, Villanova, and UConn with a better chance of winning the championship than Ohio State, TX, UNC, Gonzaga, IL, or TN.

Although this test hasn't yet weeded out most of the top favorites, after the 2d game, the list of likely champions will be much smaller.
3.18.2006 12:14pm
JLR (mail) (www):
Professor Lindgren,

I don't bet but I do have an NCAA bracket in a game where the only prize is the thrill of victory (and the only loss is the agony of defeat).

For what it's worth, by your rubric I hope Duke either loses to GW or beats GW by less than 10 points. My bracket has Duke losing in the Sweet 16.
3.18.2006 12:30pm
As a Northwestern Alum I was psyched to see us beat Iowa on a buzzer beater...of course, it was Northwestern State, which is not quite the same thing, but still I am taking all the credit.
3.18.2006 1:34pm
Kovarsky (mail):
is there anything worse than losing a final four team the first weekend.

damn you kansas.
3.18.2006 3:28pm
Hattio (mail):
A friend of mine has a theory that you can always make money the first weekend by betting the spread, always for the underdogs. He says he's followed it the last three or four years, and always more than half the favored teams either fail to cover, or lose. I wonder how many years that theory would work?

And, Duke will, of course, win it all.
3.18.2006 4:32pm
Kovarsky (mail):
ive found the best way to make money is by finding brackets amongst friend groups with a strong regional bias. i'm from texas but don't care about the 'horns a bit. everyone else in the pool always takes them too far, and I almost always make up points on the pack there.
3.18.2006 5:05pm
Cornellian (mail):
I thought from the title that it was a reference to GMU's place in the US News law school rankings.
3.18.2006 9:37pm
Here's a question related to Cornellian's point: which universities have the best total rankings for law schools plus AP final men's basketball rankings? (i.e., think golf, lower is better). My guess is Duke and Penn would do the best. Maybe these would be the best rankings for pre-law students who want good quality of life at law school to use. :)
3.19.2006 1:28am
Rob L. (mail) (www):

Check out these pages. It's a sports wiki. You can discuss predictions, key matchups, and do a live game recap of today's NCAA games..

here are the links for the afternoon games:

Pittsburgh v. Bradley

Memphis v. Bucknell

W.V. vs. Northwestern State

UCONN v. Kentucky

UNC v. George Mason
3.19.2006 10:33am
DRJ (mail):

Since Texas currently holds national championships in football and baseball plus a Sweet Sixteen berth in mens' basketball, I nominate Texas Law as a finalist in the all-sports division.
3.20.2006 12:47am
James Lindgren (mail):
So after the first weekend, only 5 teams won by 10 points in both games: FLA, BC, Memphis, Duke, &W. Virginia. If the recent past is a guide, the winner is more likely to come from these 5 teams combined than the other 11 teams combined.
3.20.2006 6:22pm