NCAA Tourney: Brackets filled with red because of Blue Raiders - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

NCAA Tourney: Brackets filled with red because of Blue Raiders

Success flew over the region commonly known as as "flyover country." (Source: Brian Tynes/RNN) Success flew over the region commonly known as as "flyover country." (Source: Brian Tynes/RNN)

(RNN) - So, how are we doing?

Good? Are we doing good? No, we are not.

If you are a Michigan State fan, first of all, my condolences. Second of all, we all hate you and your team.

At one point over the weekend, there were 11 brackets tied for the No. 1 position on ESPN that had all only missed one game. They had all missed Middle Tennessee beating Michigan State, and five of those brackets had Michigan State as the national champion.

No one made it through the first round perfect. No one includes me, by the way.

Of all the brackets I filled out, I do have one beating the control of just taking all the favorites. However, I have another that is already completely dead.

This fourth year's attempt at beating the chalk isn't off to a great start, because only half my brackets still have their national champion remaining. There's still some hope, but it's dangling by a thread. So, how did we get here? Let's dive in and find out.

The brackets can be viewed here, and an explanation of the methodology can be seen here.

Chalk/'Smart' bracket

First, a word about the chalk. Among my brackets, it was tied for second-best in the first round and tied for best in the second round. It's currently the second-best bracket behind by only 10 points. It's going to be tough to unseat because it's only lost two Elite Eight teams and since no No. 1 seed has yet lost, its Final Four is still intact. It has the most potential points moving forward.

The ESPN-generated "Smart Bracket" has much more carnage. It was tied for second-best after the first round, but losses by Iowa, Hawaii and Utah hurt it in Round 2. But Arizona's first round loss to Wichita State delivered a huge blow, taking out a national championship game team.

This bracket was not hurt much by Michigan State's loss. It picked the Spartans to win, but had them losing in the next round to Dayton. Unfortunately, Dayton lost in the first round, so that entire corner of the bracket, which also included Utah making the Final Four is dead.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 8

No. of Final Four teams left: 2

Best pick: Wisconsin over Xavier

Worst loss: Arizona, runner-up

My actual picks

I'm currently in first place by 10 points, but I've got an uphill battle because two other brackets have more potential points and they are both very similar.

As with most brackets, the Midwest Region was a colossal failure. Five of the eight lower seeds in that region won, and I picked none of them.

That was a common theme. Of the tournament-record 10 double-digit seeds that won in the first round, I picked two - Yale and Northern Iowa. Both of those teams are in the West Region, so it should come as no surprise that that's where I did best. It's the only region in which I picked all four Sweet 16 teams.

I didn't pick many double-digit seeds to win, but got two of those three picks correct. I had mentioned last week I didn't like that I put no double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16. I was right to feel trepidation about that because two made it.

They are both in the Midwest Region where I picked no upsets. That's the only region where I didn't get at least two Sweet 16 teams right and in the first round got no more than half the number of games right that I did in other regions.

This is the only bracket I have in the top half of all brackets submitted on ESPN.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 10

No. of Final Four teams left: 3

Best pick: Yale over Baylor

Worst loss: Michigan State, runner-up

Football

Hoo boy, this did not work out. Only two brackets are worse and only two - the same ones - have fewer potential points. It was a major casualty of Michigan State's loss.

Middle Tennessee and Villanova took out Final Four teams Michigan State and Iowa, relegating this bracket to the scrap heap. The Midwest Region is the worst, as is to be expected.

This bracket only has three Elite Eight teams remaining - Notre Dame, North Carolina and Oklahoma. It's fate is in the hands of the Sooners and the Fighting Irish.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 5

No. of Final Four teams left: 2

Best pick: Wisconsin

Worst loss: Michigan State, national champion

Scrabble score

Complete disaster.

This bracket is the absolute worst. It was the worst in the first round and the worst in the second round. Making matters even worse, it has no potential points in the future.

This bracket is completely dead. Of all the attempts I've done, none has ever been this bad.

At first glance, you might think it picked Middle Tennessee over Michigan State, but it didn't. Michigan State scored 21 to Middle Tennessee's 19.

However, the Midwest Region was actually its strongest, picking both Syracuse and Gonzaga. And thanks to the Zags, it didn't get completely shut out in the Sweet 16. But it has them losing there, so it's effectively done.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 1

No. of Final Four teams left: 0

Best pick: Stephen F. Austin over West Virginia

Worst loss: Virginia Commonwealth, national champion

Uniform color (revisit)

It picked Middle Tennessee! Yay.

This bracket may be a late bloomer. It didn't do well in the early rounds, but has the second-most potential points in later rounds, and its entire Final Four is still intact.

To beat this bracket, I need Miami and Oklahoma to win and Virginia to lose.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 6

No. of Final Four teams left: 4

Best pick: Gonzaga

Worst loss: Dayton, Elite Eight

Mascot (revisit)

I should have said Bulldogs are staid and overused, and wiped them out. That would have had me take a hit on Gonzaga making the Sweet 16, but it would have prevented Yale from being named national champion. Live and learn.

The only bracket worse than this one, by any measure, is Scrabble score. Seven of the teams this bracket picked in the Elite Eight have been eliminated, as have three of the Final Four and both championship game participants.

The only team that can help this bracket is Miami. But it's so bad, any win by the football bracket prevents this one from increasing its position.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 3

No. of Final Four teams left: 1

Best pick: Hawaii over Cal

Worst loss: Yale, national champion

Coin flip (revisit)

This bracket is the exact opposite of the "Uniform Color." It is tied for third after tying for second in the first round and placing third in the second round, but it has the third worst potential points.

Because of the "weighted" seeding (needing head/tails to turn over the same number as your seed to advance), it didn't pick many upsets. And the ones it did - Virginia Commonwealth over Oregon State, Pitt over Wisconsin and Michigan over Notre Dame - didn't happen.

It has very little hope of moving up, because anything that helps it will also help other brackets.

No. of Sweet 16 teams: 9

No. of Final Four teams left: 3

Best pick: UConn over Colorado/Providence over Southern Cal

Worst loss: Xavier, national champion

Follow me on Twitter at @BNT_RNN, for some reason.

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