Bracket Debacle Gives New Meaning To March Madness

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My NCAA Tournament bracket has once again left me questioning my knowledge of college basketball.

I've asked myself, "What the heck were you thinking?" on more than one occasion in the past few days.

In my defense, if anyone beside Kevin Durant would've showed up for Texas, or if Texas A&M's Acie Law IV would've sunk that breakaway layup, I'd look like a genius right now.

I suppose that's why they call it March Madness.

Personal pride aside, another glorious Final Four was decided over the weekend and has me too excited to care (much) about the debacle that was my bracket.

Ohio State somehow clawed its way into the Elite Eight and defeated Memphis, 92-76, on Saturday. Greg Oden looked intense for maybe the first time in 10 games -- a bad sign for the other three remaining teams.

UCLA topped Kansas, 68-55, on Saturday, paving the way for its second consecutive Final Four appearance.

The defending national champion Florida Gators will get the chance to protect their title after knocking off a scrappy Oregon team, 85-77, on Sunday.

The most thrilling Elite Eight game was captured by Georgetown on Sunday. It took a desperate comeback and an overtime period before the Hoyas could topple Tyler Hansbrough and the UNC Tar Heels, 96-84.

The game revived a 25-year-old rivalry between the two teams. Tar Heel Michael Jordan sunk a jump shot to beat Patrick Ewing's Hoyas in 1982 for the national championship. This year, it was payback for Patrick Ewing Jr. and company.

This Final Four is loaded with talent. Notably absent are any lucky, hardworking, heart-filled underdogs.

All four teams are legitimate powerhouses and deserve to be right where they are.

Some interesting facts heading into the Final Four:

  • All four teams have won at least 30 games this season up to this point -- a first in the history of the tournament.
  • Ohio State and Florida are No. 1 seeds and UCLA and Georgetown are No. 2 seeds. The last time this many teams so highly ranked made the Final Four was 14 years ago when three No. 1s and a No. 2 seed made it.
  • Two teams, Florida and UCLA, have returned to the Final Four's big stage after making it this far last year. In the previous four years, 16 different teams had made the Final Four.
  • Florida will seek to repeat as champions. The last time a team won back-to-back tournaments was in 1991 and 1992, when Duke achieved the unlikely feat. Duke, by the way, was upset in the first round of the tournament by an 11-seeded Virginia Commonwealth. Sorry, I had to mention that again.

What this tournament lacked in unbelievable upsets and berserk buzzer-beaters, it made up for in dominating, fundamentally sound basketball.

So, the Buckeyes and Hoyas will compete at the Georgia Dome on Saturday evening for a shot at college basketball's biggest game. Immediately following that game, the Gators and Bruins will battle it out for a ticket to the championship game on April 2. It's going to be a fabulous Saturday.

With three games left, it all comes down to this -- who wants it most?

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