Dangerous bracket: Buckeyes emerge from an upset-laden dance

by | Bracketscience.com
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For the past several years, I've examined the factors that lead to upsets in the tourney and that help you pick close games. I qualify an upset as any game in which a team seeded four or more positions lower than its opponent springs a surprise. Tossup games involve teams within three seed positions of each other.

The upset and tossup rules I've developed over the years look at key matchups round by round. I don't ever advocate taking every single upset or deciding every close game with the rules I identify. But just for the fun of it, I always do at least one bracket following these rules to a T. In 2006, when George Mason, UCLA, LSU and Florida went to the Final Four, this model was brilliant -- in the 96th percentile. Since then ... not so good. This year yielded some particularly combustible results.

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Bracket strategy: Without going into detail, I follow the upset and tossup rules I described in anatomy of an upset on CBSSports.com and the tips for tossup picks piece on my site.

Bracket results: This bracket went completely bonkers. There have never been more than 13 upsets in a single season. The last time that many shockers occurred was 2002. This bracket calls for 16 -- count 'em, 16 upsets. Needless to say, I would proceed with caution ... but I do think that these results demonstrate the volatility in this year's tourney field.

Here are the gory round-by-round results:

Round 1 (eight upsets)
 All the one through three seeds escape a shocker.
 Texas and Wisconsin fall victim to Oakland and Belmont.
 In the 5 vs. 12 matchup, every 12 seed wins except Memphis.
 In the 6 vs. 11 games, every 11 seed wins except the Southern Cal/VCU winner.
 In the 7 vs. 10 games, seven seeds all prevail ... say what?
  In the 8 vs. 9 games, Villanova, Michigan, UNLV and ODU win.

Round 2 (five upsets)
 One seeds stave off the craziness, but a couple two seeds get burned: Washington bests North Carolina and Texas A&M surprises Notre Dame.
 Purdue and BYU uphold the honor of three seeds, while UConn and Syracuse bow to Missouri and Marquette.
 Arizona takes care of business against Oakland, and Louisville handles Richmond, but Clemson bites Kentucky.
 Utah State beats Belmont in the battle of Cinderellas.

Sweet 16 (two upsets)
 Three of the four one seeds advance; only Kansas loses -- to Louisville.
 Marquette continues its unlikely run (and I do mean "unlikely") by taking out Washington.
 Missouri shocks San Diego State (hmm ... that one sounds plausible).
 Purdue avoids an upset at the hands of Texas A&M.
  Florida beats BYU.

Elite Eight (one upset)
 Ohio State upholds the honor of top seeds, ending the Golden Eagles' run.
 Missouri shocks Duke.
 Purdue gets past Louisville.
 Florida springs a mild surprise over Pitt.

Final Four
 OSU beats Missouri, and Florida beats Purdue.

Championship
 The natural order of college basketball is restored. The Buckeyes end one insane dance by taking care of the Gators.

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