Play in games are under-way

NCAAB March Madness

The First Four games in the NCAA, or play in games, are under way, but you still have time to fill out those brackets. There's never been a perfect bracket even with just 64 teams, so these play in games don't officially count for bracket points. You can see who will win and still have time to fill out your bracket before it's too late. I guess the logic behind it is that it doesn't matter who wins the play-in game as far as who you will pick to win the next game. So if North Carolina Central or North Dakota State wins, will that really have an impact of that winner's following game against Duke?

Or put another way- would you pick NCC to beat Duke, but not NDS, and therefore need to see the outcome before making your selection? No! Two teams already will move on. Fairleigh Dickinson won and will get a #16 seed, and play #1 Gonzaga, and Belmont beat Temple and will get a #11 seed and play #5 Maryland. Belmont has had a great season and had an impressive win against Temple, but Maryland should really have no problem handling them. The only thing that can get in their way is overlooking them, focusing on their next round. But I think after Virginia fell last year as the first #1 to lose in an opening round, all teams will not take anybody for granted, especially this being the first year after that happened and is still fresh in every teams' minds. Looking ahead to the first round of 64, some potential upsets that I can see happening are #12 New Mexico State beating #5 Auburn. Auburn is a 5.5 point favorite, but as we see year after year, there are always 1 or 2 twelve seeds knocking off a 5.

I think #7 Nevada win will against #10 Florida, but Nevada had only 4 losses and ended up being a #7, so their schedule wasn't that great; if Florida does win it wouldn't surprise me at all. And I think #10 Seton Hall beats #7 Wofford, but is that really an upset? Wofford is only a 2.5 point favorite. For me, the real upsets happen when the #11s beat the #6s, and down the line from there. I have Virginia vs. Duke in the National Championship game, and my sleeper team this year would be #8 Syracuse. They can beat Baylor, and I think they can and will beat Gonzaga, who robbed MSU of a #1 seed when they lost to Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference championship game. If Syracuse then gets by Florida State, I think they can beat any team they face in the West except for Michigan. So they should be a Sweet 16 team, a possible Elite 8, and if Michigan loses, a potential Final Four team. Let the Madness begin!