First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton discusses the broken, charred remains of your NCAA 2010 bracket

Mar 22, 2010

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

Well, MY bracket is shot to hell. How's yours? Maybe your eventual champion and alma mater didn't wet the bed this weekend. Mine did. So did Georgetown. Maryland didn't, of course, but a loss is a loss, buzzer beater or not.

So I'm guessing there are some unhappy people this morning just rarin' to gripe about the NCAA tournament. Unless you attended Cornell or Butler or Northern Iowa. Then come and gloat; no hard feelings!

Rock, Chalk, University of Northern Iowa!

There we go! Get it out of your systems. KU has given small schools across this great land of ours one victory to crow about for all of time and Northern Iowa just joined the list. Make room, Bucknell, Rhode Island.

While I will admit to great disappointment, I was not greatly surprised by the Jayhawks' ridiculous performance. They have been a strange team all season. So much talent... probably the deepest team in the tournament. But no matter. As the Soup Nazi put it: "NEXT!"

Ugh...... Sigh.....

Heartbreaker for Maryland, the dread buzzer beater. When it's your team, there's nothing better (take my word for it). When it's not, ouch. I did think Maryland had a decent chance for the Sweet 16 but ... Still, the Terps had a great season, a surprising season, and Gary did a lot with what he had. Not a bad run.

Not that they were doing this, but all year Kansas played like a team that was shaving points. They thought they could turn it on at the end, but they went to the well one too many times.

Yes, I'm sure they weren't point shaving, but they started slow so often and counted on their superior talent to catch them up. I don't get that. If you can blow out to a big lead early, that's my preferred method. Makes it easier on ol' Trac, that's for sure. But they did it all season and it bit them in the keister this time. This is why I wasn't real confident in a title; someone was going to catch them napping.

Tracee, sorry your Jayhawks went down (if for no other reason than I had them to the final 4 in EVERY ONE of my brackets), but as an ancient Cornhusker, I can only note that getting to the final 32 in the NCAAs would be enough for a huge celebration in Lincoln.

When you lose, it's usually the guards. If your guards don't hit a single three, and the opponent's guards are clicking, it won't end up well.

Ah, the Huskers. Well, you have a great women's team this year so that's something. Hot three-point shooting is a great recipe in the tournament, but we've got guys who can do that. We've got guys who can do a lot of things. That bench is deep. Ah, well, I have faith in Bill. They'll lose some talent here pretty quick (Sherron Collins graduates, Xavier Henry probably, maybe Cole Aldrich) and the rest of them will perhaps be hungrier -- the ones without the 2008 rings. Hope so!

I really like your coach at Nebraska, Skip ... I can't remember his last name. Senior moment. I really thought he'd have your program turned around by now.

Tracee - Hope you are feeling better - sorry about Kansas.

As a Maryland fan it hurt bad to lose, but... it was a good run this season and we should be proud of our Terps.

What did you think of Mike Wise's article in the Post about Izzo and Williams? Do you feel doing it right vs the train wreck of Calipari and Huggins are better or is winning the only thing that matters?

Well, I am a fan of doing it right. I think it's embarrassing when your school is in trouble. Larry Brown won us a national title and left us on probation. It was a total picayune detail (paid for a kid to go to a funeral, I believe) but still, he did it. I liked that Roy Williams ran a clean program, so far as we know. And Bill Self seems to be doing the same, so far as we know. I'll take a consistent, clean program with good kids who stay out of trouble over a Huggy Bear any day. But I'm old-fashioned.

Not sure who to be more disapointed with, KU or the tournament committee. Why was UNI, 17 RPI and 24 in the polls, given a 9 seed? The Midwest 8/9 seeds had 12 losses, Duke's had 22. What's up with that? Other than the selection show do the committee ever have to explain their mess?

There is no question Duke had the easier path. That said, if you are the No. 1 team in the country and the No. 1 seed overall in the tournament, you should be able to beat every other team in the bracket. So I don't want to be one of those whiners crying about the seeding. Shoulda won.

93-58 for the Calipari boys sounds about right.

I was going to point out that Cornell nearly beat Kansas at home this season, but that's not such a badge of honor as it was. But seriously, Cornell did almost win at Allen Field House, and the Jayhawks have the longest home court winning streak in the nation. It's nothing to sneeze at, winning in Lawrence, and they were oh so close.

That said, this is the tournament. I don't think it'll be as lopsided as you do, but I think Cornell's run ends.

Although I must confess I'll be rooting for them.

.. the big question: What do you do when your team is vanquished? Cheer for the underdog? Cheer for your conference? This is my dilemma.

I will root for Baylor and I have to admit I will probably root for K-State. This will be hard but not impossible.

Tracee, the (probably) soon to depart coach (one in a string) at NU is "Doc" not "Skip" But, when you're 2-14 in the Big 12, not too many care.

Yes, Doc, I knew it was a funny name. Why can't I remember? Possibly all the drugs. I'm on some powerful antibiotics, thank God. They've killed my taste buds; everything tastes like despair.

Yes, I'm a little surprised they haven't fired him. Everyone had high hopes that he'd get them turned around.

Who do Maryland fans root for now? Surely not Duke? That would be like Kansas fans rooting for Missouri. What about Georgetown fans? West Virginia?

Our thoughts are with you in your time of loss. Wow, just wow. ESPN said 98% of the brackets submitted to their site had Kansas winning the round.

Well, this wasn't a strong year in college basketball and Kansas was one of the few teams that seemed a sure thing. I can understand everyone being on the bandwagon; they really have a lot of talent. A crazy amount of talent. And now I'm getting upset again! I'm going to my happy place, where Mario hits the jumper. Ahhhh, that's better.

Seriously, why would you be sure of that? It's not like they would announce to you they were doing that.

I really think the constant point shaving prattle is ridiculous.

All year the Big 10 has been called a weak conference. Three teams in Sweet 16 is not weak. GO BUCKS!

Yes, so true, and I'm one of the people who said the Big Ten was down. I think it's pretty amazing and I think Ohio State has a good path to the finals now.

The Big 12 got two through, as did the vaunted Big East. Very surprised by that. Villanova in particuarly shocked me. When the wheels came off, they really flew.

St. Mary's out for revenge for last year's snub. And a Pac-10 team makes it to the Sweet 16! Props for that, considering everyone was making fun of the Pac-10. Everyone.

I'll say this: It's an interesting field at this point.

Since the subject came up - it will happen again, if for no other reason some kid will decide the school, the conference,the NCAA - everybody but him is making money - so why shouldn't he? Not too bright, but how many stupid things did all of us do in our late teens and early 20s?

It might, that's true. Especially considering how much is wagered now on college basketball. The kid would be right: Everyone but him is making money on the tournament. I do think it would be a lot harder to get away with now, television being one reason.

I did a lot of stupid things in my late teens and early 20s, but not a lot of illegal things. I don't think being young and stupid gives you a pass for breaking the law.

I was thinking of you this weekend, Tracee. And is it just me, or do announcers really enjoy saying Farokhmanesh? I'm almost relieved my Terps lost yesterday - I don't want to get Farokhmaneshed!

Oh, if this is John in Minneapolis I'll be so happy! If it's not, I'm still happy.

No one wanted to be Farokhmaneshed!

And on that note I'll bid you all a good morning. Let's talk again soon!

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinons and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from geneology to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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