DAYTON -- So let's get the so-called expertise out of the way first. Utah State and Belmont are way underseeded, as in "duh." Saint Mary's and Harvard would have been given at-large bids if the selection committee was made up of poets. But that's not the way it works. The reasons for all of the above can be explained in one paragraph instead of 3,000-word epistles or endless Twitter arguments. The system is so heavily weighted towards "strength of schedule"
that it bleeds through the entire résumé
, from the RPI formula to the stack order of "quality wins," whose quality is measured based on... the RPI formula. Teams in power conferences have easier access to juicier games, and don't have any motivation whatsoever to share the wealth with teams that are out to steal their bracket space. There's no conspiracy. Just a heartbreaking free market.
But every once in a while, we beat the system. Bravo, CAA. Not so, WCC. At least not this year.
We are in Dayton for the inaugural and historic First Four. We may have to engage in an annual BCS Safari later, but all four of our games are relevant to our level. Godspeed to UNC Asheville, UALR, Texas-San Antonio and Alabama State as they angle to DESTROY
Ohio State and Pittsburgh. Also, we are fully locked and loaded behind VCU and UAB as they play in the other way. Also, since people asked, we're going to Cleveland this weekend to help push George Mason and the #TreeFever of Indiana State through to Newark, and to pay our old friends at Xavier a visit.
And for Season 7 Members who are in Dayton this week, go to the South Park Tavern at 1301 Wayne Ave
and flash your Bally Club card. Thanks to Bill Daniels, the Play-In Game's biggest fan
, it's good for a free Play-In Pizza!
While you're making plans to chow down, on to the reason for the season.
If you're a new passenger on our TMM Fun Bus this year, please tickle the archives for a second
so that our position is pure crystal. We don't think you should enter your office pool
. We do it the As-You-Go way. Predicting is fun, but it's like a lottery that you never really win. Best, we believe, to root for good games and gutsy teams instead of your bracket, and to create a piece of March art as well.
Season 7 Members, and those who bought extras last month, received the 2011 As-You-Go Bracket in the meat-mail. It's a durable 100-lb. clay-coat sheet that's built to withstand three weeks of NCAA Tournament action. This is the time to turn over the calendar part and get AYG-ing! Don't
fill out anything beyond the First Four and the Round of 64, because if you do you'll have to change it. (We're not calling them by the new numbered names. Them and their new names.)
You may have to switch the Southeast and Southwest, because they were the other way around on the bracket template we got last summer. Or you can fill it out cross-legged. Otherwise, it's a regulation bracket.
As you can see, we're going with the traditional "big letters/small letters" format, putting asterisks on the excepted Basketball Schools. You can use different colors, or draw little logos next to the teams. Ours doesn't have much #smac, but that's an option too. Duke can be "Dook," or just "S___," if you'd like. It's your
Take pictures of your AYG bracket and tweet them at us @midmajority, or send them through The Form™
. We'll post them! We want to see how creative you get, and what kind of nasty nicknames you can think up for ACC teams.