In the heat of the postseason, it's easy for people to quickly sweep their preseason conference picks under the rug. What? Huh? I picked Princeton? Look over there, a birdie!
But not this one; I face my failures head-on. For your amusement, here are my picks from late December
. Note that I had an extra month and a half to scout the teams. Appended to each selection is what really ended up transpiring in each of the Mid-Majority's fine basketball conferences.America East
What We Said: They're properly toughened up by their non-conference schedule, and should beat out Maine and BU.
Right! Okay, so far so good.
Atlantic 10: George Washington
What We Said: This should be a walkover with no March Surprise like last year.
Right! Not quite a walkover with the Philly teams in the mix, but alright...
Atlantic Sun: Gardner-Webb
What We Said: This league is topsy-turvy this year, but the Bulldogs look poised to win a fierce scrap.
Wrong! Won the top seed, but Central Florida retained its title.
Big Sky: Montana
What We Said: Weber and EWU look a bit lost, title should fall to Grizzlies.
Right! Good! Three for four.
Big South: Winthrop
What We Said: This conference will be the Eagles' romper room.
Right! It's my birthday, it's my birthday...
Big West: Pacific
What We Said: Should be close again with Utah State, but Tigers are a smidge better.
Wrong! They were a lot better, but Utah State won the final game. But I was on the right track, I deserve a half-point for the at-large consideration. What, no partial credit? Damn you all!
Colonial: Old Dominion
What We Said: Like I've been saying all along, they're good.
Right! Unh! Yeah! I'm on fire, baby!
What We Said: Bruised and scarred by non-league play, but it's a down league this year.
Wrong! Oooh, this is where it starts getting bad. Wisconsin-Milwaukee dominated, and Butler went 13-15.
Ivy League: Princeton
What We Said: No contest, but Brown will beat Penn for second.
Wrong! Like you didn't pick them too. Pennsylvania wrapped it up in late February, and swept the Tigers to boot.
Metro Atlantic: Niagara
What We Said: Finally!
Mid-American: Kent State
What We Said: Have shown their class against a tough non-conference schedule.
Wrong! Quarterfinal loss. All hail Ohio.
Mid-Continent: Oral Roberts
What We Said: Won't be close.
Wrong! They don't come from the same city as the Oakland A's, but the failure to see the seven-seed coming makes me look like just another Oakland Ass.
What We Said: Should put up a lot of points in a weak defensive league.
Wrong! Ouch. Shooters never showed up, and they went 5-23 overall, 2-17 in conference. This was Delaware State's league this year.
Missouri Valley: Wichita State
What We Said: But there are a lot of dogs nipping at their heels.
Wrong! A downward spiral and an NIT berth. Three bids, with Creighton winning top prize.
Northeast: Central Connecticut State
What We Said: Smart, skilled and swarming - but look out for Fairleigh-Dickinson.
Wrong! Okay, I'm looking! I was close, and FDU did indeed win.
Ohio Valley: Murray State
What We Said: Eastern Kentucky is the only other school that's even close.
Wrong! Yes. Murray lost early on in the tournament, and Eastern Kentucky is Dancin'.
Patriot League: Bucknell
What We Said: The dynasty begins.
Right! Oh, does it ever!
Southern: College Of Charleston
What We Said: With ETSU falling like a rock, they should prevail nicely.
Wrong! Extended periods of brain-lock doomed CofC, and Chattanooga prevailed in a year that was all about Davidson.
What We Said: If you do one random thing in '05, listen to a Cardinal game on the Web - crazy offense.
Wrong! The crazy defense of Southeastern Louisiana took care of them, and everyone else too. The Cards finished 18-11 and went out in the SLC semis.
Southwestern Athletic: Southern
What We Said: I'll admit my SWAC pick is a SWAG.
Wrong! Why, yes, it was! Alabama A&M would have been a much better guess.
Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee State
What We Said: A fine array of offensive weaponry, and a lockdown D to boot.
Wrong! Also-rans. Louisiana-Lafayette repeated, and Denver nearly surprised everyone.
West Coast: UMPFN
What We Said: As Hova once mused, what more can I say?
Right! I got 99 problems, and UMPFN ain't one.
Western Athletic: Rice
What We Said: Will win a mad scramble with LaTech and UTEP.
Wrong! Texas-El Paso won, but we undervalued Nevada. And LaTech!? I blame the holiday egg nog.
Eight correct, and 15 wrong (with a handful of close ones). Does this excuse me from having to make bracket predictions? It does? Thanks so much!