This blog post title refers to the Purdue game, where I picked an upset because major conference #11 seeds tend to win nearly half of the time, and Baylor had the psychological advantage of being trashed all week as the last team in. But the fact is, psychology only goes so far, and sometimes it just comes down to the fact that Purdue is clearly a far superior team to Baylor. Of course, this game might not be such a bad omen for Baylor. Last team into the Tournament, getting a #11 seed, getting trashed in the first round... does that sound familiar? It's what happened to Stanford last year, a team that came back this year with a #3 seed. I'm sure Baylor would take that next season.
As for the UNLV game, a lot of analysts will be shocked by that result, but don't say I didn't warn you. It wasn't just that Kent State performed weakly on the road, as I talked about in my last post. It's also that they entered today with a Sagarin ELO_CHESS of 24th, and a PREDICTOR of 72nd, which is why Kent State was listed as a team to bet against here. Kent State is a tough team when you're discounting them, which is why they managed to shock St. Mary's on the road. But they entered this one as the favorites, which caused them to come out complacent and tight. They are going to have nightmares about all of those turnovers, but it's hard not to expect something like that to happen to a team like Kent St when they wake up on a Thursday morning and find that they're favored to win a Tournament game. It's a lot of pressure.
And Pitt... wow. Oral Roberts is a dangerous team, and Pitt just wasn't messing around. They have been an outstanding team since Levance Fields became fully healthy. Poor Memphis - they get a #1 seed only to find themselves playing an outstanding team in the Sweet 16 (either Michigan State or Pitt). And then their reward for surviving that one will either be the Lopez twins and Stanford, or Texas playing in Houston. I'm already looking forward to that Pitt/Michigan State game on Saturday, which might be the best second round game. With all of the bruisers that both of those teams have on the inside, that will not be a game for the faint-hearted.