The brackets are out. Now let the games begin!
The Big Ten championship game pushed back the bracket announcement ten minutes, so there’s another reason not to like the Big Ten. But even they could not stop March Madness this year.
And we found out right away where the local schools were placed. Both Missouri and Kansas were put in the region of doom with Gonzaga. But don’t get too excited. The local rivalry will not be renewed in the tournament this year. Missouri, if they can get past Oklahoma, will lose to Gonzaga. And Kansas would have to win three games and get to the Elite Eight to play Missouri should Gonzaga exit the tournament with a positive covid test and Missouri somehow getting that far. And Kansas has not played consistently enough to likely win three games in the tournament as they battle their own covid issues.
But as soon as the brackets were released, we started hearing the complaints of seeding and difficulty of regions and all of the other complaints we are used to hearing on Selection Sunday. In some ways, it was music to my ears because it meant the tournament was back. And five seconds after that, I rolled my eyes as I have for the past five or ten years. You see, the tournament is difficult. And you don’t need an easy path to win the championship. Just ask the 1997 Arizona Wildcats, who defeated three #1 seeds (Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky) to win the national championship.
It’s great to have the tournament back. Don’t be one of those people who complain about the details of the tournament. If anyone says their team should have been seeded higher, tell them their team should have won more games. If they complain about the teams in their region, tell them that if they can’t win those games, they aren’t going to be champions. Losers complain about their circumstances. Winners embrace theirs.
Now go out there and schedule your days off work Friday and Monday to watch all of the games.
Kansas City Royals 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (Box Score)
3:05pm – MLBST – San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals (MLB.com)
West Region Rules Local Schools
The local schools are headed east, but they are all going west. Make sense? Well, let me see if I can help clear that up.
With all of the games taking place in Indiana this season, the NCAA decided to give regional names to the bracket still as they normally do, and our local schools were both placed in the West region.
And even though the chance of Missouri or Kansas reaching the Final Four is pretty small, simply because of an excellent Gonzaga team being in that region, there are many interesting game possibilities.
Missouri starts with Oklahoma in a throwback game to the old Big 12 and Big 8 days. It should still be a conference game, but don’t get me started on Missouri’s dumb decision to go to the SEC. This game will bring back many memories for those of us who have been around a while.
And look at the bottom half of the region. Kansas could once against meet Wichita State in the second round of the tournament. First, Kansas would have to win a game, and Wichita State would have to win two games. Two games? You know how the NCAA says the play-in games are not play-in games, but they don’t count them as a round in the tournament based on the round names? Yep. The NCAA at its finest. But if these two teams play again, Wichita State would once again be playing Kansas, not at its best, but this time Wichita State wouldn’t be anywhere near what they were when these two met a few years ago when the Shockers won easily.
So what do you think will happen in this region? I don’t know who will win the Missouri vs. Oklahoma game, but I know that the winner will lose to Gonzaga by double digits. And I don’t know if Kansas will win zero, one, two, or three games, but I am pretty sure they aren’t winning four. I’m like everyone else. Gonzaga is winning this region. The only way they don’t is if one of Virginia, Kansas, or Iowa can pull off a shocker, having learned from their game against the Zags earlier in the season.
I’ll break down the bracket as the week goes on, but the West region is clearly the region to focus on if you are a fan of the local schools.
Chiefs Not Tendering Yelder
The Chiefs are reportedly not going to tender non-restrictive free agent TE Deon Yelder a contract for 2021. Yelder will become a free agent on March 17, when the new league year begins.
March Madness 2021: What to know about every team in the NCAA tournament bracket (Myron Medcalf)
Thanks for reading…