Our March Madness picks: An iffy start, but no bracket busters

In Wednesday's blog "Our March Madness Picks: A Prelude to Humiliation...," I shared predictions by me and my daughter, Lora, about the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments. Well, yesterday, the men's tourney tipped off, and we didn't exactly get off to a blazing beginning. We finished the day 11-5, with three of our riskier picks coming back to bite us. Lora and I took a flier on Mississippi State, a thirteen seed, because we'd recently seen forward/center Jarvis Varnado deliver a defensive performance for the ages against Tennessee in the SEC tourney -- but the squad didn't put much of a scare into the fourth-seeded Washington Huskies. The regional homerism that led us to give BYU the nod over Texas A&M, and our confidence in perennial Cinderella school Butler, failed to pay off, too. (We feel no guilt in guessing wrong about Western Kentucky, which took out Illinois, and Clemson, a loser to Michigan.) But my UCLA Bruins narrowly managed to avoid a first-round ouster, squeaking out a win over VCU -- and since we had all of the teams that lost falling in round two, our bracket's still largely intact. More or less. To see where we stand, click "Continue."

NCAA Tournament Bracket 2009: Men's


Louisville over Morehead State Siena over Ohio State Utah over Arizona Wake Forest over Cleveland State West Virginia over Dayton Kansas over North Dakota State USC over Boston College Michigan State over Robert Morris


Connecticut over Chattanooga -- CORRECT BYU over Texas A&M -- INCORRECT Purdue over Northern Iowa -- CORRECT Mississippi State over Washington -- INCORRECT Marquette over Utah State Missouri over Cornell Maryland over California -- CORRECT Memphis over Cal. State Northridge -- CORRECT


Pittsburgh over East Tennessee State Oklahoma State over Tennessee Florida State over Wisconsin Xavier over Portland State UCLA over VCU -- CORRECT Villanova over American -- CORRECT Texas over Minnesota -- CORRECT Duke over Binghamton -- CORRECT


North Carolina over Radford -- CORRECT Butler over LSU -- INCORRECT Illinois over Western Kentucky -- INCORRECT Gonzaga over Akron -- CORRECT Arizona State over Temple Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin Clemson over Michigan -- INCORRECT Oklahoma over Morgan State -- CORRECT

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