I was reading Chad's blog about his bracket collapse, and I'd have to say that I envy his 40 points out of a possible 64. I'm sitting at a robust 35. I also happen to be in almost 100% agreement with this Sweet 16 predictions.  That, in and of itself, is worthy of a blog.

Where we part company--and this is really a minor disagreement--is the Florida State/VCU game. While FSU has exhibited some of the stingiest defense I think I have ever seen, I believe the team that hung 94 points on a tough, defensive-minded Purdue team--and that IS a rare feat--will figure out the Seminoles. So I go with VCU. But I want to take it one step further.

Now, that we have our teams lined up in the Elite Eight, let's move forward. First of all, I believe that what has so often happened over the years in the NCAA Tournament in the third round of competition (fourth, if you count those play-in games as rounds--I don't) will happend again this year. We were all dazzled by an unbelievable first weekend that featured 17 games decided by 5 points or fewer. And there was a good amount of upsets. But order is usually restored by the the Rounds of 16 and 8, and things start to look the way we expected them to look. I look at the East region and I can't imagine Ohio State--as efficient an offensive outfit as I've ever seen--not getting past North Carolina. In the Southwest Region, the door has opened up wide for Kansas to sail right into Houston for the National Semis. Florida doesn't exactly have the simplest tasks ahead, but they're improving with every game and Southeast region is just a bit too soft for them to not get back to the Final Four. And, finally, in the West, Connecticut facing off against Duke is incredibly intriguing. For one, UConn has beaten the Blue Devils twice before in NCAA Tournament action, so you might think the Huskies have their number. But this experienced Duke team is really loaded, and while I think they have the toughest two-game sprint to the Final Four of any of the highest remaining seeds, I don't see them falling short until they get there. Those are my Final Four picks--Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, Florida--and they were at the beginning of the tournament. So something on my bracket actually went right. Phase II has begun. Let the games continue.