Pulse: Who will advance? Who will be upset?

On Thursday, SportsNation chatted about the first round of March Madness!

Updated: March 19, 2007, 4:45 PM ET
Thursday, March 15

Welcome to The Pulse, the place to find out what the sports world is thinking. Every day on ESPN.com, SportsNation registers its opinion on a wide range of topics by casting votes and offering opinions. We'll collect the daily highlights and create a running file throughout the week to measure The Pulse of SportsNation on a wide variety of issues. Check this page every day for an update of what the 'Nation is saying.

Thursday's Big Question

1. What does your bracket look like?

Which player will lead his team to glory?
March Madness has begun in earnest, and everyone seems to have an opinion.

For our National Tournament Challenge, we asked SportsNation to vote on every round of the tournament as it sees it being played out. We had some surprises, some certainties, and some close-fought battles; but in the end, SportsNation sees only one champion remaining.

Make sure to stay tuned for ESPN.com's live chats on the state of the NCAA tournament!

From the Tournament Challenge National Bracket:
Upset Special
53% (9) Michigan State
47% (8) Marquette

60% (9) Xavier
40% (8) BYU

57% (10) Gonzaga
43% (7) Indiana

60% (9) Villanova
40% (8) Kentucky

51% (10) Georgia Tech
49% (7) UNLV

Elite Eight
79% (1) Florida
21% (2) Wisconsin

58% (1) Kansas
42% (2) UCLA

51% (1) North Carolina
49% (2) Georgetown

74% (1) Ohio State
26% (3) Texas A&M

Final Four
58% (1) Florida
42% (1) Kansas

60% (1)Ohio State
40% (1)North Carolina

National Championship
51% (1) Ohio State
49% (1) Florida

Wednesday's Big Question

1. Which No. 1 seed will bow out first?

SportsNation anticipates an early exit for Tyler Hansbrough and UNC.
Being a No. 1 seed in March Madness doesn't always guarantee success.

For one, everyone is gunning for you; that (1) next to your name in the seedings might as well be a big red target on your team's collective back. Furthermore, not only are other teams gunning for you, but apart from your own fans, most everyone is rooting for the upset. Could you blame them? What would you rather watch; a pre-arranged thumping of a low seed, or that same low seed coming back against impossible odds to be David to your Goliath?

SportsNation thinks Kansas and UNC are the most likely early exits.

Which No. 1 seed will lose first in the NCAA tournament?
37% North Carolina
29% Kansas
19% Ohio State
14% Florida

From Pat Forde's Wednesday chat:
Give me your chances on UNC getting to the Final Four. If they get there, is it realistic for them to win it all?

I'd like their chances more in virtually any other bracket than the one the Heels got. After the first round they don't have a single easy game, whereas Georgetown has a fairly easy run through the bottom half of that bracket in my opinion. That's why I have the Hoyas in the Final Four.
Pat Forde

I've noticed you have seem to forgotten the last time the starting five of the Florida Gators lost a neutral basketball game. Besides the buzzer-beater against Kansas (without Corey Brewer) they have not lost a game since almost two years ago. If you remember they won the tournament in Madison Square Garden to start last year. Then the SEC tournament, then of course the NCAA tournament and again the SEC tournament. To be honest with you, Pat, I dont see any team putting up the athleticism or the heart as the Gators. I'd like to hear who you think can dethrone them?
West Palm Beach, FL

If you've been paying attention, you'd know that I'm picking Florida to win the national title. So to answer your question: no one will dethrone them. Pat Forde

A 1-seed has never lost to a 16, what are the chances of one of those games even being close?
New York, NY

I can foresee Carolina-Eastern Kentucky and Ohio State-CCSU being close for a little while. But both teams will be physically overwhelmed in the second half.
Pat Forde

Tuesday's Big Question

1. What do you think of the Penguins remaining in Pittsburgh?

Sidney Crosby and company will be staying in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins will not be moving to Kansas City after all.

Governor Ed Rendell announced on Tuesday that the city had come to an agreement with the team on a new stadium financing deal, which will allow the Penguins to remain in the city they've called home since 1967.

SportsNation is glad that the Penguins are remaining in Pittsburgh, but thinks that several other cities could also be acceptable hockey destinations.

Is it better for the league if the Pens stay in Pittsburgh?
97% Yes
3% No

Which team is most likely to relocate in the near future?
47% Nashville Predators
38% Florida Panthers
10% Other
5% New York Islanders

Would the Penguins be staying in Pittsburgh if they hadn't drafted Crosby?
51% No
49% Yes

How many Stanley Cups will the trio of Crosby, Malkin and Staal win together?
44% Two
33% Three or more
18% One
5% None

Which American city would be the best home for an NHL team?
44% Seattle
20% Las Vegas
19% Kansas City
15% Portland
2% Oklahoma City

Which Canadian city would be the best home for an NHL team?
57% Quebec
28% Winnipeg
15% Hamilton, Ont.

Which market would be better for a relocated team?
59% Canada
41% United States

Who is Pittsburgh's greatest sports figure?
46% Mario Lemieux
25% Roberto Clemente
8% Joe Greene
8% Terry Bradshaw
4% Jerome Bettis
3% Sidney Crosby
2% Jack Lambert
2% Franco Harris
2% Honus Wagner
1% Willie Stargell

From Tuesday's morning Buzz:
Johnstown, PA

As long as you know your own faults, J.J.

If Sidney Crosby wasn't playing for the Penguins, you would trade them to Kansas City for a case of barbecue sauce.

Pittsburgh does not deserve the Pens.

The Pens are staying in Pittsburgh...and I only paid a dollar to park today! Sorry, I was just announcing news stories of equal interest.
Cleveland, OH

Monday's Big Question

1. What do you think of the tournament selections?

Acie Law and the Aggies will be a tough 3-seed.
The seedings have been announced, and SportsNation is abuzz with debate.

Should Syracuse have made it? How about Drexel? Was Illinois worthy orf inclusion? Arkansas? Old Dominion? Will any of the No. 1 seeds reach the championship game? SportsNation has an opinion on all of these matters and more.

SportsNation's thinks that Florida has a good chance of winning back-to-back titles.

Which No. 1 seed will be eliminated first?
40% North Carolina
28% Kansas
16% Ohio State
16% Florida

Which No. 1 seed is most likely to win it all?
39% Florida
26% Ohio State
18% Kansas
17% North Carolina

Which No. 2 seed is most likely to win it all?
42% Georgetown
29% UCLA
20% Wisconsin
9% Memphis

Which region is the toughest?
43% East
24% Midwest
18% West
15% South

Will Florida advance to the Final Four?
60% Yes
40% No

Will Kansas advance to the Final Four?
59% No
41% Yes

Will North Carolina advance to the Final Four?
63% No
37% Yes

Will Ohio State advance to the Final Four?
56% Yes
44% No

Which 12-5 matchup is most likely to produce an upset?
39% (12) Old Dominion vs. (5) Butler
27% (12) Illinois vs. (5) Virginia Tech
25% (12) Arkansas vs. (5) USC
9% (12) Long Beach State vs. (5) Tennessee

Which of the following teams is most likely to be this year's George Mason and make a deep run?
44% Winthrop
21% Old Dominion
15% George Washington
14% VCU
6% Long Beach State

Which team's inclusion in the field surprised you the most?
33% Stanford
32% Arkansas
21% Illinois
14% Old Dominion

Which team not in the field most deserved to make it?
28% Syracuse
25% Drexel
13% Florida State
13% Kansas State
10% Air Force
9% West Virginia
3% Missouri State

From Joe Lunardi's Monday chat:
Which one was the bigger snub? Drexel or Syracuse?
Sioux Falls, SD

I was just thinking about that while driving, and they're both big for different reasons, but Drexel would have far fewer chances to be in this position, so that would have to be first on my list.
Joe Lunardi

Which first round match-up has "UPSET ALERT" written all over it?
Fort Myers, FL

I think there's a bunch of 'em, but some double-digit teams that I like are VCU over Duke and Illinois over Virginia Tech. I also like Old Dominion over Butler, but I'm not really sure how much of a basketball upset that would be.
Joe Lunardi

How would you grade the committee? I don't think this was a particularly strong year.
Boston, MA

It's a dramatically stronger performance than last year, when both selection and seeding errors were stark. This year's bubble appears to have been evaluated much more accurately, but I am mystified by a handful of seeding decisions. Overall grade: B+.
Joe Lunardi

How do you feel about Florida being the overall No.1 especially with their 10-point losses against LSU, Vandy and UT?
Washington, D.C.

I don't like it. I don't think the committee should seed or select teams based on potential to win in the tournament, a category in which the Gators are clearly first. Until the last couple of years, the process was more about what you had done, not what you might do. Florida's non-conference schedule does not compare favorably to other No. 1 seeds this year. We can think a team is best, but we can know which ones achieved the most over 30+ teams. This, to me, is not a good direction for the committee.
Joe Lunardi