Pulse: Who will advance? Who will be upset?
On Thursday, SportsNation chatted about the first round of March Madness!
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.
1. What does your bracket look like?
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:
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
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
58% (1) Florida
42% (1) Kansas
60% (1)Ohio State
40% (1)North Carolina
51% (1) Ohio State
49% (1) Florida
1. Which No. 1 seed will bow out first?
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
19% Ohio State
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.
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.
1. What do you think of the Penguins remaining in Pittsburgh?
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?
Which team is most likely to relocate in the near future?
47% Nashville Predators
38% Florida Panthers
5% New York Islanders
Would the Penguins be staying in Pittsburgh if they hadn't drafted Crosby?
How many Stanley Cups will the trio of Crosby, Malkin and Staal win together?
33% Three or more
Which American city would be the best home for an NHL team?
20% Las Vegas
19% Kansas City
2% Oklahoma City
Which Canadian city would be the best home for an NHL team?
15% Hamilton, Ont.
Which market would be better for a relocated team?
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:
THE PENS ARE STAYING IN PITTSBURGH! AND I'M VIOLATING PROPER NETIQUETTE
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.
1. What do you think of the tournament selections?
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
16% Ohio State
Which No. 1 seed is most likely to win it all?
26% Ohio State
17% North Carolina
Which No. 2 seed is most likely to win it all?
Which region is the toughest?
Will Florida advance to the Final Four?
Will Kansas advance to the Final Four?
Will North Carolina advance to the Final Four?
Will Ohio State advance to the Final Four?
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?
21% Old Dominion
15% George Washington
6% Long Beach State
Which team's inclusion in the field surprised you the most?
14% Old Dominion
Which team not in the field most deserved to make it?
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.
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.
How would you grade the committee? I don't think this was a particularly strong year.
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+.
How do you feel about Florida being the overall No.1 especially with their 10-point losses against LSU, Vandy and UT?
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.
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