The NCAA doesn't do many things right, but thank goodness it voted last year not to expand the men's basketball tournament to 96 teams.
College basketball is so watered down, mediocre and parity-filled than ever before that there are barely 68 teams that deserve to be in the field.
Analysts and coaches spent all day Monday griping about snubs like Virginia Tech and Colorado. They should have been saying this instead: The field expanded by three teams and you still weren't good enough, so stop whining and win more games!
As much fun as Sunday is to see the brackets finally revealed, the Monday moanfest that follows from media and coaches alike is a giant buzz kill.
I care only about the teams that did get in and their matchups, not the wannabe programs that can't catch a break because they simply don't deserve one. Hey, if you can't make the tournament this year when college basketball is so weak, you don't have any right to complain.
OK, rant over. Let's get to some notes on the bracket:
Bracket for PSU season tickets
Enter Cory Giger's bracket at ESPN.com for a chance to win two Penn State men's basketball season tickets for next season. Fill out a bracket at ESPN.com and enter it into the group "Sports Central with Giger." The winner gets the tickets, courtesy of PSU athletics. There's a women's bracket, too, with the winner getting two season tickets for the PSU women.
* Pitt may have a cakewalk through the easiest bracket to the Final Four. Jamie Dixon is the best coach in the country during the regular season and the worst come March. He finally may be able to shed that label this month, as long as his offense doesn't fall flat -- again.
* Penn State got an outstanding draw as a 10 seed and can beat seventh-seeded Temple if Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks take charge and Andrew Jones shows up (for a change). There's little chance the Lions win in the second round against San Diego State, my pick for the Final Four out of the West.
* The East is loaded with traditional powers as Ohio State may have to deal with North Carolina, Kentucky and/or Syracuse.
* Don't buy into the BYU hype. Jimmer Fredette is an incredible scorer, but I've watched that team very closely the past few weeks, and it's not a great squad without suspended forward Brandon Davies. With Davies, I thought BYU could reach the Final Four. Without him, I've got the Cougars losing to St. John's in the second round.
* Everyone loves upsets, so here are a few to consider: 12 Utah State over 5 Kansas State. (However, I like K-State to slip by and make a deep run.) 11 Marquette over 6 Xavier. 11 Missouri over 6 Cincinnati. 12 Richmond over 5 Vanderbilt. The best chance for a 13 seed or lower to win is Belmont over 4 Wisconsin.
* As always, be careful with your upset picks. Don't go crazy and have a 12 seed reaching the Elite 8. Trying to be the person in your office pool who can brag about correctly predicting something like usually destroys your bracket.
* Ohio State is the best team in the country and the popular choice to cut down the nets. But the best team doesn't always win it all because of potential matchup problems. I'll flat out admit this is a homer pick, but there are few teams in the field that match up better with the Buckeyes than Syracuse, which can neutralize Jared Sullinger inside with Rick Jackson and the 2-3 zone while using four guys on the perimeter to shut down the 3-point shooting.
* So of course, I'm picking Syracuse for the Final Four. I've made lots and lots of money in these brackets over the years by going with my heart instead of my head and taking the 'Cuse. My other Final Four picks are Kansas and Florida, along with previously mentioned San Diego State. I've got Kansas State knocking off Pitt, then losing to the Gators. And I've got Syracuse beating Kansas for the title.
* The bottom line is if you're going to enter a bracket with a chance to win a lot of money, you have to go out on a limb and predict some upsets. And especially this year with all the parity, there will be upsets. The matchups, as mentioned before, are key. You can play it safe by picking Ohio State or Kansas to win it all, but since most everyone else is doing that, your chances of winning really aren't all that great. Go out on a limb with a solid 2 or 3 seed as a sleeper, and if you're right, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank.
* Or crying, if your sleeper pick gets bounced early.
* And remember, this is for entertainment purposes only.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.