NCAA Tournament 2017: How is Barack Obama's bracket faring?

NCAA Tournament 2017: How is Barack Obama's bracket faring?

Sunday night wasn't that time. Staying in the East Regional, it was an incredible weekend for SC, which got the benefit of a home state crowd on the way to beating Marquette and Duke for its first NCAA Tournament wins and first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1973. Some even said it was the toughest conference of all-time.

Not who are the best, mind you. It hurts deep down.

You can throw away the seeding when it comes to the first betting matchup of the Sweet 16 that tips off this Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. But they realized they could approximate Duke's talent if not its skill, and in a one-and-done setting belief is a powerful thing. Arizona is 30-0 SU in its last 30 games as a favorite of seven points or more while Xavier has dropped seven of 10 versus teams over.500.

Did someone say "loss to Villanova previous year fresh on their minds?" That's why I don't get too worked up about being wrong on predictions. But that's the way it goes. Sometimes you just get that feeling that a team has become a team of destiny, and I have that feeling about the Wolverines. This is a long, athletic team, led by double-double forward Johnathan Motley and point guard Manu Lecomte, who rescued Baylor in the second round against USC by scoring all 12 of his points in the final five minutes. A week ago, just about everybody assumed we were headed for Villanova-Duke in the Elite Eight at Madison Square Garden. For the third consecutive year, no mid-majors made it aboard the 16 lifeboats that escaped the vicious first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, when 48 seasons end.

Saint Mary's was No. 17 overall in the KenPom ratings but a No. 7 seed. From there, they could get North Carolina who also has an elite offense.

Baylor wasn't exactly setting the world on fire heading into the NCAA tournament. "We had a lot of good teams but really no great ones". Before the tournament, UCLA was committing 11.5 turnovers per game. I did not see that kind of domination coming, and I'm not sure that it last. It was UCLA's 12th win over a No. 1 team, one behind North Carolina on the all-time list.

Nine ACC teams got bids.

Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook jaw at each other, incite a dust-up
The Thunder shot 42.5 percent from the floor, which isn't good, but it shot 19.0 percent from behind the arc, which is much worse. Meanwhile, Curry continued his hot shooting, a very welcome development for the Warriors, particularly with Durant still out.

For the most part, this field is enough to give you a cavity, and we're here to prove it. They still have some work to do before they have to worry about a Final Four foe, but on paper, I think the Zags have a good shot of getting that done.

Butler is going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since it played in the title game in 2011.

No wonder it was hard for me to catch my breath over the weekend.

Now, there are stark differences between CT in 2011 and North Carolina this season. "They're a great team". His three baskets in the first half against Wichita State Sunday when the Wildcats were struggling to score were crucial. And we can't change people's perception of our program. Having a successful run in the NCAA Tournament is all about the match-ups your team faces. The Badgers just seem to be in the Sweet 16 each season.

I'm in a bracket pool with 73 entries and of those, only seven did not have either Villanova or Duke reaching the Final Four, and all of them had the two teams making it to the Sweet 16.

America wants to see the Illinois States, Monmouths and Rhode Islands of the world get a chance to prove themselves against the big boys. They are on a two-game win streak right now. I'm proud of them.

Duke's peculiar season, which began as NCAA title favorites, roller-coastered through the regular season with injuries and suspensions, then put it all together to win the ACC Tournament, ended much earlier than was expected. I think they matchup really well with Kansas, and I think their size can take advantages of weaknesses in the front lines of both MI and Oregon. Throw in the rest of those shot-making guards, nearly all of them veterans, and this is a team you could definitely see winning the rest of the way.