没有NCAA男子篮球的三月是怎么样的？我不知道，也不想知道。三月疯是让人迷恋的，对很多平时不得不疯狂工作的人来说，这可是一个从天上掉下来的3-week vacation，只不过度假的地点在办公室里。大家工作的效率都降到了一个骇人听闻的地步。没人去关心市场上发生了什么，大家更关心的是自己的Final 4 picks还剩下几个。在过去两天里，我花了几乎一半的时间在上网研究我的picks，然后信心十足把我的bracket 递到我们group的小Analyst手里。这个可怜的Analyst然后要把将20多份的bracket都手工的输入电脑，然后根据实际的比赛结果来更新积分榜，看谁是领头羊。我们这个小组人不多，所以我们总共的pool也不大，很有限，大约四五百块钱的样子。在trading floor上的人就更专业点，有专门的trader making a market on various teams. 所有的球队都可以在这个公开的期货市场上交易，根据比赛结果，所有球队的价值或涨或跌。一份payout $100的Illinois合同目前价格在$20左右。
好了，废话少说，以下是我的Final 4 Picks:
(1) # 2 Seed Oklahoma State (24-6)
Illinois is the most favored team. They are 30-1 in the regular season and have the best back-court in college basket today. But I don’t think they are tough enough inside. When they were playing Wisconsin in the regular season, they had a tough time defending the paint. I saw that game live and I didn’t like what I saw. I am picking Oklahoma State over Illinois because I believe Oklahoma State’s toughness and inside presence will force Illinois to pack and head home.
(2) # 3 Seed Gonzaga (25-4)
Gonzaga has always been a good team. They have enough firepower to play against anyone in the country. Regardless their seeding, they are always dangerous. The section they are in this year is potentially the second weakest. Washington is over-rated, the same as last year’s Stanford. Pac-10 is no longer a dominant force in college basketball these days. Wake Forest is always soft, mentally. I won’t put any chips in them. The only real challenge is Louisville. They are well-coached and ready to play. But if I have to choose, I will still put money on Gonzaga. Just call it an “instinct”.
(3) # 1 Seed UNC (27-4)
This year could be well be North Carolina’s year. It’s been a while since last time UNC was seeded #1, and they are deservedly so. With their unmatched scoring talents, they can knock out anyone on their way to the Final 4. UConn is the only obstacle. But if they can beat UConn once in the regular season, they can definitely do it again. I have to admit though, it’s a tough pick. I like UConn a lot, but UNC this year may just be a little bit better.
(4) # 1 Seed Duke (25-5)
Devils, devils, and devils. It’s always about the Devils, isn’t it? They may well have the best Forward-Guard combo in the nation. Both J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams are simply too good. As juniors, they have enough tournament experiences when the game is on the line. Syracuse may be the only threat but Syracuse’s inconsistence will not make them go far.
Here are my picks and let’s see what happens.
(I actually pick Duke to win it all, beating Oklahoma State in the final.)