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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Everybody out of the pool

I've been following the NCAA men's basketball tournament for close to 30 years, and I've been in bracket-based office pools for about the last 15, and I've never, ever seen a tournament like the one going on right now.

I've lost track of the number of stunning upsets that have come to pass in the last three days; teams from the mighty Big East conference appear to have forgotten how to play the game; and the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, Kansas, was bounced today by Northern Iowa. (I didn't even know before last week that there was a school called Northern Iowa.)

Villanova, a No. 3 seed, also went down today, meaning the two teams I picked to reach the national championship game, 'Nova and Kansas, are gone, and I have no chance of winning the pool I'm in. So I tore up my bracket sheet about an hour ago and threw it in the trash.

I can take solace in the fact that the team I've been rooting for since the mid-1980s, Syracuse, remains alive in the tournament. But they're from the Big East and are playing a lower-seeded team on Sunday, so they probably will be out of this thing soon.



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