BIG Roundtable: March Madness Is Here!

Texas A&M v Oklahoma

With the NCAA Tournament set to air all month long on The Big 1070 and The Big 920, we had a little extra time to submit our brackets and picks. Now, we're sharing those selections with you. Thanks to Westwood One for all of the coverage of the NCAA Tournament this year!

Our BIG Roundtable for this week: All about the NCAA Tournament!

1. How long did it take you to fill out your "main" bracket?

K.B., The Drew Olson Show: If I were to venture a guess, I would say about 10 minutes max. Without Wisconsin or Marquette in the tournament my enthusiasm for filling out tournament brackets has waned considerably. I felt most of the match-ups were pretty cut and dried in terms of who was going to win. I didn’t get any strong feelings about the perennial 12 -5 upset. There were a few middle-seed match-ups that I had to ponder for a bit, but for the most part I was pretty certain of all my picks. Which of course will mean my bracket will be busted by 4pm on Thursday. 

Brad Berg, The Big 1070 Producer: It took me about 15 minutes to make. Lots of rationalizing occurred.

Drew Olson, The Drew Olson Show: I never spend more than 5-10 minutes on the bracket.

Pete Knutson, iHeartMedia-Eau Claire: It didn’t take too long for me to make my bracket. I guess I’m always a chalk kind of guy when the tournament rolls around. I know I’m going to miss a few upsets here and there, but when all is said and done, talent tends to win out over most other things in college sports (experience, defensive strategy, etc.). It’s not to say those things aren’t important, I just think if you’re more talented you have the best chance of winning a matchup in the tournament.

Armen Saryan, The Drew Olson Show: Usually takes 30 min or so to fill it out...I tend to overthink which is why I've never won a bracket contest.

Tim Scott, Program Director: 20 minutes.

Spenser Williams, The Big 920 Reporter: About five minutes.

Jimmie Kaska, Skyrim Enthusiast: I think I knocked out my bracket in about five minutes.

2. What's the craziest upset you picked for this year?

Drew Olson, The Drew Olson Show: Providence over Texas A&M doesn’t seem like an upset to me, but the seed line says it is. I also like Butler over Arkansas.

Jimmie Kaska, Skyrim Enthusiast: #13 Buffalo over #4 Arizona. Morally, I want to see the $100-Grand man out in the first round. Personally, go Nate Oats, a former Whitewater Warhawk.

Armen Saryan, The Drew Olson Show: I took Marshall to beat Wichita State only because Intern Josh will not stop talking about how bad his Shockers are.

Pete Knutson, iHeartMedia-Eau Claire: South Dakota State over Ohio State. The Big Ten was awful this year and I don’t think Ohio State can hang with the outside shooting of the Jack Rabbits. I picked Marshall over Wichita State too, but I think the Shockers are so overrated it’s ridiculous.

Brad Berg, The Big 1070 Producer: #12 South Dakota State over #5 Ohio State. No other reason than my appreciation for JackRabbits. 

K.B., The Drew Olson Show: My biggest upset is probably Loyola (11) over Miami (6). My rationale is simple. I love Jesuits and hate The U. There are few things that bring more joy to me as a sports fan than the heartbreak of a Miami fan. 

Spenser Williams, The Big 920 Reporter: Creighton over Virginia in Round 2.

3. When you can't decide who to pick in a game, what's your go-to tiebreaker?

Drew Olson, The Drew Olson Show: I look to the coach and the coach on the floor (point guard). Those are the two.

Pete Knutson, iHeartMedia-Eau Claire: Coaching is typically where I go to. When in doubt I pick the team that should win. Coaching is the biggest factor in that, especially in college basketball. I’ll take a hall of fame coach over a younger coach any day of the week.

Spenser Williams, The Big 920 Reporter: Go with the higher seed.

Armen Saryan, The Drew Olson Show: When in doubt I usually go with chalk.

Joel Finkelman, Lucas in the Morning: I went completely off of gut feelings, particularly for teams I knew nothing about. If #6 Wake Forest was playing #11 “insert random bad team here” but that team has a cool name... sure! I also liked to have at least one 5-12 upset as well as one 6-11 and here’s the kicker... one 4-13... don’t know why.

Jimmie Kaska, Skyrim Enthusiast: I don't know that I ever get "stuck" on a pick. I'm biased towards teams I've seen or read about. I'm biased against teams playing in bad conferences.

K.B., The Drew Olson Show: Her name is Miss Sue and I’ve been married to her for 25 years. She watches more college basketball than any human should watch. She could be watching a irrelevant game between New Mexico State and Montana Wesleyan and if I were to change the channel I would be taking my life into my hands. However, she’ll only offer advice for a pool she isn’t in because if she’s going head to head with me, her only goal is to bury me. 

Tim Scott, Program Director: I ask my son. He knows much more than I do.

Brad Berg, The Big 1070 Producer: Only tie breaker I use is that if I know someone from the school and do I have fond memories of them. 

4. With Wisconsin, Marquette, and the state shut out of the NCAA Tournament, who's your "new" favorite team to follow this year?

Drew Olson, The Drew Olson Show: Virginia, because Tom Haudricourt will go crazy if they win. Also Villanova, because I like Jay Wright.

K.B., The Drew Olson Show: I think everyone is pulling for Virginia because of Tony Bennett. I’ve always thought it would be funny to deck myself out in Gonzaga swag and cheer for them like a madman in hopes that someone would ask me if I went to college there to which I would respond, “Well….online.” 

Tim Scott, Program Director: Tony Bennett and Virginia. The loss of De'Andre Hunter for the tournament is big for them.

Pete Knutson, iHeartMedia-Eau Claire: I will be a hot mess every time Kansas steps on the court being an alumni. This is my super bowl. I would like to see the Big 12 have a good tournament to validate the title of “Toughest Conference from Top to Bottom” that they were given throughout the season. They tend to underperform as a conference come tourney time. I don’t think means much personally, but national media outlets do. Also, I will be rooting for not Missouri. As Grandpa Simpson once said, “I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah [as a state]!”

Spenser Williams, The Big 920 Reporter: Tennessee and Rhode Island.

Armen Saryan, The Drew Olson Show: This is really not a thing for me. I can try and fish up interest and state connections etc. but nothing really replaces the passion for your team. There is really no one I'm "rooting for".

Brad Berg, The Big 1070 Producer: I’m rooting for someone other than a 1-seed to make the Final Four. It’s always fun to see a lower seed stand tall in the end. 

Joel Finkelman, Lucas in the Morning: I subscribe to the A.B.B.B. strategy... what’s. That you ask? “Anybody but blue bloods”. I hate it when Duke or UNC wins, and so should you. So really, ANYBODY who isn’t a blue blood is good in my book.

Jimmie Kaska, Skyrim Enthusiast: UW-Oshkosh, obviously. Oh, wait, in the D1 tourney. I'm high on Buffalo. It's literally UW-Whitewater East.

5. The 2018 NCAA Champion will be... _____!

K.B., The Drew Olson Show: I gotta go with Virginia. Any team that can play an entire season without allowing an opponent to score more than 70 points has got to be a bet worth hedging. Teams can go cold offensively, but you never hear of a team going cold defensively. If they play D like they have all season they’ll be cutting nylon on April 2. 

Tim Scott, Program Director: Michigan State. If it happens, it might be a walk off for Tom Izzo. 

Drew Olson, The Drew Olson Show: North Carolina over Villanova. Don’t know why. I just feel the Tar Heel blue.

Pete Knutson, iHeartMedia-Eau Claire: Rock Chalk Championship baby! This team feels a lot like the 2012 KU team that was a bit less talented, but played ridiculously well in the tournament. That year they ran into a Kentucky buzzsaw led by unibrow. There is no unibrow in the tournament this year. I like their chances. (Kansas)

Brad Berg, The Big 1070 Producer: Xavier. I like what I’ve seen of them this year. They’re the Musketeers, from Cincy and are not being given a chance to win. 

Joel Finkelman, Lucas in the Morning: Duke. Yeah, I don’t want them to win I know. But just because I don’t want someone to win doesn’t mean I’m not smart enough to realize that one of the blue bloods will inevitably take it.

Spenser Williams, The Big 920 Reporter: 'Nova, they have been the best team all year.

Armen Saryan, The Drew Olson Show: Villanova, they are the best and most efficient team on both ends that I've seen this year. Even though the best team rarely wins it all, I am picking them. They have been awesome all year.

Jimmie Kaska, Skyrim Enthusiast: I went with Villanova. I don't feel like it's a lock at all, though. I also advanced, of all the stupid teams, Michigan to the title game.

Photo: Getty Images

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