This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

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The state of my NCAA tournament bracket (through Thursday)

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: March 18, 2011 - 12:34 PM

Every year, I fill out a bracket that's published in the Star Tribune.

Well, after one day, my bracket is on life support. I lost a Final Four team and I blew a few upset picks. And I'm supposed to be the expert, right? 

Including the First Four, I hit 13 of 20 picks through Thursday night.

Here are some of the highs and lows of my bracket after the first official day of March Madness


-I liked the momentum that 12-seed Richmond took into its matchup against five-seed Vanderbilt. Glad I picked the Spiders to pull off the upset. Butler needed a last-second shot to pull off the win that I expected it to get over Old Dominion but that was a close call. And a great game.


-Where do I start? I thought St. John's would sneak up on the Southeast region, one of the weakest I've ever seen, but the Red Storm couldn't get out of the first round. There goes one of my Final Four picks. I underestimated the attitude Morehead State would take into a matchup Louisville. Both schools are from Kentucky and I'm sure that fueled the intensity of the matchup. Considering Kentucky's struggles against Princeton Thursday, the Eagles might be the best team in the Bluegrass State right now. 

Close calls

-Motivated upperclassmen. A crafty offense against a young opponent. The makings of an upset? Princeton, a 13-seed, was so close to beating Kentucky, a four-seed, in the first round. I picked the Tigers to advance. Didn't happen. But it was a great contest. I think Penn State would've topped Temple if Jeff Brooks had avoided another shoulder injury and been available down the stretch.




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