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Good Bye, March Madness 2011

And just like that, it's over. The Madness portion of the 2011 NCAA Tournament ended with a bang. Texas is gone, but there is still drama. Three double-digit seeds are going to play in the Sweet 16 in the Southwest region, giving Kansas a seemingly easy route to the Final Four. An eight seed will play in the Southeast, and an 11 will play in the East. Five schools from outside of power conferences will play in the second week.

Not one of the 11 Big East teams in the tournament made the Sweet 16 without beating another Big East team to get there.

Another flurry of great games with some great finishes and upsets in one of the best second rounds in recent memory. This has been fabulous, and while the Madness has ended, hopefully the great games will continue in a few days.

By the way, on the topic of referee mistakes, on Twitter today, Ken Pomeroy pointed out that the costly backcourt violation in the Syracuse upset should not, in fact, have been an upset, and even linked to the rule book for proof. Of all the ref situations today, this one has gotten the least play, despite being a clear-cut mistake in a crucial moment.

SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth Staff Picks

  1. Code 43 (163 Possible)
  2. Griffin 41 (121 Possible)
  3. Ponting 40 (144 Possible)
  4. London 40 (120 Possible)
  5. Perryman (85 Possible)
  6. Starkey 34 (122 Possible)
  7. Fittz 33 (133 Possible)

Predictably, massive damage done in the staff picks today. No one maintains a perfect Elite Eight anymore, with Charley losing his first in Notre Dame, Brett and Liam losing Syracuse and Notre Dame, Maurice losing Washington and Purdue, Christopher losing Syracuse, Texas and Purdue, and myself losing Syracuse and Purdue.

Charley does maintain the only perfect Final Four, however, and Christopher and Liam are the only others with more than half their Final Four intact.

Also, I'm pretty sure Brett has been eliminated.

That's our brackets so far. You will, of course, be updated on Thursday with further changes. Hope you've fared better than we have.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.