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Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The ESPN Tourney Draft begins today

By Eamonn Brennan

For as much as people love their pools (and I am one of them), that's not the only way to slice and dice the bracket for your prognosticatory needs. I have buddies that use a "Calcutta" bidding format (lots of jelly beans being bid on Kentucky this year, methinks) and I know lots of people who use fantasy football-style drafts, which compiles different tournament entities into a "team" and assigns points for advancement into the field.

We've got traditional brackets galore (join our blog pool here and show us how it's done), but we decided to get in on the fun. From noon to 4 p.m. ET today, yours truly faced off with ESPN.com's own Jason King, Mark Schlabach and John Gasaway in the first-ever ESPN Tourney Draft. (To follow along on Twitter, hit hashtag #ESPNTourneyDraft.) The rules went as follows:
Really, that's pretty much it. Here's how the teams came out.

Brennan: Kentucky, Florida State, Marquette, Georgetown, Louisville, UNLV, Temple, Kansas State, VCU, Harvard, Creighton, WVU, Iona, Colorado State, Ohio, Loyola (MD), Lamar

Gasaway: Ohio State, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Indiana, Memphis, New Mexico, Florida, Saint Louis, Purdue, Virginia, Belmont, Texas, Iowa State, South Dakota State, BYU, Lehigh, UNC-Asheville

King: North Carolina, Missouri, Baylor, Wichita State, Cincinnati, UConn, Xavier, Cal, NC State, New Mexico State, Detroit, Colorado, St. Bonaventure, Montana, South Florida, Norfolk State, Vermont

Schlabach: Kansas, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Duke, Michigan, Long Beach State, Notre Dame, Murray State, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, Davidson, SDSU, Southern Miss, Alabama, Western Kentucky, Miss. Valley State, LIU Brooklyn

As for my team, well, I tend to like our chances. Nabbing Kentucky with the first pick was a no-brainer, of course, but Florida State looks even better now that Syracuse's Fab Melo has been deemed ineligible for the entire tournament, which proved a major hit to Mr. Gasaway's squad and a major boost to Schlabach, who loves the Vanderbilt selection even more than he did when he chose it. John, being the tempo-free devotee that he is, hewed to an effective value-based efficiency strategy. My strategy was similar going in, but I was a little bit more worried about spreading my risk throughout my bracket and focusing more on teams (at least in the early rounds) that had good chances of progressing past the second weekend.

How'd I do? I'm not really sure. But it doesn't hurt to have the clear tournament favorite land in your lap.

In any case, if you didn't join us at the time, you can replay Tuesday's live draft at this link. And you can find the full list of picks in the order they were selected after the jump.

In the meantime, judge us harshly: Which team drafted best? Hit us in the comments or on Twitter at the #ESPNTourneyDraft hashtag. This is going to be a lot of fun.

2012 ESPN Tourney Draft results:

1. Eamonn -- Kentucky
2. Gasaway -- Ohio State
3. King -- North Carolina
4. Schlabach -- Kansas
5. Schlabach -- Michigan State
6. King -- Missouri
7. Gasaway -- Syracuse
8. Brennan -- Florida State
9. Brennan -- Marquette
10. Gasaway -- Wisconsin
11. King -- Baylor
12. Schlabach -- Vanderbilt
13. Schlabach -- Duke
14. King -- Wichita State
15. Gasaway -- Indiana
16. Brennan --Georgetown
17. Brennan -- Louisville
18. Gasaway -- Memphis
19. King -- Cincinnati
20. Schlabach -- Michigan
21. Schlabach -- Long Beach State
22. King -- UConn
23. Gasaway -- New Mexico
24. Brennan -- UNLV
25. Brennan -- Temple
26. Gasaway -- Florida
27. King -- Xavier
28. Schlabach -- Notre Dame
29. Schlabach -- Murray State
30. King -- Cal
31. Gasaway -- St. Louis
32. Brennan -- Kansas State
33. Brennan -- VCU
34. Gasaway -- Purdue
35. King -- NC State
36. Schlabach -- Gonzaga
37. Schlabach -- St. Mary's
38. King -- New Mexico State
39. Gasaway -- Virginia
40. Brennan -- Harvard
41. Brennan -- Creighton
42. Gasaway -- Belmont
43. King -- Detroit
44. Schlabach -- Davidson
45. Schlabach -- SDSU
46. King -- Colorado
47. Gasaway -- Texas
48. Brennan -- WVU
49. Brennan -- Iona
50. Gasaway --Iowa State
51. King -- St. Bonaventure
52. Schlabach -- So. Miss
53. Schlabach -- Alabama
54. King -- Montana
55. Gasaway -- South Dakota State
56. Brennan -- Colorado State
57. Brennan -- Ohio
58. Gasaway -- BYU
59. King -- South Florida
60. Schlabach -- Western Kentucky
61. Schlabach -- Miss. Valley State
62. King -- Norfolk State
63. Gasaway -- Lehigh
64. Brennan -- Loyola (MD)
65. Brennan -- Lamar
66. Gasaway -- UNC Ashville
67. King -- Vermont
68. Schlabach -- LIU Brooklyn