GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was a bittersweet Monday morning for Cleveland reliever Frank Herrmann. Like many of his teammates -- and plenty more around Ohio -- the right-hander was thrilled to see the state so well represented in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. It's just a shame it came at the expense of his bracket. Herrmann, the Indians' representative in MLB.com's Big League Bracket Challenge this month, blamed some faulty advice for picking Missouri to win it all (the second-seeded Tigers were shocked in the first round by 15th-seeded Norfolk State).
"I've been taking some heat in the clubhouse for that," Herrmann said. "I took a shot with Mizzou. I felt like they could make a run and you want to differentiate yourself in these things a little bit. They were coming off a good Big 12 win. I just thought they were the team to go with. I leaned on some people who I thought were in the know, and it just didn't work out." Nine of Herrmann's Sweet 16 picks remain in the tournament -- including North Carolina State, his boldest pick in the bracket that came to fruition. "That's what's painful sometimes, when your champ's out in the first round and you make some good under-the-radar picks," Herrmann said. "No one really cares about those." It's the first time in NCAA Tournament history that four teams from the same state -- Ohio University, Cincinnati, Ohio State and Xavier -- have advanced to the Sweet 16, leaving the victory-starved fans in Cleveland with a little something more to cheer about this week. "I've lived in Ohio most of the last seven years of my life, whether it be Lake County, Akron, Columbus or Cleveland, so I've been around this state," Herrmann said. "It's definitely exciting. I just hope it doesn't take away from fans coming down here to come to our games. But it's crazy."