Archive for March, 2013

I’m a huge college basketball fanatic, so March is inherently one of my favorite months of the year. Never mind the 30-degree Michigan weather outside; I’m ready to hunker down inside and watch some college hoops anyway. With March comes the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, which I affectionately call The Big Dance. With The Big Dance, we inevitably see everybody and their brother (or sister…no sexism here) suddenly become a college basketball guru, as they fill out their bracket either by chalk (picking almost exclusively higher seeds) or by some crazy strategy (coin flips, cooler mascot, dartboard, team colors, etc.). I hate both methods, but mostly because I desperately want my statistical analysis and basketball knowledge to actually reflect in the success of filling out a bracket, and too often it is the case that it does not. Nevertheless, I will not stop in my hunt for filling out a truly great bracket.

Sometimes I worry that I may have peaked in my bracket-predicting ability too young. I correctly picked the NCAA Champion 6 years in a row in a stretch from the 2001-2002 season (shout out to Steve Blake and Juan Dixon for starting the streak with the Terps) to the 2006-2007 season (How could you pick against Al Horford and Joakim Noah after winning the year before?). Starting in 2008, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and UCLA let me down by falling to Memphis in the Final Four. That left a sour taste in my mouth, but not as sour as watching the star-studded Pittsburgh team I picked to win it all in 2009 (Levance Fields, DeJuan Blair, and Sam Young) fall in the Elite 8 after letting Scottie Reynolds of Nova drive coast to coast with 5 seconds left to win the game with a layup. I didn’t think it could get any worse…and that, of course, is when it gets worse. With the ballsiest three-point attempt of the decade, Ali Farokhmanesh of Northern Iowa sealed the fate of my National Championship pick Kansas in the Round of 32 in 2010; for the third straight year, things had gotten progressively worse.

Fast forward ahead to 2012, and it had been 4 straight years of INCORRECTLY picking the National Champion after 6 straight years of glory. The essentially all-professional college team led by John Calipari out of Lexington was a virtual lock to win it all last year, and both my basketball knowledge and statistical analysis (which has been nicknamed “The Bracket Machine”) confirmed this. Thus, I was able to get back on the horse last year and correctly pick the NCAA Tournament Champion. However, I don’t want that streak to last a mere year, so I need to break down this year’s field and see who has the best chance to cut down the nets. Herein lies the problem; with so much more parity in college basketball this year than in past years, it is going to be very difficult to accurately pick the champion. My basketball knowledge favors one team, while “The Bracket Machine” is telling me something else. Thus, I’m going to fill out two brackets this year – one with picks from the gut, the other with picks from a statistical analysis machine.

In reality, every team with a legitimate shot at making a final four run has at least one glaring weakness, and it’s just a matter of deciding which team’s weaknesses will be hidden and which will be on display. That’s what I’m here for – breaking down the final four contenders and their weaknesses, and telling you what my gut says, as well as what the machine spit out.

THE BIG PLAYERS

These are the big dogs that have a very good shot at making the Final Four. I expect at least 3 of these teams to compose the group of 4 that makes it to Atlanta, with the National Champion coming from this group.

1. Louisville –
 Weakness: Inconsistent play from Russ Smith. Russdiculous is a great player and the Cardinals leading scorer at 18 points a game, but he is maddeningly erratic from game-to-game with his shot selection and decision-making. In Louisville’s 5 losses this season, Smith is shooting 25 for 78 from the field, so if he has a woeful game, the Cardinals could fall victim to an upset.

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(I’m not so certain I would put my trust in Russ…but that does look like a mighty delicious plate of waffles.)

2. Indiana Weakness: Tom Crean’s lack of NCAA tournament success. While Crean is generally considered one of the better coaches in all of college basketball, he’s had a surprising lack of tournament success. Since becoming a head coach in 1999 at Marquette, Crean’s only made it to the final four once (on the back of Dwayne Wade), and his career NCAA Tournament record is 7-6, which is far from sterling.

3. Kansas – Weakness: Offensive Efficiency. Kansas has improved their offense leaps and bounds since that abysmal loss to TCU earlier this year, but it’s still not pretty. This team may win with defense, but since 2003, every national champion has had an offensive efficiency above 115.5 and in the top 20 – Kansas is at 112.7 and 25th.

4. Florida – Weakness: No go-to guy. Billy Donovan’s team is very well-rounded, but they don’t have that one go-to guy that they can get the ball to in a tie game with the pressure on. Erik Murphy doesn’t have the ball skills and speed to be that guy, Scottie Wilbekin is way more of a defender than an offensive stalwart, and Kenny Boynton is too passive in settling for a jump shot.

5. Syracuse – Weakness: Mental toughness. When the going gets tough, the Orange most certainly do not get going. Boeheim and his crew had Louisville on the ropes in the first half of the Big East Championship, and at the first sign of amped up Louisville pressure and some adversity, they folded like a beach chair.

6. Ohio State – Weakness: Live and die by Deshaun Thomas. Nobody on Ohio State is averaging double figures in scoring besides Deshaun Thomas. Furthermore, Thomas has a tendency to sometimes slip into a mode where he wants to get his before he cares about the outcome for his team. If he can get a lot of touches in his sweet spot on the left block, the Buckeyes will be a tough out. By the same token, if he starts settling for contested threes, they could be an earlier out.

7. Duke – Weakness: Defense. The Blue Devils can hit shots from all over the court and score in bunches. If Cook, Kelly, and Curry are all knocking down shots, this team is damn near impossible to guard. However, they also have a tendency to fall asleep on the other end of the court and let hot shooting opponents do the same thing. Team that with the fact that they don’t have a reliable rebounder outside of Plumlee, and this team is susceptible to defeat at the hands of a more physical, grind-it-out type of team.

8. Michigan State – Weakness: Keith Appling. I don’t mean to single out one player, but in the case of the Spartans, I really have no choice. Appling is capable of being one of the better point guards in the nation, but unlike Adreian Payne and Gary Harris, he hasn’t even come close to approaching his ceiling. Unfortunately for Spartan fans, it has become a nightmarish trend to watch Appling disappear in big games, often times because he tries too hard to out-duel the opposing team’s point guard.

9. Miami (FL) – Weakness: Lack of tournament experience. Outside of Jim Larranaga’s improbable Final Four run when he was at the helm of George Mason, the members of this team (and this program in general) lack the NCAA Tournament pedigree and experience. Handling the moment when you’ve never been there before can be quite a challenge, even for a starting lineup filled with 4 seniors.


THE MIDDLE-MEN THAT CAN MAKE A RUN

These teams have a solid shot of sneaking out of their regional (one of them will probably pull it off) and getting to Atlanta, but might not have quite enough firepower, experience, or clutch to win the whole thing.

1. Gonzaga – Weakness: Haven’t been tested because of soft schedule. I will give credit to the Zags for going out and playing at Oklahoma State and at Butler, and having Illinois and Kansas State come out to Spokane. However, they went 2-2 in those games against teams whose average seed line in this tournament is 5.5. What’s going to happen when they have to consistently match up with the big boys and win multiple games in a row to survive?

2. Michigan – Weakness: Playing soft. The Wolverines are great on the offensive end of the floor and have two NBA-caliber guards in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.. However, on the defensive end, they struggle with being physical and stopping dribble penetration using guard-to-guard help. John Beilein’s defensive strategies of avoiding fouls and switching ball-screens have been figured out and exploited by Big Ten teams this season, so it’ll be a matter of how he adjusts going into the tournament.

3. Wisconsin – Weakness: Inability to play from behind. If you’re in to fundamentally-sound, slow, methodical basketball on both ends of the court, then Wisconsin basketball is for you. Unfortunately, this style does not lend itself to comebacks and playing from behind, something a team must be capable of doing in order to make a run in the tournament. If Wisconsin lets a team get hot from the field early, they could be leaving the tournament early.

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 (Instead of stealing Christmas, Bo Ryan steals joy out of my heart.)

4. New Mexico – Weakness: A tendency to go ice cold from the field. The Lobos play some very effective defense, are athletic, and really take care of the ball. However, they averaged under 58 points per game in their 5 losses this season – a number which was actually significantly inflated by a 89-88 loss to Air Force to end the regular season. It’s hard to see them finding ways to consistently outscore opponents and make a deep run with such inconsistent shooting performances.

5. Georgetown – Weakness: Otto Porter Jr. can’t do everything in every game. Porter leads the Hoyas in points per game, rebounds, steals, blocks, free throw percentage, three point percentage, and minutes per game. He is mister do-it-all for John Thompson III and crew, and has been an All-American up to this point in the season. However, at some point, he’s going to get burnt out and need his teammates to pick up the slack – something I’m not sure they are all that capable of doing.


THE SLEEPERS

There are a lot of crazies out there that love picking a good dark horse to pull some stellar upsets and make a run; if you’re going to do that, I suggest you pick from this list.

1. Saint Louis – Weakness: Putting the ball in the basket. The Billikens take care of the basketball and don’t give up any easy baskets on the defensive end of the court. However, in order to string together multiple wins in this tournament, you have to be able to get some easy baskets and score the ball. This well-rounded team has the capability to make a run based on their defense, but could get tripped up early if they continue to struggle on the offensive end.

2. VCU – Weakness: Facing teams that don’t turn the ball over. The “Havoc” defense that Shaka Smart and his deep, athletic team employee on a game-to-game basis can cause opposing coaches hairs to turn gray. However, when the opposing team handles the pressure and limits their turnovers, VCU becomes a surprisingly average team on both the offensive and defensive end, as well as on the glass.

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(I don’t think VCU’s “Havoc” defense can single-handedly lead them to another deep tournament run.)

3. North Carolina – Weakness: Playing defense with a small lineup. North Carolina has experienced some great success this season ever since Roy Williams switched to his newfound, smaller, four-guard lineup. That being said, this lineup has caused North Carolina to fall into stretches where defense and consistent rebounding disappear, and those are obviously two things that can’t happen if UNC wants to make a run this year.

4. NC State – Weakness: A lack of passion, heart, and emotion. NC State is one of the most athletic, talented, and capable teams in the entire tournament. However, they’re also one of the most underachieving, and have been all season long. Richard Howell is a man among boys, Scott Wood consistently knocks down threes, and C.J. Leslie is a freak athlete and player. Unfortunately, it is too often the case that I’ve seen this team not handle adversity well this season, and play emotionless, passionless basketball. 

After all the basketball I’ve watched and all the numbers I’ve crunched, I still can’t quite make a decision on who to pick as my National Champion. Having watched the copious amounts of college basketball I’ve watched this season, my gut tells me that Indiana is the best basketball team in the country. The statistical analysis from “The Bracket Machine” seems to believe that Louisville is the team to beat. Either way, I really hope these two teams meet in Atlanta on Monday, April 8th (assuming, of course, that my alma mater falls short of the championship), because that would be one hell of a matchup for a chance to hold up the trophy.

NCAA tournament brackets and tacos covered in fake salad dressing flavored colorful cocaine powder. Two staples of what America is and stuff. Neither means a damn thing to anyone outside of these borders but within the borders NOTHING ELSE EVEN MATTERS. So, I decided to fill out a bracket with the most reasonable tactic possible, the coin flip, and eat a cool ranch death shit awful taco thing at the SAME DAMN TIME. Here’s what happened. (I took some pictures too!)

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Double Dorito flavors because I’m (in Ron Swanson voice) Ca-rayzy.

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Before all the madness! (haha get it?)

I was starving so I dove into the taco looking thing first. Now I for one always have issues with my hard shell tacos falling apart on me (especially from Taco Bell) after the first bite, but I was quite surprised when this taco fell apart the second I picked it up. It’s good to see  T-Bell (what cool kids call it) didn’t sacrifice the flimsiness of their shells in the name of fake spice.

After the first bite I realized something amazing had happened. T-Bizzle (what my grandma calls it) had tricked me into giving them 30 more cents for no reason at all, because it had the exact same way too salty beef filling stuff flavor of a normal hard shell taco, and I wasn’t one bit surprised or disappointed. Wow, that’s good business.

Perhaps I’ll use this opportunity to get started on the bracket. First I would like to introduce you to the official coin I used to make my decisions. It is a penny made before anybody reading this was born, and I can only imagine the disgusting places it has been.

Here is the heads side.

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And here is the tails side.

ImageOne cent!

For each game the higher seed will be heads, and the lower seed will be tails. In the event of a tie of seeding, whichever team is located higher up on the bracket will be the heads team. There are of course NO RE-FLIPS. I will also be periodically updating my taco adventure throughout ingestion and digestion.

And one last thing before we get into it, I’m both ignoring the play-in games, but also counting each one as it’s own separate round, so all of the regionals are starting in round five, because what other way makes any sense at all?

Midwest Region Round 5

#1 Lousiville vs. #16 N.C A&T/Liberty – Clearly a coin flip shouldn’t be needed in this situation because Liberty is the favorite in this game, granted they win their game in round 1, but that’s why we do this. Result- It’s heads and Louisville pulls the upset!

#8 Colorado State vs. #9 Missouri – Better idea. Let’s turn this into a mascot fight. Rams vs. Tigers. I’m being told I don’t have the resources or sufficient land mass to hold this event so a coin flip it is. Result- Tigers maul Rams.

#5 Oklahoma State vs. #12 Oregon – These schools have basketball teams? Result- Oregon, which will be now referred to as What Is Basketball University

#4 Saint Louis vs. #13 New Mexico State – Without the help of Google, can anybody tell me what a Billiken is? Anybody at all? Result- New Mexico State shares the same mascot as Oklahoma State, but not the same fate as them. They move on!

#6 Memphis vs. #11 winner of round 2 play in game – Seriously, these play-in games are probably more important than the actual tournament, probably. Result- The two play-in teams band together and defeat Memphis! (That’s how it works, right?)

#3 Michigan State vs. #14 Valparaiso – This should be easy for the coin gods. Tom Izzo is the king of March. Result- The flip is tails and Michigan State moves o-WHAT THE FUCK? VALPNOOOOOO

#7 Creighton vs. #10 Cincinnati – Sure to be a real humdinger of a game, or something. Result- Creighton moves on and henceforth shall be known as “Cray”

#2 Duke vs. #15 Albany – Man, how funny would it be if Duke lost to a 15-seed for the second year in a row? I’d probably stop watching the tournament if they did because I would be 100% satisfi-Result- Dammit. Duke survives.

Wow, that was riveting. My cool ranch shit taco extreme is now gone and I’m pretty depressed with my life choices so whatever.

West Region Round 5

#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Southern U – I don’t know much about Southern, but I imagine the school is located in the south. It wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t. Gonzaga is everyone’s pick to lose earlier then they should, but in round one? Pshh, like that’ll happen. Result- The south wins and shall now be known as some word that means laughter for their remainder of the time in the bracket.

#8 Picksburgh vs. #9 Wichita St. – Yeah, it’s technically Pittsburgh, but it’s really Picksburgh. They’re hicks and they talk weird. Result- Which team wins? It’s Wich.

#5 Bo Ryan vs. #12 Marshall Henderson – Man this fight is going to be good. Henderson is wild and unorthodox but Bo Ryan is an expert at sitting on people and being boring and weird and Dracula looking. Result- Bo Ryan wins without throwing a single punch, which sucks.

#4 Kansas State vs. #13 Round 4 play-in game winner- Why does the South Region not have a play-in game, but the Midwest has two. That doesn’t make any oh wait I get it now. Result- Kansas State wins by 100.

#6 Arizona vs. #11 Belmont – Well, this is a boring game. Result- Arizona

#7 Notre Dame vs. #10 Iowa State – Notre Dame has been riding the new pope momentum lately and has changed their name to Pope Francis University. Result- Pope Francis with his biggest win of the year!

#2 Ohio vs. #15 Iona – C’monnnnn Iona. YOU CAN DO THIS! Result- Dammit again. Ohio wins.

That mexican death machine I ate isn’t sitting well. I think i’m allergic to ranch flavored dust.

South Region Round 5

#1 Kansas vs. #16 Western Kentucky – If this was football, it would be a much more even game. Thank god this isn’t football. Result- Kansas wins the coin toss and the game.

#8 North Carolina vs. #9 Villanova – These teams both suck. Result- Nova wins and we all laugh at Carolina.

#5 VCU vs. #12 Akron – Shaka Smart’s VCU Rams are the team nobody wants to play against, and I can only imagine Akron is shaking in their space boots. Result- MORE LIKE SHAKA DUMB! AKRON IS GONNA SHOW YOU WHAT’S UP LEBRON JAMES!

#4 Michigan vs. #13 South Dakota State – Michigan touts the Big Ten P.O.Y in Trey Burke in a matchup against what I can only assume is a team full of white dudes who shoot a lot of threes. Result- The white dudes three point shoot their way to victory!

#6 UCLA vs. #11 Minnesota – UCLA’s best player was seen playing beer pong on the intreweb with his head coach a couple of weeks ago, so he’s totally locked in on this one. Result- Minnesota cruises in spite of Tubby Smith being their coach.

#3 Florida vs. #14 Northwestern State – I like to imagine N.W.S is a tiny little school that is right behind Northwestern and they just sit there waving their NCAA tournament banner all of the time, because Northwestern is the only team from a power conference to never make the big dance. Imagine if they won. Result- Imagine no more! Northwestern State wins and joins the Big Ten immediately!

#7 San Diego State vs. #10 Oklahoma- This region is awful. Result- Technically San Diego State wins, but we all lose.

#2 Georgetown vs. #15 Florida Gulf Coast – I really hope F.G.C wins because I would like to go golfing there one day. It’s a golf course, right? Result- The golf course wins!

My skin has turned a light shade of green after ingesting whatever that thing was. I think that’s a part of the fun though.

East Region Round 5

#1 Indiana vs. #16 Round 3 play-in game winner – This bracket has been pretty un-crazy for a coin-flip bracket. Let’s introduce a little anarchy to the system, eh round 3 champion? Result- Indiana keeps things boring with a win.

#8 N.C State vs. #9 Temple – I know two things about Temple: They play some basketball there and Bill Cosby went there. C’mon team sweaters! Result- All the puddin pops in the world couldn’t stop Temple as they roll.

#5 UNLV vs. #12 California – I’m told that UNLV being a five seed is laughable and Cal is the worst team in the world, so yay. Result- The Rebels are off an runnin’ (ha this is fun!)

#4 Syracuse vs. #13 Montana – You’re telling me people in Montana actually know what basketball is? Bullshit. Syracuse will definitely lose at some point before they should, will it be now? Result- Nope, Syracuse wins and Montana goes back to cowboying or whatever.

#6 Butler vs. #11 Bucknell – Butts vs Bucks. Who’s it gonna be? Result- Brad Stevens celebrates his first facial hair with a tournament victory. Butts win!

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Davidson – Dwayne Wade used to play at Marquette. Steph Curry used to play at Davidson. That’s all I’ve got. Result- Steph Curry wins!

#7 Illinois vs. #10 Colorado – This game is being hailed as the 2013 Punt Bowl and it’s sure to be a dandy and thank the lord this isn’t football. Result- The Illini get ill [shows self out]

#2 Miami vs. #15 Pacific – The Hurricanes are good, but are they good enough to beat an entire ocean? Doubt it. Result- The only thing that can stop an ocean is an oil company, which Miami is not. Pacific crashes the party.

Wow, what an exciting round five! I’m not going to waste any time because I need to finish this before I die of food poisoning.

Midwest Region Round 6

#1 Louisville vs. #9 Missouri – A lot of o’s, s’s, i’s, and u’s in this matchup. This is stupid. Result- Zoo beats Lou

#12 What Is Basketball vs. #13 New Mexico State – I wonder how Oregon’s spring practices are? Did you see they just released their depth chart? I miss Chip Kelly. Result- No fans? No problem. W.I.B? University moves on.

#11 Stupid play-in winner vs. #14 ValpNOOO – The Valping Valps are riding high off of their first round upset of Tom Izzo’s Spartans who have somehow advanced to the final four already. Result- ValpNOPROBLEM Cinderella keeps dancing.

#2 Duke vs. #7 Cray – If Cray wins this match they will be upgraded to Cray!! Result- Cray!!

I think I’m feeling better now.

West Region Round 6

#16 HAHA vs. #9 Wichita State – Can the HAHA’s keep things funny and earn themselves a new team name? Result- LULZ! They’ve done it!

#5 Bo Ryan vs. #4 Kansas State – Ever watch a toothbrush wrestle a hammock? It’s more exciting than this game will be. Result- Kansas State rolls 3-2

#6 Arizona vs. #3 New Mexico – This southeastern mashup is sure to be spicy and full of flavor. Taco Bell fucking sucks. Result- The Lobos go loco on Arizona.

#7 Pope Francis vs. #2 Ohio – I hope they both lose. Result- That new pope smell has worn off and things get real musty as Ohio advances much to Brady Hoke’s Chagrin (he really doesn’t care, he’s off eating something, somewhere.)

I’m not fine. Send help please.

South Region Round 6

#1 Kansas vs. #9 Villanova – Isn’t it the University of Kansas? Why the hell do they go by K.U? That’s stupid. Result- Rock Chalk Stupid Damn Coin! Dyslexic Kansas wins.

#12 Akron vs. #13 White three point shooters – I hope I’m not being racist against my own race with my assumptions about South Dakota State. Having never seen them play I still somehow know I’m right about their team makeup. Anyways. Result- Akron keeps proving LeBron James wrong, or something like that. Whatever. Narratives.

#11 Minnesota vs. #14 Better than Northwestern – A matchup of the newest B1G member Northwestern State and the team that everybody always forgets when they try to list off all of the B1G teams. This game is hopefully being played near a black hole. Result- The Gophers stay Golden, Pony Boy.

#7 San Diego State vs. #15 Florida Golf Course – The golf course has a chip on their shoulder as they try to putt away their opponent by driving the ball down the middle. When’s golf weather going to get here? 😦 Result- The Golf Course keeps on golfing er playing basketball or whatever they do down there. They won, is what I’m trying to say.

Help. Me.

East Region Round 6

#1 Indiana vs. #9 Bill Cosby University – Indiana will lose this game if there is any justice in the world. Tom Crean deserves to lose. He’s really earned it. Result- No justice in this cruel, cruel world. The Hoosiers didn’t lose.

#5 UNLV vs. #4 Syracus – The overrated Rebels against the overrated Jim Boeheim. Who is going to live up to their expectation of falling short of expectations? Result- Syracuse exceeds our wildest dreams and crashes and burns in the sixth round!

#6 Butler vs. #14 Davidson – Butler is always a tough out in March, but the fighting Steph Curry’s haven’t lost in a while (thanks Google.) Should be a dandy matchup. Result- Butler wins when Steph Curry doesn’t play for Davidson anymore.

#7 Illinois vs. #15 Pacific Ocean – Well if a hurricane couldn’t beat the Pacific Ocean, then the state of Illinois doesn’t stand a chance. Result- This just in, the state of Illinois is so boring and dry that it has sucked up all of the Pacific Ocean. Illini stay ill. [quits]

I need a break from this or I’m going to throw up.

Midwest Region Sexy Sixteen

#9 Missouri vs. #12 Oregon Football University – If Oregon wins this one, their name will officially be changed to Seriously? Basketball? And if Mizzoo wins we all get a zoo. (fingers crossed) Result- Seriously? Basketball?

#14 Valphowarewestillinthisthing vs. #7 Cray!! – Seriously Valpo, go away. I’m really pulling for Cray!! here. Result- On the next round is CRAY!!

West Region Sexy Sixteen

#16 LULZ vs. #4 Kansas State – As likely as this matchup is to happen, something crazy always happens in March. That’s why they call it March Madness. It’s too bad though, I’d love to see LULZ take on the other team at Bill Snyder’s University. Result- Stupid Kansas State wins. Fun suckers.

#3 New Mexico vs. #2 Ohio – This is weirdly normal and somewhat expected. If New Mexico wins I’m going to have to Google what a Lobo is, so go Ohio? Result- JK LOBOS WIN AND EVERYBODY IS HAPPY!

South Region Sexy Sixteen

#1 Kansas vs. #12 Akron – This will probably happen. And K.U (U of K?) will probably win. You know what they say, that’s why we flip the coin. Result- Bill Self hammertimes his way to the next round.

#11 Minnesota vs. #15 Florida Golf Club – In light of their recent NCAA success Florida Golf Course has been upgraded to a Florida Golf Club! How riveting! Maybe they’ll become a country club if they win it all! Result- This was the craziest flip of the day as I really got a hold of the penny and it flung into parts unknown. Took me a couple minutes to find it. It was a nerve-wracking experience to say the lease, but The Golf Club pulls it off miraculously on the first playoff hole!

East Region Sexy Sixteen

#1 Indiana vs. #5 UNLV – Seriously, I just want Indiana to be out. My team has long been eliminated and now all I can hope for is a Hoosier loss. Result- Fucking coin. Hoosiers win.

#6 Butler vs. #7 Illinois – Illinois is now fully saturated from sucking up the entire Pacific Ocean last round and I’m not sure they have enough left to take down the Butts. Result- Yes they do! Illinois somehow advances. Even in a coin-flip bracket it doesn’t seem possible.

Trips to the final four are on the line! I’m going to dive into my chicken burrito now, because if there is one thing that helps food poisoning it’s more Taco Bell.

Midwest Region Eagletastic Eight

#12 Seriously? Basketball? vs. #7 CRAY!! – Find me another bracket that has this matchup and I’ll call you a fucking liar and burn that bracket right in front of you! Result- Seriously? Basketball? wins and changes their name again. This time to “REALLY?! We’re good at basketball? :(” This is Pulitzer winning shit y’all.

Here’s how the bracket shook out.

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West Region Evil Eight

#4 Kansas State vs. #3 New Mexico – On my bracket it says “Aww, man. Fun suckers” vs. “What is a lobo?” Not quite sure what to make of that. Come to think of it I’m not even sure New Mexico’s mascot is a lobo, or whatever. I don’t think anybody really cares. Result- The fun suckers prevail.

Here’s this bracket.

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South Region Everyman’s Eight

#1 Dyslexic Kansas vs. Florida Golf Club – Nobody likes Kansas outside of Kansas so everybody chant along with me. GOLF CLUB! GOLF CLUB! GOLF CLUB! GOLF CLUB! GOLF CLUB! Result- The dream dies as Kansas sets fire to the Golf Club and drives all of their carts into water hazards.

Here’s the South bracket.

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East Region Whatever Eight

#1 Indiana vs. #7 Illinois – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET THIS COIN LAND ON TAILS. The Illini beat Indian once, so they can do it again, right? RIGHT?! Result- NO! NO! NO! SHIT NO!

And the dumb East bracket.

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Way too much cilantro on that chicken burrito and I’m dead.

FINAL FOUR!!!

#12 REALLY?! We’re good at basketball?! 😦 vs. #4 Kansas State Fun Suckers – This is what my bracket has come down to and I’m embarrassed. Result- Kansas State wins and nobody cares about it, because it’s almost football time.

#1 Kansas vs. #1 Stupid Indiana – I couldn’t be more pissed that both one seeds are in the final four. Coin-flip brackets are dumb. I don’t even care anymore, but c’mon Kansas. Result- This isn’t real. Indiana moves on to the finals.

National Championship Game

#4 Kansas State vs. #1 Indiana – If I just spent two hours flipping a dumb penny, eating shitty food and writing all of this dumb bullshit for Indiana to win a COIN-FLIP bracket I’m going to break everything I own and move to Switzerland. Please. God. Result- Switzerland it is. I can’t even. I’m going to die.

I regret doing this and I hate everything. Whatever.

Here’s the final bracket.

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(Actual Bracket and Polls Posted Below)

PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Louisville, Indiana, Gonzaga, Kansas

The 2 Seeds

Miami (FL), Duke, Ohio State, Georgetown

The 3 Seeds

New Mexico, Michigan State, Florida, Michigan

The 4 Seeds

Syracuse, Kansas State, Marquette, Wisconsin

The 5 Seeds

Arizona, Oklahoma State, Saint Louis, UNLV

The 6 Seeds

UCLA, Pittsburgh, VCU, Butler

The 7 Seeds

North Carolina, Notre Dame, Memphis, Creighton

The 8 Seeds

Oregon, Colorado State, NC State, Illinois

The 9 Seeds

Missouri, San Diego State, Minnesota, Cincinnati

The 10 Seeds

Wichita State, Colorado, Iowa State, Temple

The 11 Seeds

Mississippi, Oklahoma, California, Villanova

The 12 Seeds

Belmont, St. Mary’s (CA), La Salle, Boise State, Middle Tennessee, Akron

The 13 Seeds

Bucknell, Valparaiso, Davidson, New Mexico State

The 14 Seeds

South Dakota State, Harvard, Northwestern State, Montana

The 15 Seeds

Iona, Florida Gulf Coast, Pacific, Albany

The 16 Seeds

Western Kentucky, LIU-Brooklyn, James Madison, Southern, NC A&T, Liberty

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BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

St. Mary’s (CA), La Salle, Boise State, Middle Tennessee

First Four Out

Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Southern Miss

Next Four Out

Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Baylor

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CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (5), A-10 (5), MWC (5), Pac-12 (5), ACC (4), SEC (3), MVC (2), WCC (2), Sun Belt (2)

America East – Albany

ACC – Miami (FL), Duke, North Carolina, NC State

Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast

Atlantic 10 – Saint Louis, VCU, Butler, Temple, La Salle

Big East – Louisville, Georgetown, Syracuse, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Villanova

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – Liberty

Big Ten – Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota

Big 12 – Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma

Big West – Pacific

Colonial – James Madison

Conference USA – Memphis

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Harvard

MAAC – Iona

MAC – Akron

MEAC – NC A&T

MVC – Creighton, Wichita State

MWC – New Mexico, UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State, Boise State

Northeast – LIU-Brooklyn

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, California

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Florida, Missouri, Mississippi

Southern – Davidson

Southland – Northwestern State

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky

SWAC – Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s (CA)

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THE BRACKET:
(Click to Enlarge)

 Bracket 3-17-13 (FINAL)

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(Actual Bracket and Polls Posted Below)

PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Indiana, Duke, Louisville, Gonzaga

The 2 Seeds

Kansas, Georgetown, Michigan State, Miami (FL)

The 3 Seeds

Florida, New Mexico, Ohio State, Michigan

The 4 Seeds

Kansas State, Syracuse, Marquette, Arizona

The 5 Seeds

Oklahoma State, Saint Louis, Pittsburgh, UNLV

The 6 Seeds

Wisconsin, UCLA, Butler, VCU

The 7 Seeds

Notre Dame, North Carolina, Colorado State, Memphis

The 8 Seeds

Creighton, NC State, Oregon, Illinois

The 9 Seeds

Missouri, San Diego State, Minnesota, Wichita State

The 10 Seeds

Cincinnati,  Temple, Colorado, Oklahoma

The 11 Seeds

Iowa State, California, Villanova, St. Mary’s (CA)

The 12 Seeds

Belmont, Boise State, La Salle, Tennessee, Virginia, Bucknell

The 13 Seeds

Stephen F. Austin, Akron, Valparaiso, Davidson

The 14 Seeds

South Dakota State, New Mexico State, Harvard, Montana

The 15 Seeds

Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, Pacific, Albany

The 16 Seeds

Western Kentucky, Southern, James Madison, LIU-Brooklyn, Morgan State, Liberty

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BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Boise State, La Salle, Tennessee, Virginia

First Four Out

Mississippi, Middle Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama

Next Four Out

Southern Miss, Iowa, Maryland, Baylor

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—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (5), A-10 (5), MWC (5), Pac-12 (5), ACC (5), SEC (3), MVC (2), WCC (2)

America East – Albany

ACC – Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina, NC State, Virginia

Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast

Atlantic 10 – Saint Louis, Butler, VCU, La Salle, Temple

Big East – Louisville, Georgetown, Syracuse, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Villanova

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – Liberty

Big Ten – Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota

Big 12 – Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma,  Iowa State

Big West – Pacific

Colonial – James Madison

Conference USA – Memphis

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Harvard

MAAC – Iona

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Morgan State

MVC – Creighton, Wichita State

MWC – New Mexico, UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State, Boise State

Northeast – LIU-Brooklyn

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, California

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Florida, Missouri, Tennessee

Southern – Davidson

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Western Kentucky

SWAC – Southern

WAC – New Mexico State

WCC – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s (CA)

————————————————-

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THE BRACKET:
(Click to Enlarge)

 Bracket 3-15-13

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————————————————-

(Actual Bracket and Polls Posted Below)

PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Gonzaga

The 2 Seeds

Georgetown, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State

The 3 Seeds

Miami (FL), Florida, Ohio State, New Mexico

The 4 Seeds

Marquette, Kansas State, Arizona, Oklahoma State

The 5 Seeds

Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Wisconsin

The 6 Seeds

UNLV, VCU, Butler, UCLA

The 7 Seeds

Notre Dame, Colorado State, Memphis, North Carolina

The 8 Seeds

NC State, Creighton, Oregon, Illinois

The 9 Seeds

Missouri, Minnesota, San Diego State, Wichita State

The 10 Seeds

Oklahoma, Colorado, Cincinnati, California

The 11 Seeds

Temple, Iowa State, St. Mary’s (CA), Belmont

The 12 Seeds

Villanova, Boise State, La Salle, Kentucky, Tennessee, Bucknell

The 13 Seeds

Stephen F. Austin, Akron, Louisiana Tech, Valparaiso

The 14 Seeds

Davidson, South Dakota State, Harvard, Montana

The 15 Seeds

Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, Long Beach State, Vermont

The 16 Seeds

Western Kentucky, Norfolk State, James Madison, LIU-Brooklyn, Southern, Liberty

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—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Boise State, La Salle, Kentucky, Tennessee

First Four Out

Virginia, Mississippi, Middle Tennessee, Iowa

Next Four Out

Alabama, Baylor, Southern Miss, Arizona State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (5), A-10 (5), MWC (5), Pac-12 (5), ACC (4), SEC (4), MVC (2), WCC (2)

America East – Vermont

ACC – Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina, NC State

Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast

Atlantic 10 – Saint Louis, Butler, VCU, La Salle, Temple

Big East – Louisville, Georgetown, Marquette, Syracuse,  Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Villanova

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – Liberty

Big Ten – Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois

Big 12 – Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma,  Iowa State

Big West – Long Beach State

Colonial – James Madison

Conference USA – Memphis

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Harvard

MAAC – Iona

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Norfolk State

MVC – Creighton, Wichita State

MWC – New Mexico, UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State, Boise State

Northeast – LIU-Brooklyn

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, California

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee

Southern – Davidson

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Western Kentucky

SWAC – Southern

WAC – Louisiana Tech

WCC – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s (CA)

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THE BRACKET:
(Click to Enlarge)

 Bracket 3-12-13

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————————————————-

(Actual Bracket and Polls Posted Below)

PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Gonzaga

The 2 Seeds

Georgetown, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State

The 3 Seeds

Florida, Miami (FL), Marquette, New Mexico

The 4 Seeds

Kansas State , Ohio State, Arizona, Oklahoma State

The 5 Seeds

Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Wisconsin

The 6 Seeds

UNLV, Notre Dame, VCU, Butler

The 7 Seeds

Colorado State, UCLA, Memphis, North Carolina

The 8 Seeds

NC State, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota

The 9 Seeds

Creighton, Missouri, San Diego State, Wichita State

The 10 Seeds

Oklahoma, Colorado, Cincinnati, California

The 11 Seeds

St. Mary’s (CA), Temple, Middle Tennessee, Iowa State

The 12 Seeds

Belmont, Villanova, La Salle, Boise State, Kentucky, Tennessee

The 13 Seeds

Bucknell, Akron, Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech

The 14 Seeds

Valparaiso, Davidson, South Dakota State, Harvard

The 15 Seeds

Stony Brook, Montana, Florida Gulf Coast, Long Beach State

The 16 Seeds

Northeastern, Niagara, Norfolk State, LIU-Brooklyn, Charleston Southern, Texas Southern

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—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

La Salle, Boise State, Kentucky, Tennessee

First Four Out

Virginia, Mississippi, Iowa, Alabama

Next Four Out

Southern Miss, Baylor, Maryland, Arizona State

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (5), A-10 (5), MWC (5), Pac-12 (5), ACC (4), SEC (4), MVC (2), WCC (2)

America East – Stony Brook

ACC – Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina, NC State

Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast

Atlantic 10 – Saint Louis, Butler, VCU, La Salle, Temple

Big East – Louisville, Georgetown, Marquette, Syracuse,  Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Villanova

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – Charleston Southern

Big Ten – Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois

Big 12 – Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma,  Iowa State

Big West – Long Beach State

Colonial – Northeastern

Conference USA – Memphis

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Harvard

MAAC – Niagara

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Norfolk State

MVC – Creighton, Wichita State

MWC – New Mexico, UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State, Boise State

Northeast – Robert Morris

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, California

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee

Southern – Davidson

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Middle Tennessee

SWAC – Texas Southern

WAC – Louisiana Tech

WCC – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s (CA)

————————————————-

————————————————-

THE BRACKET:
(Click to Enlarge)

 Bracket 3-9-13

————————————————-

————————————————-

————————————————-

————————————————-

(Actual Bracket and Polls Posted Below)

PROJECTED SEEDING

The 1 Seeds

Indiana, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas

The 2 Seeds

Georgetown, Miami (FL), Louisville, Michigan

The 3 Seeds

Florida, Michigan State, New Mexico, Kansas State

The 4 Seeds

Marquette, Arizona, Syracuse, Oklahoma State

The 5 Seeds

Ohio State, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis

The 6 Seeds

UNLV, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Minnesota

The 7 Seeds

Butler, UCLA, Oregon, Memphis

The 8 Seeds

Illinois, VCU, North Carolina, NC State

The 9 Seeds

Missouri, San Diego State, Oklahoma, Creighton

The 10 Seeds

California, Wichita State, Colorado, Cincinnati

The 11 Seeds

St. Mary’s (CA), La Salle, Middle Tennessee, Temple

The 12 Seeds

Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa State, Boise State, Villanova, Belmont

The 13 Seeds

Louisiana Tech, Akron, Bucknell, Stephen F. Austin

The 14 Seeds

Valparaiso, Davidson, South Dakota State, Stony Brook

The 15 Seeds

Montana, Princeton, Long Beach State, Niagara

The 16 Seeds

Northeastern, Mercer, Robert Morris, Norfolk State, Southern, Charleston Southern

—————————————————————-

—————————————————————-

BUBBLE ACTION

Last Four In

Kentucky, Iowa State, Boise State, Villanova

First Four Out

Tennessee, Southern Miss, Mississippi, Alabama

Next Four Out

Massachusetts, Iowa, Arizona State, Maryland

—————————————————————

—————————————————————

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (5), A-10 (5), ACC (5), Pac-12 (5), MWC (5), SEC (3), MVC (2), WCC (2)

America East – Stony Brook

ACC – Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina, NC State, Virginia

Atlantic Sun – Mercer

Atlantic 10 – Saint Louis, Butler, VCU, La Salle, Temple

Big East – Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse,  Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Villanova

Big Sky – Montana

Big South – Charleston Southern

Big Ten – Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois

Big 12 – Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma,  Iowa State

Big West – Long Beach State

Colonial – Northeastern

Conference USA – Memphis

Horizon – Valparaiso

Ivy – Princeton

MAAC – Niagara

MAC – Akron

MEAC – Norfolk State

MVC – Creighton, Wichita State

MWC – New Mexico, UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State, Boise State

Northeast – Robert Morris

Ohio Valley – Belmont

Pac-12 – Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, California, Colorado

Patriot – Bucknell

SEC – Florida, Missouri, Kentucky

Southern – Davidson

Southland – Stephen F. Austin

Summit – South Dakota State

Sun Belt – Middle Tennessee

SWAC – Southern

WAC – Louisiana Tech

WCC – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s (CA)

————————————————-

————————————————-

THE BRACKET:
(Click to Enlarge)

 Bracket 3-4-13

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