Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Madness: A Farewell to Busted Brackets

Last week, my bracket blew up--completely self-destructed. It no longer exists. BUT, my excitement about this year's NCAA men's basketball March Madness has reached MANIA! This tournament has been seriously schizophrenic, with the most unpredictable opening rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament I've seen in a long time and I'll tell you why....

First of all, the overall top seed is out and I am still mind-boggled by this Panthers-Jayhawks upset. An upset that hasn't been matched since 2004 when my good ole boys from Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama took down Stanford and Kentucky, respectively. But, Northern Iowa? Where did they come from? And how the hell could Kansas take their top seed for granted? Seriously, this upset was so big that N. Iowa's coach, Ben Jacobsen, has already been offered a new 10-year deal accompanied by a substantial pay raise. Of course, I have my biases as a Duke alum, but I was praying for a Duke vs. Kansas championship game in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium next month. But, here we are with a Sweet 16 that virtually no one could have gotten perfect, except this one autistic kid in Chicago.

One thing I did get right was not counting Cornell out; the Big Red is still dancing after taking out Wisconsin. I take great satisfaction in this, as I had to watch the Badgers over-zealously storm the court back in December--DECEMBER. You're supposed to act like you've been there before, sports fans. I'm loving that Cornell is getting the respect they deserve. I don't think most people realized how well they played during the regular season. I'm also proud that they have a Bama boy, Louis Dale on squad. Unfortunately, University of Alabama didn't have the sense to recruit him--turned him down even, now he's at Cornell and playing in the Sweet 16--that's a tough loss, UA. Personal bias aside, you're going to want to tune in to the Cornell v. Kentucky (Geeks vs. Jocks) showdown. Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins (another Alabama boy!) thinks the jocks have it in the bag, saying the game won't be about "who can read the fastest--it's not a spelling bee".

As for who's not playing--that'd be West Virgina point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant, who broke his right foot this week. The Mountaineers have only one back-up, Joe Mazzula, and he's got a bum shoulder, so I'm a little worried. I hope Butler and Ebanks can pull it off, since they'll have to pick up the slack when Mazzula's resting.

The Sweet 16 kicks off tonight. Here are my very biased picks for the Elite 8. Who do you think has upset potential?

Sweet 16 Match-Up

My (Incredibly Biased) Picks

#9Northern Iowa

#5Michigan St.

Non-BCS N. Iowa may have knocked out Kansas, but the Spartans will probably rejuvenate after barely spearing the turtle with a buzzer beater—Go Michigan St.


#2Ohio St.

SEC > Big Ten. I'm going with UT.



Cornell is on a mission and after taking down #5 Temple and #4 Wisconsin will continue to play tough, but by SEC roots force me to go UK on this one.

#11 Washington

#2 West Virginia

I’m impressed that Da’Sean Butler—the best of the Mountaineers--has been able to keep it up. Go WVU!

#1 Duke

#4 Purdue


#3 Baylor

#10 St. Mary’s

What the hell is a Gael? Go Baylor.

#6 Xavier

#2 Kansas St.

For no particular reason I'm pulling for the boys from "The Little Apple", Manhattan, Kansas. Go K State.

#1 Syracuse

#5 Butler

I'm staying with my busted bracket's Final Four pick, Syracuse.


  1. Say goodbye to the rest of your final four, and go Butler!! Cornell couldn't pull it out, but this season's still got more surprises left in it!

  2. Did you see that Xavier-K St. Game?!! I stayed up way passed my bedtime, but I just couldn't turn away. This is the most fun March Madness in a while. And somehow, out of a group of 17 GUYS that I'm in in a pool with, I'm still a top contender. GO DEVILS!


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