March (With Plenty of) Madness
I’m not going to lie. My March Madness advice and predictions did not go well.
My brackets have more X’s than a Kardashian, more scratch marks than a cat groomer, and more regrets than a night of Jägermeister.
The advice to generally pick a number-one seed to win it, because a one-seed has won the last five, and eight out-of-the-last ten. That didn’t work out. My prediction that Alabama would cut down the nets, and to roll with the tide. Not great. Choosing a Final Four that included Marquette and Kansas, who both lost in the second round. Not my best day.
In retrospect, I could have sat on the beach, chose teams close to a beach, and my Final Four would have come out much better.
But in my defense, only 35 entries out of 20 million ESPN brackets were able to choose the correct Final Four of San Diego State, FAU, Miami, and UConn. Presumably 35 guys named Otto and Phil.
A look at the tournament, the madness, and where it all went wrong.
• Like many, I did correctly predict that Purdue would be the first number-one seed to go down. I just didn’t realize that the others would fall 20 minutes later.
• I also predicted that the Tar Heels of North Carolina would fail to make the round of 32.
• I blame the analytics. Virginia had a 78.4% chance of beating Furman, Arizona had a 91.2 % chance over Princeton, and according to BPI (Basketball Power Index), the Boilermakers had a 98.8% chance of advancing to round two. Pretty sure that BPI stands for Favored – But Probably Incorrect.
• So far, the only numbers that the analytics got right was the one that claimed 67% of bracket participants didn’t know what FAU stood for. That’s so disrespectful. Good luck Fairleigh Atlantic!
• Not to make excuses, but those groin injuries didn’t help either. Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Alabama’s Brandon Miller were both limited by pulls to the lower region. Although, no shot to the groin hurt more than Virginia giving the game away to Furman in the final seconds.
• After leading Iona to the Big Dance and losing in the first-round to UConn, Rick Pitino accepted a coaching position with the St. John’s Red Storm of the Big East. That means that St. John’s is probably only a year or two away from making the NCAA Tournament – and two or three years from being placed on probation.
• Arkansas coach, Eric Musselman, celebrated his team’s second-round win over the Kansas Jayhawks by ripping of his shirt and waving it to the crowd. Most teams watch movies like Hoosiers to inspire their squad the night before a big game – Apparently, Musselman chose Magic Mike.
Hopefully, coaches taking off their shirts after a victory doesn’t become a trend. Razorbacks are one thing – Hairy backs are another.
• Fifteenth-seeded Princeton not only knocked off Arizona in round one, but continued their run by taking out Missouri in round two. They must think they’re awfully smart.
• I had the good fortune to attend the second-round games at Ball Arena in Denver, but it wasn’t cheap. The tickets, a souvenir t-shirt, and $40 to park. Good thing for me that it was $18 beer night!
I did get to see Gonzaga’s Drew Timme play. But considering that he’s been at that school for about eight or ten years now, it is not as impressive.
Wait – What do you mean he’s got another year of eligibility if he decides to stay???!!!!
• Well, Houston kind of made it home for the Final Four.
• Usually, the Miami Hurricanes disappear as the tournament gets smaller – but this MIA is far from M.I.A.
• FAU ain’t Faux – After beating Memphis, Tennessee, and Kansas State…This team is for real.
• After beating topped ranked Alabama, I’m pretty sure SDSU stands for – Solid Defense Serving Upsets. Guess they caught Brandon Miller on a day he was misfiring.
• San Diego State, Florida Atlantic University, Miami, and UConn? I get the saying, “Taking Cinderella to the Dance.” – I just assumed that the club wouldn’t have a line outside.
One final note – While my suggested picks for playing March Madness may have cost you wins, money, and any credibility – Technically, I did predict that the UConn Huskies would make this year’s Final Four.
Although, that was in the Women’s Bracket.
And it was still incorrect.