Ed. Note: For all functional purposes, I do not know anything about basketball. This is not a relevant skill to have when picking the NCAA tournament bracket.
So... apparently basketball is a thing. And, supposedly, they award a national championship for it and everything. I've even heard that some people use the NCAA basketed-ball tournament as a glorified gambling convention. Well, in that spirit, we've set up a Dawg Sports Yahoo Group for you to register your own entries for this year's tournament. We'll have awards! Like, uh, we'll mention you on the blog and say you're awesome at doing what Georgia's men can't do... win basketball-related things!
The group ID for the Yahoo Sports group is 123362, and the password is "godawgs." Linky here.
Now, if you want to trust your own judgement on something as colossally important as a pick 'em tournament that has no real prize, then that's your call, bro. If you're smart, though, you'll follow my advice in choosing your teams, as outlined below.
First, and most importantly, is the fact that no one is talking the most underrated, high-value bracket lurker in the entire tournament. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about the State University of New York at Albany. This team has practically gone the entire season unnoticed! And then they were jobbed out with a 15 seed, even though they have the great coach (insert coach's name here) and (that great player that I can never remember his name)! You might not know who they are, but what you need to know is that Albany is a sleeping giant.
So, let's start by looking at the Albany bracket, or as the rest of the uneducated world calls it, the "Midwest Regional." Louisville has the #1 seed, but we all know that Rick Pitino doesn't exactly have the stamina to last very long in events of great importance. So they'll crash out in the second round to SEC POWERHOUSE Missouri. Oregon clearly is going to upset Oklahoma State, since they have Puddles the Duck, and Puddles ain't a "one and done" kind of guy. The St. Louis Billikens have got to advance, as well, due to their spelling prowess with the letter "k."
You know what? The rest of the Albany bracket doesn't really matter, since we know that Albany is going to sweep the floor with these fools. Albany's only close game should be against SEC POWERHOUSE Mizzou in the Regional Final. Ladies and gentlemen, your first Final Four team: The Albany Great Danes!
Next we come to the West Regional, which boasts the mighty Bulldogs of Gonzaga University as a #1 seed. Clearly, these guys are the heavy favorites going in. To face the Zagdogs in the 2nd round, I chose Wichita State, because chuckdawg lives in Wichita, and they really need a break from all this damn snow and crap. Ole Miss will find a way to dispatch Wisconsin because ESS EEE CEE! ESS EEE CEE!
I also picked Iowa State over Notre Dame because, if there's anything the movie "Hoosiers" taught us, it's that a team from a place known for farming will beat a team from South Bend, Indiana, in a basketball tournament. Then, we flip a coin for the rest of the first round matchups, because that's about as reliable as any other method of predicting as long as Penn Wagers isn't doing the flipping at a Georgia football game.
I predict Ole Mi$$ will do well in thi$ bracket a$ long a$ they can conver$e with the ref$ for a few minute$ before each game, but their Cinderella run will come to an end at the hand of the Zags, who will run the table, defeating Arizona in the regional final.
Now we come to the SOUTH, baby! The big bad SOUTH, and our number one seed from the SOUTH is... Kansas? Damn, that's just wrong, son. Kansas is about as southern as latkes and mortadella. Well, who are they playing? Western Kentucky? Well, a border state ain't exactly much better. Ok, UNC, they're a southern team... but they're coached by the former Kansas coach? Well, who are they playing? VILLANOVA?
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT THE SOUTHERN REGION HAVE A REAL TEAM FROM THE SOUTH IN IT?? I mean, you've got VCU and Florida Gulf Coast University, but apart from that, only the mighty Northwestern State Demons from beautiful Natchitoches, Louisiana, are truly southern at heart. So, we'll take Northwestern State to school the chumps they're playing in the first round, and WAIT OMG THAT'S TUBBY SMITH'S MUSIC! Surely southerner-at-heart Tubby Smith can bring some order to this bracket. His Minnesota squad will take down mighty Northwestern State in the second round.
Ultimately, however, Tubby's Golden Gophers will suffer too much from the plague of not really being southern, and they will succumb to Georgetown. The Hoyas will play VCU in the South Regional final, thereby conclusively proving that the power base and cultural heart of the entire south is right where we always thought it was: Washington D.C and northern Virginia.
(Oh, and Georgetown will win the game because their mascot is a bulldog. Science demands it.)
Finally, we end with the East regional, whose number 1 seed is the Indiana Hoosiers. I've seen Bobby Knight enough to know that he's going to be so pissed that he can't throw a chair straight in these games, but even a team formerly coached by Bobby Knight a decade or something ago can handle a 16 seed. But they'll probably definitely lose in the second round maybe. (Or third round. or whatever the hell it's called now.)
I picked N.C. State to beat Temple and then Indiana because I saw that Jim Valvano 30 for 30 last night, and man that was an awesome show. I think that TV show will carry them a long way in this year's tournament Go State!
I flipped a coin for most of these first round games, but I picked Butler because they're the Bulldogs, and these Dawgs can straight ball, yo. I also picked Davidson because I had this good friend one time that went there. Illinois will definitely beat Colorado, whose players will probably be too high on pot to even get off the plane. And kids from Miami will probably just mug the Pacific team in the parking lot and tell them to fly their hippie butts back to Oregon, which the Pacific team will do.
I think, spurred on by the narrative of a powerful ESPN made-for-TV movie, the N.C. State Wolfpack will make it all the way to the regional final. Unfortunately, they'll run into the buzzsaw that is the Butler Bulldogs.
So, now our final four is set. When the lights come on in (checks internet) Houston, they will shine upon the following four teams:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs
- The Butler Bulldogs
- The Georgetown Hoyas (whose mascot is a bulldog)
- The Albany Great Danes
ALL CANINE FINAL FOUR. GO DAWGS!
Who wins? Let's say Gonzaga. THE BULLDOGS ARE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS BABY!