Picking the Perfect Bracket: Round 1

Picking the Perfect Bracket: Round 1

Two years ago, I came about as close as you can come. Last year Warren Buffett trolled all of us tempting me to try again, and that one didn’t turn out so well. This year, I’m going 67 for 67. I’m overcoming the infinitesimal odds. I’m picking the perfect bracket.

Certain schedules stipulated I couldn’t post my perfect bracket until today, so I’m sorry you missed it, but I got all four of the play-in games right.

 

 

Fine, maybe not all four. But oh well, those don’t count in any of the bracket contests. This isn’t an exact science, folks. If friends try to act like they know every nuance of the Northern Iowa/Wyoming matchup, don’t believe them. At least don’t be friends with them. Who wants to be friends with somebody who spends all their free time watching Northern Iowa or Wyoming games, anyways?

Anyways, back to what I was saying…

Wow! What a start! BOBBY MORRIS FO’ LIFE!

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Either way, I need to maintain this perfect start.

MIDWEST REGION

(1) Kentucky Wildcats OVER (16) Hampton Pirates

Everybody and their mother, grandmother, and most familiar homeless man along the walk to work is picking Kentucky to win the National Championship. I’m not going to be the contrarian to pick them to lose against Hampton.

(8) Cincinnati Bearcats OVER (9) Purdue Boilermakers

Only one Boilermaker, guard Jon Octeus, has played a tournament game before Thursday. And he is a transfer from Colorado State, and locker rooms never give the leader role to the transfer on the team. Purdue is inexperienced. Cincy, meanwhile is the school of Kenyon Martin; of Lance Stephenson; in other words, Cincy’s got swag.

(5) West Virginia Mountaineers OVER (12) Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has become a trendy upset pick, but I think that’s just because people didn’t like that MTV show about West Virginia Hillbillies. But whatever stereotypes West Virginia has, nobody in the world has ever been a bigger hillbilly than Buffalo Bill.

(13) Valparaiso Crusaders OVER (4) Maryland Terrapins

I’ll admit it, past tournament favorites have me a little bias to Valparaiso…

(6) Butler Bulldogs OVER (11) Texas Longhorns

Rick Barnes would’ve gotten fired yesterday if the Longhorns wouldn’t have gotten off the bubble and put in the tournament. If that would’ve happened, his last game would’ve been blowing a 17 point lead to Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament. We could have had an epic Barnes exit, one fitting for a man who could only win one tournament game with Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin on his team! Instead, we’ll just have to watch him fizzle out against Butler.

(3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish OVER (14) Northeastern Huskies

The Fighting Irish’s tight defense smothered the rest of the ACC en route to the conference tournament win. It’s Saint Patricks Day season, and if the Chicago celebration police records are any indication, the Irish still have plenty of fight in them. 

(7) Wichita State Shockers OVER (10) Indiana Hoosiers

This Wichita State versus KU battle for Sunflower State is just too perfect not to happen.

(2) Kansas Jayhawks OVER (15) New Mexico State Aggies

Get you’re molasses-based BBQ baby back ribs, ready Kansas! Click your heels as many times as you need, this matchup is written in the stars.

WEST REGION

35849803-reuters_2014-02-09t213923z_706154130_nocid_rtrmadp_3_ncaa-b(1) Wisconsin Badgers OVER (16) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

I honestly heard multiple stories this weekend of, either by shoe throwing or by drunken Tarzan impressions, chandeliers falling from the ceiling to break. That’s not a good omen. And sure, I know it’s “chanticleers” not “chandeliers,” but you don’t know what a chanticleer is either. This is as close as we’re going to get.

(8) Oregon Ducks OVER (9) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oregon enters the first round winning 13 of their last 16 games. Sure their last game was a 28 point blowout loss to Arizona, but never the particulars get in the way of a good stat that proves your point.

(12) Wofford Terriers OVER (5) Arkansas Razorbacks 

Arkansas players still have not studied film on Wofford. According to star forward Bobby Portis, “Coach just always tries to preach we aren’t worried about the other team, like, our team is only worried about what we do.” If there’s one thing that picking brackets should teach all coaches is to always at least cliff-notes study the underdog. And a little skimming on Wofford will show you the tiny school in Spartanburg, South Carolina is off a season of record-setting wins (28) and conference wins (16) in a historic season that included a win over North Carolina State. Mark down your classic 12/5 upset.

(4) North Carolina Tar Heels OVER (13) Harvard Crimson

North Carolina had Jordan, Rick Fox, Ty Lawson, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, etc. etc. etc. Harvard had Presidents and CEOs and rich snobs that threw giant masquerade sex parties in their father’s mansion’s basement. In basketball, this isn’t a contest.

(11) Ole Miss Rebels OVER (6) Xavier Musketeers

There’s something to getting that first play-in game off your chest and hitting everybody else’s “Round One” with a little momentum. Ole Miss has swag leftover from Marshall Henderson’s antics. Coach Andy Kennedy is quite familiar with Xavier, possibly with a feisty memory, since Andy Kennedy was a coach on the Cincy team that got into a fist fight with Xavier. If he didn’t get a punch in, Kennedy gets the ultimate shot winning round one.

(3) Baylor Bears OVER (14) Georgia State Panthers

Nobody ever knew Baylor was even in Texas. Then RG3 came, then Perry Jones played, and now Baylor is in contention every year in every sport. Somebody give that Athletic Director a raise.

(10) Ohio State Buckeyes OVER (7) Virginia Commonwealth Rams

The football team won the National Championship. The wrestling team just won the Big 10 tournament with Urban Meyer sitting behind the bench for every match. There’s a certain camaraderie going around Columbus these days.

(2) Arizona Wildcats OVER (15) Texas Southern Tigers

Remember what I just said about schools nobody knew existed in Texas? Well, let me introduce you to the Texas Southern Tigers.

EAST REGION

NCAA Villanova Pittsburgh Basketball

(1) Villanova Wildcats OVER (16) Lafayette Leopards

Some alliteration mascots are clever and others just seem lazy. “Lafayette” is a french name. Leopards aren’t prominent in France. Add another to the alliteration for the “Lazy Lafayette Leopards.”

(8) NC State Wolfpack OVER (9) LSU Tigers

For the Wolfpack, Cat Barber has been going off lately. His recent explosion against Pitt for 34 points in the ACC Tournament was just one of six wins in NC State’s final eight. They beat Louisville in Louisville and beat Duke convincingly at home. They aren’t going to be overwhelmed by this stage.

(5) Northern Iowa Panthers OVER (12) Wyoming Cowboys

The Mountain West stinks. They’ve disappointed each of the last three years. This means avoid San Diego State, Boise State (a lesson learned far too late to save my Tweet!) and Wyoming.

(4) Louisville Cardinals OVER (13) UC Irvine Anteaters

The Anteater has to be a freaking creepy mascot for a little kid. I’m sure of it.

(11) Boise State Broncos Dayton Flyers OVER (6) Providence Friars

This Dayton team just seems to know how to turn some heads in the NCAA Tournament. I should’ve remembered last year, when the Miller brothers coaching skills seemed to be hereditary.

(3) Oklahoma Sooners OVER (14) Albany Great Danes

If anybody knows how to control a Great Dane, it’s an Oklahoma cowboy.

(7) Michigan State Spartans OVER (10) Georgia Bulldogs

Sean Miller’s bullied little brother isn’t the only coach with a penchant for March Madness success.

(2) Virginia Cavaliers OVER (15) Belmont Bruins

Virginia is smothering. You don’t just win the ACC regular season title by a landslide and then lose to Belmont. The Cavaliers are back for revenge this year.

SOUTH REGION

(1) Duke Blue Devils OVER (16) Robert Morris Colonials

Oooooooooohhhhh I want to pick Robert Morris soooo badddd!!!!

(9) St. Johns Red Storm OVER (8) San Diego State Aztecs

Remember what I said about the Mountain West conference? Well, typically that same disappoint accompanies teams from Madison Square Garden, but I think the Knicks have used up all of New York’s bad basketball karma for this year.

(12) Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks OVER (5) Utah Utes

More like the “Stone Cold Stephen F Austin” Lumberjacks.

The Utah Utes are going to get stunnered back out of the tournament.

(4) Georgetown Hoyas OVER (13) Eastern Washington Eagles

The Hoyas are 1-4 in their last five tournament games. The Hoyas have a tendency to disappoint. And Eastern Washington’s coach knows that, bragging to radio shows, “We’re gonna win. Talk again Jim,” at the end of an interview. So if anything is going to wake Georgetown up from its recent tournament swoon, it’s a cocky 13 seed ruffling its feathers.

(6) SMU Mustangs OVER (11) UCLA Bruins

Honestly, I just really don’t like LA and I really like SMU. SMU feels like they are always trying to fight for their swag back since they got the football “death penalty.” And UCLA is implanted in a city that is famous nowadays for their love of gluten free goat cheese condiments that are sensitive of peanut allergies.

(3) Iowa State Cyclones OVER (14) UAB Blazers

Iowa State won the Big 12 Championship game with a stunning 17 point comeback against Kansas. That was Iowa State’s fifth straight win after trailing by double digits. No matter the matchups or the x’s and o’s, that means something come tournament time.

steph(10) Davidson Wildcats OVER (7) Iowa Hawkeyes

In the year that Steph Curry is having at Golden State, wouldn’t it make sense for his alma mater to have a nostalgic tournament run?

(2) Gonzaga Bulldogs OVER (15) North Dakota State Bison

In 1908, North Dakota State made it’s official school alma mater song, “The Yellow and the Green,” was written. In 1909, North Dakota State made its official school colors yellow and green. Seems like they got away with putting the cart before the horse there.

Look, go read Jay Bilas’ stuff if you want actual analysis. My bracket is going to beat his anyway.

Let the Madness begin…

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