Posts Tagged ‘March Madness’

Brackets, What Brackets?

It was Bill Maher who recently said that if you’re going to show him your March Madness brackets, may as well also trot out the pictures of your kids and your dog too and just show him everything all at once that he’s completely not interested in. 

In that spirit…here’s a picture of my dog:


This is Suki, the dog.  A total ham and scam artist.  She has stopped peeing in the house and has started collecting bird feathers. 

Here’s a picture of my kid:


Charlie is currently blossoming and flourishing at Middle Tennessee State University where on any given night, besides studying very hard, he’s also performing or recording or writing music or engineering, or producing a song or a project or working on getting laid
entering into an enriching and communicative relationship with total sharing and trust.

Here’s a picture of my brackets:

Note how it starts out with so many schools in green colors.  These were winning picks.  I ruled my office pool for the 1st two rounds.  Notice how many schools in the later parts of the tournament are in red.  This is when I got obliterated and all the top college basketball programs in America completely let me down.

I won the office pool last year.  This year, I have been reduced to a laughing stock. 

Oh…and I hate Butler.  Well, “hate” is a strong word.   You can only be Cinderella once every ten years.  Two years in a row and you’re overstaying your welcome and ruining everybody’s brackets.

I hope VCU throttles you. Butler. Please.

Duke or Bust

Usually, I write about things people will be interested in. Not so today. Remember how much promise and hope and optimism we all had in our cleverly crafted bracket sheets a couple of weeks ago? Remember March Madness?

A lot of things have happened along the way to the Final Four. Namely, Kansas. And Kentucky and Georgetown and Syracuse and Maryland. It’s been whacky. Though in 1st place in my office pool for the first two rounds, reality set in and dropped me as low as 16th out of 30. But I’ve headed back up to 12th and now 9th and I am currently the only one of the contenders who has picked Duke to win it all.

It’s all about the Blue Devils now. If they win the national championship, I will be cutting down my own, highly local little net.

For a lot of folks, the Duke Blue Devils are the New York Yankees. This is their 11th appearance in the Final Four under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. They’ve won three national titles, including back-to-back in 1991 and 1992. They were runner-up in 1990, 1994 and 1999.

But this is also their first Final Four in six years so a lot of folks think Coach K and the Blue Devils have lost a lot of their luster. They’re like the ’78 Yankees, back in the thick of it after a long dry spell.

I will admit there are times when I have hated Duke as intensely as any good Maryland fan should. But even when I was rooting against them, I have always held a grudging respect for Coach K. I think he’s a class act. So leaving the fate of my bracket in his hands is kind of like dealing with a Doctor you trust.

They may not survive a really, really good West Virginia team. Michigan State has been to 6 of the last 10 Final Fours and has a great pedigree too. But after all that’s happened over the past couple of weeks, I still have a rooting interest in March Madness, both for the game itself and the potential $200 in office pool money and all the lobster and steak it can buy.

For that, I have you to thank, Coach K. Good luck, buddy. Go Atlantic Coast Conference!

Battered Brackets and We Soldier On

(Bullet-Riddled Bracket Sheet)

If it were a battlefield, the carnage would have been frightful. Georgetown, Kansas, Villanova, Wisconsin; the giants crumbling right and left while the likes of St. Mary’s, Cornell and Northern Iowa prove why March Madness is so rich and unpredictable. And poor Maryland. What a brave comeback against Michigan State and what an excruciating last second defeat.

So from a distance, here march the survivors toward work on Monday morning, with casts and slings and dinged body armor and bloody, torn and bullet-riddled bracket sheets. Kansas alone wiped out half the participants of most office pools.

At one point Sunday I had slipped from 1st to 11th. But alas, a 2nd round upset pick of Xavier and my belief in the professionalism of Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils has me back in a three-way tie for first. The number that matters now is potential points left. I have the third highest potential and the folks with more are 8th and 24th, so I’m feeling good about my chances.

My future rests with Ohio State, Syracuse, Duke, Baylor, and West Virginia. And here’s what I discovered about high-fallutin’ Pythagorean-based prediction analyses. They work. There are at least six games I would have lost had I not turned to psychopathic bracketologists.

I’ll take my 33-15 record and live on to fight another day.

As for those second-chance pools CBS is offering up where you get to start all over with the Sweet 16; I have both my hands up making “L’s” with my fingers. There’s no crying in baseball and there are no second chances in the Bracketology wars.

Bracketology II: Hoyas Edition

Let me see, I could write about 1) politically tone-deaf Democrats conniving their way to a health care victory vs. hysterical Republicans who think Dems are God-less socialists for scheduling a vote on the Christian Sabbath or, 2) the 1st round of March Madness.

Can you believe what happened to Georgetown? For the office-pool community it’s not that bad because everybody got that one wrong. Just depends on how far you had the Hoyas going. I had them beating Tennessee but losing to Ohio State so I’m only slightly bloodied. Plus in a pool with a lot of Hoya fans, local emotions have been my ally. Emotions are good for romance and screaming matches between political parties, but not so good if you want to win the office pool.

Marquette was a tough one, but again, most folks missed that one too. And Texas made me scream at the TV each time they missed 4 of their final 6 free-throws to do the old choke against Wake Forest.

But all in all- I’m leading the office pool with a 12-4 1st round record. I owe it all to the system I adopted from a certain, unnamed ingenius bracketology freak. Three of the five 1st round upsets have come through and the other two play Friday.

So in review:

#9 Northern Iowa over UNLV- Check
#9 FSU over Gonzaga- Friday
#10 St.Mary’s over Richmond- Check
#11 Old Dominion over Notre Dame- Check
#12 Utah State over Texas A&M – Friday

Great first round. Seven of the games decided by 3 points or less. Three of those by one point. Huge upsets.

Productivity levels in American offices Friday: Critically Low.


March Madness is upon us, people! It’s off to the races and the biggest annual time-suck since you last filled out your own tax forms. I don’t know how much productivity is lost in the American workplace and really, I don’t care. This is important stuff.

Every year, I come up with some new fangled, bizzaro formula for predicting the winners. I am, actually, a total spreadsheet nerd and I can spend hours on this stuff analyzing and sorting. I have had mixed success. I’m usually in the top 5 in my office pools.

I almost perished from a bitter, awful, horrendous and deeply sad disappointment in 2008. I had picked Memphis to win it all. Nobody ever thought friggin’ Memphis would win the National Championship. And there they were- beating Kansas by 9 points with 2 minutes to play. I had this. I could taste the $400 pot. Regrettably, the Memphis boys had a significant weakness. Free throws. Coming down the stretch, they couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. I had not factored in their horrific FT%. Aaaauuurgh. I know the Memphis players and the larger Memphis community were crushed. But so was I. Big-time.

Last year, I correctly picked North Carolina to win the title, but my other Final 4 were off so, again, close, but no cigar.

This year, I have discovered that there are many, many people out there on the World Wide Web, smarter and nerdier than I. They have applied their mathematics degrees to the greater societal good and have used logarithms, Pythagorean theorems and good old common sense to come up with their sets of predictions. And so I have researched them thoroughly and selected the analysis I thought was the most complete and I’m going with their rankings which were made before the tournament field was set.

I will not tell you what system I am using, ok? Find your own! I will tell you this:
The system is cool and I believe, accurate enough, that it honed in on a number of 1st round upsets that include five teams seeded 9th-12th. I do have three top-seeds getting to the Final 4…but also a #4-seed. It all has the ring of truth to it. If there are alternate realities out there, I KNOW this is one of them. I am just hoping the cosmic dice select this particular reality, because, I’m telling you people, I’m feeling it this year.

Here are the 1st round upsets:

#9 Northern Iowa over UNLV
#9 FSU over Gonzaga
#10 St.Mary’s over Richmond
#11 Old Dominion over Notre Dame
#12 Utah State over Texas A&M

My Final 4: Kansas, Duke, Syracuse & Wisconsin

National Champion: Duke. Very few teams entering the tournament as the #1 seed actually win it all. But if Duke pulls it off in 2010 it will be their 3rd time. They do it approximately every ten years. Check it out.