March 15th and 16th, people. That’s when the NCAA is trotting out what they are calling the “First Four.” If you don’t remember, this year the NCAA Tournament will be featuring 68 teams. I’ll be honest and say I might have forgotten about that for a second or two. I also couldn’t really tell you much about last year’s tournament aside from that white guy who is a bust in the NBA missed a half-court buzzer beater for Butler. What I generally remember every year about the tournament is that there are a lot of close games and the bracket I fill out for any pool will quickly turn to kindling. When am I ever going to win one of these things? Gosh!
The beauty of my predicament is that I am getting closer to testing the old, “the less you know the more likely you are to win a pool,” theory. I’ve never been a younger version of Dick Vitale with far more luxurious hair, but there was a time when I was comfortably aware of basic college basketball goings on. Now, I know essentially nothing. If you read the comments here, and let’s be honest what else would you be reading, you might remember I blindly tabbed Syracuse as a national champion about 6 weeks ago. I think they are approximately 3-9 since that moment. That’s OK, I am still going into this tournament with high hopes. Maybe it will be the best tournament ever?
Right now, I’d say my favorite tournament was probably the one in 2000. It has nothing to do with what happened on the floor that year. That was just the year that the old F&M golf team got sponsored for a little spring break trip. I know what you are probably thinking–nothing sets Cancun on fire like eight D-III college golfers, but it wasn’t anything like that. We ended up going to some golf resort near Orlando that was like stepping into a time machine. It was so 80s fabulous, and we played a lot of golf and drank oceans of beer and I watched one kid nearly hospitalize himself with an ill-fated interpretation of the Atkins diet.
I know I am not making much sense, but what this has to do with the NCAA tournament is our unyielding golf coach was also the basketball coach. Part of his deal every year was that he traveled to the big boy’s Final Four to hob nob with coaches and do god knows what else, pick up free swag? There was no way the coach was going to miss out on this opportunity, and when our trip coincided with the Final Four we were essentially chaperone free. Now we did actually play some golf, but we also emptied enough cans and bottles to fill Kramer and Newman’s truck for the run to Michigan. None of that would have been possible under the hawking eye of G-Rob, and so the 2000 NCAA Tournament deserves all the credit. In my remaining college years, never would a trip or a tournament live up to such expectations.
I’ll be planted on my couch for most of the event this year, I’m sure. No Florida. No to the death battles in speed quarters. I’ll just have the games to get me by. I guess I should ask for free advice from the readers out there. I have about 10 days to get a clue. Let me tell you what I know, and then I’ll ask some questions.
I know Villanova is in a heap of trouble. I know Temple is going to get in, but always loses in the first round. I know Jimmer lost his favorite low-post option thanks to the lure of the fairer sex, but he’s still Jimmer so anything could happen. I know St. John’s is no longer a joke, and I know Marshall Faulk does not play for San Diego State. Neither does Stephen Strasburg. That’s about it. Please take the weekend to fill me in on the following:
- Are there any good teams in the ACC aside from Duke?
- Is this a legitimate Duke team, or just the run of the mill annoying one?
- Is Pitt or Ohio State more likely to blow up my bracket?
- Is picking a random Big East team to make a run a death sentence?
- The Big-12: does it still exist and what do I need to know?
- Are there Big 10 nightmare teams (ala Purdue) capable of making a run?
- Aside from Jimmer is there anyone I should know about who could drop 40?
Ok, I think that’s it. That should put me in position to win my pool with everyone’s help. By the way, I’m sure I’ll put up a 3PT pool for those stragglers without a game, or for those who just need some more action. And, despite just detailing how I know absolutely nothing, I will be picking tournament games. Anyone who would like to join is more than welcome.
Quiz of the Day: NCAA #1 Seeds. Category: Sports and Guessing. My Score: 120/128.
More like a test for naming colleges, but I still managed to miss one incredibly easy one. I predict someone will get a 125 or 126.