Posts Tagged ‘Ohio State’

March Madness – Day 2

March 16, 2012

In any other aspect of life, 11 out of 16 really isn’t that bad. It’s probably a passing grade, at least. And it’s definitely not the relevant version of an apocalypse. But when it comes to a March Madness bracket, missing five on day one is a terrible outcome. And ladies and gentlemen, my bracket is officially busted.

But, I won’t give up. Yahoo! Sports has a $5,000 “second-chance” pool, and I’m all in on that. We keep on keepin’ on in rough times like these, even if my little newspaper bracket has more red lines than cow has stomachs. No, literally there are five, as compared to four cow stomachs (okay, four compartments within the stomach, whatever).

So here we go. My first round, day two predictions for March Madness:

(6) Cincinnati def. (11) Texas – I got asked a funny question by a friend when the NCAA field was announced. He said, how the hell did Texas get in? I responded, they are Texas. And that’s really all there is to it. That old saying “it’s the name on the front of the jersey…” really applies to UT. Because the selection committee saw that burnt orange and started drooling, regular season be damned. Well, Cincy is here to show them who’s boss.

(3) Florida State def. (14) St. Bonaventure – This is a case of another team many believed got unfairly included in the field. Why was a team like Drexel left out for the likes of St. Bonavenutre? I’ll tell you what – against a team that beat Duke AND North Carolina twice each this season, St. Bonny’s is in for a whoopin’. I’ve got the Seminoles in my Final Four, so I’m pulling hard for these guys. I expect FSU to do exactly that – F.S.U. (F*** shit up)!

(2) Duke def. (15) LehighDuke may not be quite themselves this year with so much youth on the team, but they are still damn dangerous and I expect them to make a deep run. Step one will be defeating Lehigh, who hails from…um. Where…who…what…I literally have no idea. It sounds like a preppy private high school. Good luck staying within 25 points, Lehigh.

(7) Xavier def. (10) Notre Dame – I honestly don’t even remember who I picked in this game on my real bracket. But I’m going with X-to-the-A, Xavier! How can you root against the only team who will ever start with an X? And rooting for Notre Dame is so cliche, anyway.

(6) San Diego State def. (11) NC State – I swear I’m picking an upset eventually. Just not this one. This was actually a very tough choice for me, based on the logic of sympathy. SDSU was supposed to be in the midst of a down year, and instead ended up with a favorable seed in March Madness. NC State was the last team in, and their live reaction to the news could be a Disney movie in itself. In the end, the Aztecs win because Ron Burgundy likes San Diego.

(8) Creighton def. (9) Alabama – Creighton Fraker, one of the top 24 American Idol contestants this season, was unjustly upset when he wasn’t put through to the Final 13. So, his namesake is making up for it by pummeling Alabama (who should really stick to football). Okay, fine the Tide is pretty solid, but nobody likes to see a show-off.

(3) Georgetown def. (14) Belmont – A lot of people have tabbed this as a potential upset. I can see why, but I’m not interested in agreeing. Belmont could be a Cinderella, sure. Especially against chronic choke artists like Georgetown. But I don’t see it happening this year. The stakes are high, especially for the 14 seed. You could say…the Belmont Stakes are high…No?

(1) North Carolina poops on (16) Vermont – No Syracuse/UNC Asheville scare here, although it would be pretty cool. I think UNC will do dirty, unspeakable things to Vermont. Are they still a state, by the way? Anddddd the judges have conferred…the ruling is…YES! Vermont is still a state. Which is good, because this crew is going straight back home after two very ugly halves of basketball.

(4) Michigan def. (13) Ohio – The two major schools in these respective states hate each other with a fiery passion. I can relate (Giants vs. Dodgers, Cougars vs. Huskies). Unfortunately for hopeless dramatics, this is the baby brother of Ohio State. And they aren’t very good at basketball. Good enough, I suppose, but Michigan should run these guys ragged on the hardwood.

(7) St. Mary’s def. (10) Purdue – All hail the East Bay boys! St. Mary’s is a solid 12-minute drive from my house, so of course I’m pulling for them. I ultimately have other motives too. St. Mary’s and Gonzaga have a huge rivalry, and it’s a small victory for my pride every time Gonzaga loses. As long as the Gaels get farther than Gonzaga in this tournament, I can mask my indifference with a smile.

(12) South Florida def. (5) Temple – There we go. There’s the upset we’ve been waiting for. I love these 12/5’s for some reason. This is legit though – in the play-in game against Cal, South Florida just whooped on the Bears. I believe the halftime score was somewhere in the neighborhood of 325-13. Look for that momentum to carry over to today’s game.

(2) Kansas def. (15) Detroit – This should be interesting. Kansas is one of the best teams in the nation and will have no trouble handling Detroit if all goes right. But you never know with Bill Self and KU – they’ve been victims of an incredible amount of legendary upsets over the past five tournaments or so.

(10) Virginia def. (7) Florida – This ain’t your back-to-back National Champion Billy Donovan Gator team. This is your about-to-get-crushed by Jeremy’s alma mater’s former coach’s new team Gators. Confused yet? Basically what I’m saying is Florida isn’t really all that great, but the Cavs, led by former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, definitely are. This is a pretty easy upset to call if you ask me.

(2) Missouri def. (15) Norfolk State – I want Mizzou to lose, partially because I have good friends at Kansas (they are not cool with Missouri, to put it nicely). And also because when the seedings were announced, most teams jumped up and down and celebrated and hugged. Missouri had confetti pouring out of their ceiling. Literally. And this is after one good season of basketball. But, I can’t pick against a team this talented. Not when the opponent is Norfolk State, at least.

(8) Memphis def. (9) Saint Louis – I can’t believe I made this choice. I mean, that David Freese guy is so clutch and Chris Carpenter is a bona fide ace out there on the mound! Oh, it’s the SCHOOL St. Louis? Not the entire city? Well that’s a stupid name. In that case, go Memphis!

(1) Michigan State def. (16) LIU Brooklyn – This could be a fun game. What does LIU stand for (don’t Google it ya cheater!)? I’m going with Lazy Irish Unicorn personally. Doesn’t fit quite with the whole Brooklyn stereotype. Then again, neither does losing at basketball. But it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen hard. Although I’d love to see the Spartans go down in a historic fireball of FAIL since Sports Illustrated picked them to win the whole shebang.

There’s my 16 games for Day 2! Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to hit refresh a million times while wishing I had a TV at work. Go LIU!

March Madness – Day 1

March 15, 2012

I KNOW IT’S NOT REALLY DAY ONE. Shut up, you’re annoying. But can you really count the play-in games when one of the top teams from a major conference had 13 points at halftime? The Pac-12 sucks balls.

So TODAY is day one as far as I’m concerned. And this is where the guy who openly admits he didn’t follow enough college basketball this season is going to tell you who’s going to win and why. My failure to follow in 2011-2012 comes from a couple of factors: Washington State sucked this year, and I’m not AT Washington State anymore.

You kinda lose interest when the only games you get to see are maybe when your team is playing locally. Maybe. And then your center accounts for 75 percent of a lackluster offensive effort in a blowout loss. Eh, no thanks, I heard the Pro Bowl is playing on NFL Network so I’ll just cut to that (oooh, BURNED college basketball!).

But I do have some credibility – I followed the college basketball season closely enough to know that Kentucky and Kansas are good, Long Beach State almost got as much unnecessary press as Jeremy Lin, Indiana is overrated, Syracuse is screwed, and Iona couldn’t protect a lead if it were double-bubble-wrapped and gifted to them in an armored truck.

And I’ve had surprisingly solid success as a bracketeer over the last five years or so of obsessively scribbling down my tournament picks. I go for consistency. Much like Jim Kelly, I will get myself in position to win the big one, only to blow it at the end. But the fact that I get so close every time has to count for something, right? Mr. Kelly, why are you crying?

Anyways, enough dilly-dallying. Let’s get to the picks. We’ve got 16 big games coming up on the real day one from all across the regions. This is how it will shake out, in no particular order:

(4) Wisconsin def. (13) Montana – C’mon, you can’t expect me to go against my boy KP! Don’t listen to the pathetic rumblings of the closet March Madness romantics; Montana will NOT win this game. It may be one of those awkwardly close games at halftime, but Wisconsin’s going to pull away with ease in the second half.

(16) UNC Asheville def. (1) SyracuseUpset of the century! Tricked ya, didn’t I? Don’t be ridiculous. Syracuse is going to beat UNC Asheville like my morning eggs. It’s going to be a bloodbath. Sure, losing Fab Melo might hurt later on in the tourney, but Jim Boeheim could start at point guard in this game and the Orange would still win. And no, I won’t go back and change that bolded part. I’ve gone way too far already.

(5) Vanderbilt def. (12) Harvard – Every year, there seems to be a 12 upsetting a 5 in the first round. And there might be in this tournament too. But it ain’t gonna be these lovable nerds that everyone seems to be so hyped about. Vandy is going to take Harvard back to school and win big. At least the Harvard players can go home with their heads held high, knowing most other players in this tournament will be working for them in the next five years.

(2) Ohio State def. (15) Loyola (MD) – Who are the Buckeyes even playing? I can’t take any team seriously that has to put it’s state in parentheses at risk of nobody knowing where they are otherwise. Now that I’ve said that, Ohio State is probably going down. But I’ll take the risk. OSU cruises by 20-plus.

(1) Kentucky DESTROYS (16) Western Kentucky – See what I did there? Look, I’m a believer in the inevitable, eventual 16/1 upset. It’s not going to be this year and it’s definitely not going to be Kentucky that goes down. Western is a cute little story and their play-in win was pretty exciting, but this in-state rivalry is a bit lopsided in favor of Big Blue. Look for a win by 30 or more for John Calipari’s Cats.

(12) VCU def. (5) Wichita State -This one is for real. Okay, I’m a little bit upset happy (awesome sports-related oxymoron locked in). You’ll see. I have 3 12-seeds and a 13 moving on…and this is the first. My goodness the “experts” are absolutely slobbering over Wichita State this year. Is it because if they win, the Shockers can throw up that dirty hand gesture that none of our parents will ever understand? Probably not. But I’m all for taking the ugly twin version of “WSU” to lose. There is one true WSU. They aren’t good enough to be in the tournament. Whatever.

(3) Baylor def. (14) South Dakota State – If, and that’s a very soft IF, South Dakota State pulls off the absolutely ridiculous upset, people still won’t be able to locate them on a map. I’m a huge Baylor fan. That RGIII guy is badASS! What? Wrong sport? Shit. I told you I haven’t watched enough college basketball this year…joking aside, Baylor is a legit Final Four threat and South Dakota State is a very short hurdle on their way.

(13) New Mexico State def. (4) Indiana -Yeah, I’m just not impressed. I was for a while, about two months ago. But since then, the Hoosiers have done nothing that allows me to not pick this upset. Honestly, I don’t know anything about New Mexico State. I usually forget New Mexico is even a state. But I once met a girl who went to New Mexico State. She was kinda hot. And if a + b = c, then New Mexico State wins this game. So there.

(6) UNLV def. (11) Colorado – Colorado is in the Pac-12. Don’t be stupid.

(6) Murray State def. (11) Colorado State -Unless the Rams are going to get Tim Tebow to play guard, they aren’t pulling any miracles. What a bummer day for the state of Colorado.

(4) Louisville def. (13) Davidson – Last time I checked, Davidson hasn’t had Steph Curry for a couple of years. Therefore, they no longer exist. Some crazies out there are picking Louisville to go to the Final Four. Saying that’s a stretch is like saying the Pope enjoys a good game of Quidditch. It makes no sense. Rick Pitino’s boys could pull a shocker, but I don’t believe it will happen. One thing they will definitely do, though, is win their first round game. Must be easy when your opponent isn’t real.

(3) Marquette def. (14) BYU – After overcoming a million point deficit to even get to this point, I’m afraid BYU’s luck has run out. They don’t have Jimmer Fredette anymore. And they also don’t have that guy that had sex once, or whatever. That dirty bastard. Marquette should win this one handily. I actually like the Golden Eagles in this tournament. I think getting to the Sweet 16 will be a walk in the park for them. Unfortunately, at that point, they run into Missouri. Well, it will be fun for a couple of games at least.

(12) Long Beach State def. (5) New Mexico – I know I gave Long Beach a bunch of crap to start this post. I still maintain they were blown out of proportion after one big non-conference upset. But they certainly earned their way into this tournament, and I think they got a very favorable first-round match up. There’s just no way in hell that two teams from New Mexico can move on. I went to a state school, so that upset will stand. Isn’t my logic awesome? Apologies to my good friend Amr Saad, who still goes to UNM. Jesus dude, are you seriously still in college…Egyptian Van Wilder up in here.

(9) Southern Miss def. (8) Kansas State Frank Martin is pretty scary, but ohhhhhhhh ohhhh oh oh I get a good feelin’ about Southern Miss. This should be a pretty good game. It’s already started and KSU is up big early, but that just makes my pick even more dramatic. I hate purple, because the Washington Huskies wear that color. Therefore, Kansas State is out.

(9) UConn def. (8) Iowa State – I was torn on this one. Two of my fellow Three Up, Three Down podcasters are going head to head. Mapes is a UConn fan and Abby is pulling for Iowa State. This isn’t a statement on my friendships with these people, I promise. It’s simply that I know more about UConn and that whole “defending champs” thing kind of factored in. Wow, this analysis had hardly anything to do with basketball.

(7) Gonzaga def. (10) West Virginia – I hate hate hate Gonzaga. They were the only school within hitchiking distance of mine, and of course there was a wild rivalry in basketball between them and WSU. Unfortunately, the Zags have always been a super power in their own right so they got to beat up on my Cougs here and there. But I cherished every victory. So this is a tough pick to make, rooting for my rivals. But I can’t lie – they are damn good. Whatever, my school still has them in football!

Those are my picks for day one. As you can see, plenty of excitement, plenty of upsets and plenty of good storylines. Good thing nobody reads this blog, or I’d be preparing myself for an influx of hate mail from the 385 combined residents of New Mexico and South Dakota. Let me know what you think of my picks. If you beat my bracket, you get the privilege of following me on Twitter @Jamblinman. Sweet prize, no? BUT if you don’t beat my bracket, you get this instead.

Ouch. Until tomorrow, please don’t go all Pele on your young children. Thanks.


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