The thrill of victory, and the agony of picking Arizona St. to make the Final Four. SGL entered her first NCAA Tournament Bracket pool this year (in hopes of winning cookies she’d be making herself and telling me what to write about, which she does already…J/K LOL!!!) and found out that picking upsets is usually more fun before the tournament starts than while you’re watching the games.
For all the talk about parity, so far March Madness has been surprisingly sane. This year’s Sweet Sixteen includes four No. 1’s, four No. 2’s, four No. 3’s and two No. 4 seeds, with only Purdue (5) and Arizona (12) beating the odds (and Purdue only beat No. 4 Washington by 2 points and Arizona got to face an overrated Utah team and No. 13 Cleveland State). All this means if you picked the favorites to go far in the “BASG March Madness” pool, you’re in good shape. And since most of us did exactly that, all but a few of the 28 of us in the pool are still alive.
As a public service, I’ve gone through what needs to happen for each entry to win the BASG pool. I broke it up by which of the seven teams we chose to win the title, with how many of us chose each team in parentheses. Why break it up this way? Because in a pool this close, you’re going to have to pick the champ to have any chance of getting those cookies (and controlling what I write about, which I hope to God doesn’t end up being Colin Firth…nobody wants to read the BASG regurgitating someone’s Wikipedia page).
Champ: Louisville (9)
Villanova Wins (52 pts, 176 possible) Picking West Virginia to make the Elite 8 hurts; Villanova has to go far for any chance of victory, which should surprise no one.
I_Hate_Your_Face (51 pts/179 possible) If J.P.’s Cardinals beat Pitt in the Final, he might be able to get those metal legs he’s been saving up for cookies (if that last sentence confused you, you need to drop everything and watch “Grandma’s Boy” immediately).
Woop woop! (50/178) My cousin in NYC has almost the same bracket as I_Hate, only with UConn in the Final Four over Memphis.
Tyrese Rice Killing Spree (49/177) His love for BCU hurt, but Tyrese has a chance if Syracuse gets to the Elite Eight over Oklahoma. The last three teams I’ve mentioned all have Louisville beating Pittsburgh in the Final, BTW.
Stephen Jackson (48/176) Stack’s only chance is if Louisville beats UNC in the Final.
I Am Legend (48/176) Ditto. Will Smith has the bracket as Captain Jack except for MSU and ‘Nova in the Elite Eight instead of Kansas and Duke.
Poppin’ Fresh (44/160) Picking Arizona St. to make the Final Four means Poppin’ Fresh won’t be winning any (cookie) dough.
TimO (43/171) Still has an outside shot, but only if Syracuse makes the Final Four.
Idiots Guide to Losing (40/148) Guide to Losing, Chapter One:Ã‚Â “Choose three Pac-10 teams in the Elite Eight not named Arizona.”
Champ: North Carolina (6)
Meatballs (51/179) If Michigan State can make the Final Four, we might find out if SGL’s mom can convince her daughter to change the food segment of the first place prize.
Bald Eagle (49/177) No upsets in Baldy’s bracket, with all No. 1 and 2 seeds in his Elite Eight. If the Final Four is half Big East, half ACC (Duke v. UNC and L’ville v. UConn), the Eagle may soar.
Horizon League Legends (49/165) Picking UW, ASU and FSU in the Elite Eight wasn’t too legendary. But, to be fair, the Horizon League usually does better in the NIT.
Presidential Picks (47/175) After a rough start Barack’s coming on strong, but would we end up on some gov’t watchlist if we shipped cookies to the White House? And I really don’t want to write a post about Sasha and Malia’s new puppy.
crossing my fingers (46/174) Fingers crossed in hopes of Villanova in the Final Four. I guess even UCLA alums were jumping ship after the first round when it came to Josh Shipp and co.
Dead Flowers (41/145) Picking Wake Forest to make the Final Four means his bracket is dead, too.
Champ: Memphis (5)
Patrick Chewing (53/181) The current leader was the only one of us to select fifteen of the SweetÃ‚Â Sixteen. She’ll be “snickering” if Kansas and Syracuse make the Final Four.
BASG (52/180) Unless Duke makes the Final Four, the only cookies I’ll get are the ones I steal after they come out of the oven. Just kidding, SGL! (not really…I’m getting at least two cookies no matter what happens)
The Real Deal (50/178) The only Memphis fan who picked this pool’s most popular Final Four (Memphis/UNC/L’ville/Pitt).
Scrot Peterson (50/150) Memphis over UCLA in the Final? They must not show Pac-10 games in prison.
Tom Skerritt (49/177) Picket Fences’ man-crush on Blake Griffin (can we get a ruling on whether Griffin is basketball’s first black ginger?) could pay off if the Sooners make the Final Four.
Champ: Pittsburgh (4)
Just Mail The Cookies Now… (48/176) Not so fast…Pitt has to beat UConn in the Final before we call UPS.
Never watch college BBall (46/174) Trust me, he’ll be watching if the ever-popular Pitt-Louisville-Memphis-UNC Final Four comes to pass.
SGL Super Cool Bracket (45/161) Unless the Panthers face Memphis in the Final, SGL will curse James Harden’s name for years a week or two.
Darlings of the NBA (41/169) With the exact same remaining bracket as Never Watch, he might as well look forward to watching his Blazers in the NBA playoffs.
Champ: Connecticut (2)
Guano-mania (50/178) If UConn beats North Carolina to win the title, Mr. Bat Poop will be forcing me to write about the Vikings’ D-Line in a couple weeks.
Just The Tip (45/169) With the same UConn/UNC final as Guano, unless Duke and Michigan St. make the Final Four The Tip’s going to get the shaft.
Champ: Oklahoma (1)
ology-smology (53/165) If Gonzaga beats UNC and Oklahoma goes all the way, ology will get away with picking Huskies-West to win the West Region.
Champ: Duke (1)
El Toro Magico (52/180) If the Blue Devils win it all, the Magic Bull and Dick Vitale will be the only two happy people in America not affiliated with the Duke program.
Final Four Fun Facts:
–Most popular Final Four: Louisville/Pittsburgh/Memphis/North Carolina (8 out of 28 brackets)
–Second place: Louisville/Duke/Memphis/North Carolina (3 chose this Final Four, including yours truly…there’s a lot of people hoping Ty Lawson’s foot gets better this week)
–Only two teams (Woop woop! and Guano-mania) picked all four No. 1’s to make the Final Four, something that happened for the first time ever in last year’s tourney.
–Four teams (ology, Scrot, SGL and Idiots) picked a Pac-10 team to make the Final Four.
–Meatballs and Just The Tip picked a Big-10 team (Mich. St.) to make the Final Four, marking two of only four brackets not to have Louiville make it to the National Semifinals.
–TimO was the only entry to predict an All-Big East Final Four.
–Only six people thought UConn would make it out of the West Region, by far the lowest of any top seed.
–Over half of us picked a Louisville/North Carolina Final (9) or a Louisville/Pittsburgh Final (7), which means a lot of people were sweating that Louisville/Siena game yesterday.