Monday, March 19, 2018

How's Your Brackets Doing?

How’s Your Brackets Doing? Decimated? Nuked? Wiped out? Sucked bilge water? Forget it this year. They say the odds of winning Megabucks or Powerball are better than having a perfect bracket. I’ll take their words for that; doing the math is not my forte. Let’s look at what has emerged from the carnage. The South Bracket was destroyed 1 through 4. The West Bracket lost 1 and 2, and Michigan, #3, survived by a 30’ desperation shot. Two number 1’s lost. Virginia, the overall #1, was a true One and Done, not to be confused with the Kentucky and Duke one and done institutions. Virginia had the ignominy of losing to a school, #16 UMBC, that few heard of before Friday. They have now; UMBC is now a national legend. Bookstore sales are through the roof. Don’t you love the 5’8” (?), 140 lb. K.J. Maura? Isn’t the University of Maryland, College Park the basketball power in Maryland? Not this year! Syracuse was the last pick for the tournament. It had to win a pre-game to enter the field of 64. It is now in the Sweet Sixteen. The 11 seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers have been blest by the team chaplain, 98 year-old Sister Jean. They defeated 6 seed Miami and 3 seed Tennessee to reach the Sweet 16. The NCAA is happy with the results even if viewership is down the next two weekends. Two of this year’s “problem children,” Louisville and USC, were sent to the NIT. Arizona, Auburn, Miami, Michigan State, and North Carolina were bounced from the Tournament. Houston’s coach, Kelvin Sampson, has a checkered history with the NCAA as does Bruce Pearl at Auburn. They lost. The Pac 12 justified the NCAA’s only naming three schools to the Tournament. Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA went a collective 0 for 3, with Arizona losing to Buffalo. UCLA may have lost, but it’s cured of a migraine, the Ball Boys, The state of Ohio struck out. So much for the new coach at The Ohio State University. Thad Matta is available. Purdue is relying on its mechanical engineers to design a brace to get 7’2” Isaac Haas back in the games. Two #1 seeds, Virginia and Xavier, as are two #2’s, Cincinnati and North Carolina, two #3’s, Michigan State and Tennessee, and Arizona, Auburn, and Wichita State. Nine of the top 16 teams are back home as students, rather than student-athletes. Two #9’s are in the Sweet 16 (Florida State and Kansas State), as many as #1’s and #2’s. No matter the rankings, 18 and 19 year-olds have to show up and play. How’s your brackets doing? The season’s over. Get back to work! To quote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Enjoy the Suck"

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