Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bracket Virology

Well, time for that annual bout of comedy and humiliation called making the bracket selections for March Madness, the NCAA Tournament. Another one of those bad habits that can't be beaten into submission.

As tradition requires, two different brackets were set up, one to depict upon close examination or records, momentum, roster and coaching, the probable outcome despite not having seen a single NCAA basketball game all season albeit perhaps one or two highlights during oh, say the Big East or ACC tournament. We'll call this the Factual Bracket, simply to gauge the absurdity factor.

The second bracket was constructed of guesses and "feelings". Based upon what you say when you have already admitted to not having seen a single game in its entirety all season? Why based of course, upon that incisive factor; the Who Do I Want To Root For factor meaning picking only teams I want to root for. What is the criteria that makes me want to root for a particular school? Why the logic buggers comprehension.

Without judging harshly, is it any wonder U Conn blew it?

Anyway, without preamble, I bring you the Sweet Sixteen of my Factual Bracket: We'll start with the good news in the East, a perfect record: NC, Washington State, Louisville and Tennessee. Of course, bearing in mind these are seeds 1 through 4 it doesn't really take a work of genius to figure.

In the Midwest, not quite so lucky, or 50% of the possible four I chose made it in: of Kansas, Clemson, Wisconsin and Georgetown, only Kansas and Wisconsin are still in it. Clemson, we now know, never made it past Villanova in the first round and Georgetown were upset by 10th seeded Davidson just last night. Of course, they told me there would be no 10th seeded teams in the tourney this far in but what do "they" know anyway?

Over in the South, more of the same: Memphis and Texas, the two top seeded teams made it forward whilst my other two imaginative choices, Pitt and Marquette, the 4th and 6th seeds, fell by the wayside, in Round Two to Michigan State and Round One to Kentucky, respectively.

Lastly in the West another meagre display; two of the four remaining sides were successful: UCLA and West Virginia, the 1st and 7th seeds but hardly shocking. Not as shocking as seeing the other two choices, U Conn and Purdue, the 4th and 6th seeds, fail to make it through.

So, in the closest guess to reality the result stands at 16 possible winners, 10 chosen.

In the other bracket, the one based upon wishes and teams I wanted to root for, the exact same number correct although in the East, a less than perfect score but in the South, I've got Memphis and Stanford in the Elite Eight, three of four possibilities still alive.

All in all, considering the pair o brackets, sticking close to the vest with few insanely dodgy upset selections, a typical season concluding of course, in all instances of a NC v UCLA Final. Variations on a Theme.