2015 MARCH MADNESS-MAYHEM-BRACKETOLOGY-CINDERELLA-TOURNEY

FullSizeRenderI am far from an expert on college basketball (or any basketball, for that matter), but that doesn’t stop me from filling out a bracket.  I generally use three criteria in determining winners.  First, I am a homer.  That means schools from Washington, Texas, The Big 12 and the PAC 12 get preferential treatment.  Second, colleges and universities with really great divinity schools are usually forwarded.  Teams that pray hard play hard.  Finally, I generally vote against the snobbish basketball schools–you know, Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgetown.  Duke is a snob school too, but they have a great divinity school so that trumps the snobbishness.

Early Upsets

I have Eastern Washington upsetting Georgetown, Michigan State upsetting Virginia in the second round, Texas beating Notre Dame (I’m a total homer on that one, and yes, I know that my Horns have been underachievers this year, but still, the talent is there), and Ohio State beating Virginia Commonwealth.

Sweet 16 Picks

My Sweet 16 is Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, Kansas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Baylor, Arizona, Villanova, Louisville, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Duke, Stephen F. Austin (another homer pick-GO LUMBERJACKS), Iowa State, and Gonzaga.

Of course, Gonzaga will lose to Iowa State because YOU CANT TRUST GONZAGA!  Every year I pick them to go deep (I had them in the Final Four last year) and they bow out early.  It pains me to keep Kentucky in, but they are the favorites.  I should also note that I am 50/50 on Wichita State verses Kansas.  It would not “shock” me if the “Shockers” beat the Jayhawks.

Final Four

My Final Four are Kentucky, Baylor, Villanova, and Iowa State.  In the championship game, think the Bears will beat the Cyclones 75-73 on the strength of their seminary/divinity school.

Before you put any real stock in this, keep in mind I was 0 for 4 in picking last years Final Four.

THE OTHER FINAL FOUR: THE BASKETBALL ONE, NOT THE HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE

Oh dear, it has been a while since I’ve posted.  I have to admit, as we come down the stretch toward Easter the amount of time I have to write for fun has shrunk significantly.  It doesn’t help at all that Easter is so early this year.  It seems to me we haven’t gotten all the Christmas ornaments put away just yet.

However, we trudge along.  Recently I wrote about one of our winter staff traditions regarding Ash Wednesday.  Another tradition that we have is the spring ritual of filling out our NCAA basketball brackets.  That’s right–its Tourney Time!

I have blogged in the past about some of my rationale for picks.  Sadly, neither my alma mater (Texas Longhorns) or the UW Huskies are in the tourney nor are powers I root against in the field (Kentucky, Texas A&M) so I’m at a loss in many ways for picking teams.  Never fear, I still made picks.  Here are my Final Four, and some of the thought that went into it.

  1. Gonzaga–Many UW fans hate Gonzaga, but I always want them to win because, let’s face it, Spokane is a dreadful place that must be awful to live in so they need some joy.  Gonzaga always has high hopes but then fizzle.  This year, though, things will be different.  Here is why.  Gonzaga is a Jesuit University.  This week we learned the new pope is a Jesuit.  This has got to be Gonzaga’s year.  If they don’t make a run in this Jesuit happy time, then they never will.
  2. Michigan State–What’s not to like about a team that is named the Spartans?  In terms of actual basketball, they have a tough draw to get to the Final Four–through Duke and probably through #1 seed Louisville.  I generally lean toward Duke because they have a great divinity school but this year I think they lose to MSU and then the awful evil Pitino and his Cardinals must lost.  They must.
  3. Kansas–This feels like a year Kansas could possibly win it all.  They have the easiest draw with no real competition in the South region. Plus, I have a good friend from Kansas so, there you go.
  4. Syracuse–For some reason I’ve just always liked Syracuse.  It might be the orange connection (their team is actually just called ‘The Orange’ now.  I guess that is better than being ‘The Pineapple” or something), but I don’t really know what it is.  Several years back Syracuse beat my Longhorns in the Final Four.  If we were gong to lose to anyone it was completely okay to lose to Syracuse.

As you can see, I am staying with traditional basketball powers.  MSU, Kansas, and Syracuse are the upper crust of collegiate basketball programs and then I am a homer with Gonzaga.  There is always a Cinderella who makes a deep run.  My best guess on that might be the #13 seed New Mexico State Aggies, inspite of their forsaken mascot name.  Now, all this being said keep in mind I have not watched more than maybe 15 minutes of college basketball all year long.