There are may spring rituals that I engage in.  Lent.  Easter.  Bluebonnets.  And don’t forget Madness.  March Madness.

This morning I filled out my brackets for the NCAA tourney.  I hope you get yours filled out before the tourney begins.  Here are some highlights from my prognosticating.

FINAL FOUR UPDATE:  So, it turns out  I was completely wrong about the Final Four.  That is, I didn’t pick a single team who actually made it to make it.  All I can say is that none of the teams are squads I’m particularly excited about.  I can’t stand anything Florida and Kentucky nauseates me because of their ‘one and done’ philosophy.  Connecticut has always been bullies so I guess that leaves me with Wisconsin.  Go Badgers.  Yeah. 

MONDAY MORNING UPDATES:  So, it seems that I was wrong about cinderella and The Big 12.  Cinderella is Dayton, and they play a Cinderella candidate in Stanford in Sweet 16.  The Big 12 only ended up with 2 teams in the Sweet 16, not 6.  (3 SEC, 3 Pac 12, 3 Big 10, 2 Big 12).  But I was right about Wichita State leaving in the second round.  I just thought they would loose to K-State not Kentucky.  2 of my Final Four are still alive, as is my eventual national champion, Michigan State.

I am not upset about the Pac 12 muscle, though.  I lived on the west coast long enough to hate the terrible east coast bias, so I am happy that of the 16 teams that remain, only 5 are on the east coast.  Now, down with Florida!       

UPSET ALERT:  I have two number one seeds going out fairly early.  I predict the number one overall seed Florida will lose to UCLA in the Sweet 16.  I don’t think the SEC is that strong this year and Florida is overrated due to East Coast bias.  Like many others I have Wichita State leaving early.  The only difference is I have them going out in the second round to Kansas State.

CINDERELLA:  Which leads me to my Cinderella this year.  It is Kansas State.  I have them beating Wichita and Louisville to reach the Elite 8 where they will lose to Duke.  Cinderellas rarely make any sense, but my logic on this is consistent.  The Big 12 seemed to be the best basketball conference this year and they have 7 teams in the tourney (that is 7 out of 10) and it seems like they should go deep.  As a 9 seed K-State is under the radar but they will be served well with a tough conference schedule.  Battle hardened, they will beat up some of the prettier teams from weaker conferences, thus going deeper than you might expect.

SWEET 16:  My Sweet 16 are:

  • Florida
  • UCLA
  • Ohio State
  • Kansas
  • Virginia
  • Michigan State
  • Iowa State
  • St. Josephs (yeah, that is another upset pick)
  • Arizona
  • Oklahoma
  • Baylor
  • Wisconsin
  • Kansas Sate
  • Louisville
  • Duke
  • Texas

I know that it is a homer pick to put Texas in there, especially since all the local writers here in Austin seem to have them going out in the first round.  I think they will do well against Arizona State and then they are as good as Michigan so they have a good chance, at least I think.  So that puts 6 Big 12 teams, 3 Big 10, 2 Pac 12 and 1 SEC team in the Sweet 16.  I think that represents the power of each of these conferences.  Although, as you will see in my Final Four, I think the Big 10’s top team is stronger than the top team of the Big 12.

Final Four:  Kansas, Michigan State, Arizona, and Duke.  These games will be classic.  I always like Michigan State in a duel because their coach is clutch.  The same is true of Duke.  That is why I have MSU verses Duke in the National Final with Michigan State pulling out a last second block and rebound for the victory.  Although, any of these four could win it all.

Before you dismiss too much of my prognostication, please remember that I predicted the Seattle Seahawks would win the Super Bowl before the playoffs ever began, and in private conversations predicted their victory before the start of the season.  So, there is that.

image from interbasket.net


Greenbean doesn’t blog about sports often, but every now and again it is on his mind.  Here are a few thoughts related only by the fact they all have a sports theme.


1.  The Washington D.C. NFL franchise must change its name.  I really cannot believe that the league allows them to continue using a racial slur as the mascot.  I admire many of the sports reporters who are refusing to refer to the team’s name any longer.  I think that is a good idea.  I also admire many of the colleges who have changed their mascot, but Redskins is a particularly odious name.  Most other Native American Mascots use honorifics like Chiefs or Braves–but Redskins is all about skin color.  They only reason to keep the name is tradition, but this is a bad tradition so I call foul on this one.

2.  It looks like it is the L.A. Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League pennant series and the Detroit Tigers against the Boston Red Sox for the American League.   Detroit is a sentimental choice because of Justin Verlander.  He is a great pitcher.  I hate all Boston sports teams–Red Sox, Celtics, and the Patriots–all of them but I have to give the Red Sox props because they have some of the greatest beards ever to wear cleats.  Now, If the Seattle Mariners or the Houston Astros are nowhere to be found in post season (which, is almost always the case) I will root for the National League in the world series.  I am hoping it will be the Dodgers.  I have been a fan of the L.A. Dodgers ever since I was a boy.  Kirk Gibson.   Orel Hershiser.  Tommy Lasorda.  Yep.  Anyone else remember Orel Hershiser singing the Doxology for Johnny Carson?

3.  It is TX-OU weekend.  My hapless Longhorns are going up the I-35 freeway to play the very impressive Oklahoma Sooners.  I fully expect us to get destroyed, something like 53-17 or something.  However, I am not a Longhorn fan . . . I am a Longhorn (class of 94) so I am eternally optimistic about the prospects of beating Oklahoma because when I was a student we had Peter Gardere–Peter the Great!  He was 4-0 against OU including some amazing come from behind games.  Oh how I wish he could suit up this weekend.


UPDATE:  Shockingly, my Texas Longhorns pulled off the upset and we beat the evil Sooners 36-20.  I told you that I doubted this would happen, but sometimes optimism pays off.  Hook ‘Em.