Sports & More Strange Brew Sports & More Strange Brew

  • Some Sports Therapy

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    So one thing I remember from my Psychology 110 class my freshman year at Stevens Point (and truthfully the fact that I remember ANYTHING from that time period is remarkable) is that from time to time it is important to vent about things pent up inside of you. Problems with grades, problems at work, relationship issues, yada yada yada, just let it all out. And since I don't have real problems like those, I'm going to riff on some things that happened in the sporting world over the weekend. DEEEP breath.

    - A couple of my buddies and myself attended the Bucks game against Phoenix on Saturday night. Then went to Potowotami until 5am Easter morning. Nothing says Jesus is risen like some beer and gambling! Anyhow I am happy to say that I was in fact getting a beer when 'the fall' happened. When I left to go to the beer stand with my buddy Paul everyone was bee boppin and skattin at the Bradley Center. The Bucks have been overacheiving, playoff bound, and poised to maybe even make some noise in the post season. And in the span of 5 seconds it all came crashing to the ground. Literally. Bogut on a brake away dunk got too much momentum going, landed on the floor, bent his elbow in a bizarre way, and then came crashing down on it with all his weight. The Bradley Center went from Mardi Gras to a funeral procession. And I made the mistake of watching the highlight the next morning. Then I had to break out the sawdust and clean up my apartment floor. Which is why I'm not posting the video or pictures here. If you want to see those just google "andrew bogut gross" or "bogut dear god why" and I'm sure you can find it. Or just look at his arm here, envision it bent the other direction and dangling.

    So that should pretty much do it for the Bucks this season. It sucks that their whole season revolves around one guy, but the truth is he's our only low post threat and best defender. Unless Kurt Thomas can find Doc Brown and play like it's 1997 we've got problems. And it's a shame too because Milwaukee was finally getting behind the Bucks. Like this franchise has to be cursed right? It's like the movie Groundhog's Day when Bill Murray wakes up every morning and hears "I Got You Babe" and relives every day. Except instead of "I Got You Babe" the Bucks have a buffet of injuries and failed signings and trades. The only hope the Bucks have for this season is if Scott Skiles saved at our last checkpoint and we can load our game from before Saturday night. Seems unlikely though.

    - I also attended Brewers opening day yesterday! Took the day off and everything. Honestly if I had to choose between taking off for opening day or Christmas every year I'd take off for opening day 11 times out of 10. And this year the set up was perfect. Great weather, roof open, tailgating, just a baseball perfect storm. Until the Brewers fell behind early on a wild pitch that Greg Zaun is still looking for, and the offense left 232132 men on base. It all resulted in a 5-3 loss, but veterans like Zaun and Edmonds aren't going to make the mental mistakes they made yesterday every game. The offense did crank out 12 hits, just none in the clutch. And when it looked like they had clutch hits, Colorado made web gem after web gem. So basically what I'm saying is the Brewers were like 1 or 2 plays away from winning that game 15-1. Also a part of me somehow thinks the loss is Suppan's fault, I'm not sure how yet, but I've got graphs and pie charts and when I get to the bottom of it I'll let you know.

    - (through gritted teeth) Congrats to Duke on winning the national championship last night. Without a doubt that was the most entertaining championship game in years, and if that half court heave would have gone it at the end it immediately is a top 10 sports moment of all time. Also, Duke's win allows me to throw this hypothesis out there; Duke wins national championship game, Wisconsin beat Duke this season, ergo Wisconsin>Duke. It's math.

    Whew! There, I feel better. Bonus word: therapy.

     

  • I should have known!

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Rule #1 of picking NCAA brackets: If you've pet the mascot of a team, that team is destined for the final four. Here I am on my visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse last January, the home of the Butler Bulldogs. I pet the dog, they approach a championship a year later. It's science. I can't believe I let that one slip past me. Also here is a direct quote from my first round predictions:

    "#5 Michigan St. vs #12 New Mexico St: Every year there is a #12 that beats a #5. But those that follow the Big Ten know not to bet against Izzo in the tourney."

    Despite my own advice I had them getting bounced in the second round. Fail. Honestly though that team lost it's best player to injury and is STILL in the final four? Ho-Hum. Just par for the course for Tom Izzo who is an absolute beast when it comes to tournament coaching. Like that guy could coach an intramural team to the Elite 8 (well maybe not the intramural team I played on my senior year at North, if we all showed up in the right shirts at the right gym it was a minor miracle).  Although I don't think I'm alone, this is the first year that I can remember that I didn't have a SINGLE final four team right. I thought I could mitigate the damage of my bracket if Kansas State (my champ) would have run the table. But Butler drank that milkshake last Saturday. I don't think the president of Butler had them in the final four. Also, I think I used the word 'mitigate' correctly. Wordscore.

    So if by some magic you are still in the running at the office pool enjoy the final four this weekend. I should probably go apologize to Eddie. Before the tournament even started I was so confident in my picks that I told him I didn't need this place anymore because I was about to win 130 bucks in my pool and retire. Whoops. Can I start over from my last checkpoint? Bonus word: enjoy.

    PS: I joke a lot about how awesome the March/April timeline is in the sports world. Baseball opening days, college basketball, NBA playoffs, blah blah blah. But starting tonight and rolling all the way until next Sunday is pound for pound the best sports week of the year. The Bucks are in the thick of the playoff chase (my keyboard is laughing at that as I type it) on Friday and Saturday night, final four Saturday, opening day Sunday night, Brewers opening day Monday, NCAA championship game Monday night, Masters starts on Thursday, and the NFL draft is 3 weeks away. To quote NBA Jam: Boom-shaka-laka.

    PPS: I'm 170% rooting for Duke to win the championship. Duke wins the national title. Wisconsin beat Duke. Wisconsin is your national champion. It's the rules.

    Also if your brackets are a trainwreck like mine, I've got the best way to get over it. It's what I did on day 2 of the tournament when 9 of my Sweet 16 teams were gone. Nothing cures all ills like some MAD DANCING!

  • Vegas is giving away FREE MONEY!

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    So as is my tradition every baseball season I'm going to put $10 on the Brewers winning the World Series. I've done this every year since I was like 3 so why break tradition now right? And as I was looking over those odds (paying out 50 to 1 btw) I decided to take a look at what the predicted season victory total was in Vegas. Now typically Vegas is spot on with these predictions, or at least within a win or two. Enough to make most gamblers sweat at the end of the year at the very least. Which sort of makes one wonder how they can be that accurate year in year out? But that's another conspiracy for another day. The point is when I got to the Brewers predicted season win total I spit out coffee that I wasn't even drinking. 81 wins. 81. That's it. Is Vegas serious with that number? That's enough to make Matthew Lesko here break out his Riddler costume and shoot an infomercial from Bernie's Clubhouse. As a side note what happened to Matthew Lesko? I remember a time when you couldn't turn on ESPN and not see Lesko doing the Charleston all over your TV screen telling you how to make a billion dollars. I think I saw him at Aldi's once, but I couldn't be sure. He's like Sasquatch. People claim to have seen him, but no one has a clear photo. Maybe History Channel will do a 'Monster Quest: Lesko' edition.

    Anyway, I can't imagine a scenario where the Brewers do not win 82 games. They had the worst pitching staff in the entire NATIONAL LEAGUE last season and still won 80 games. Randy Wolf and Doug Davis have to be worth at least 2 wins right? And with Suppan on the DL not giving up 13 earned runs every 5 days we should have 81 wins by the end May based on my calculations. That plus Sports Illustrated has them picked 4th in the Central. The same Sports Illustrated that predicted the Bucks to finish 16th of 16 teams in the Eastern Coonference this season. So based on that math the Brewers will win the World Series twice this season.

    That plus there's this article written on Ryan Braun: http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100226&content_id=8143678&vkey=news_mil&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil

    I intended to blog about this when it was written in February but got sidetracked with ruining people's NCAA tournament brackets, videos of goats and lambs, and cup stacking. You can't be everywhere at once you know? Either way reading this makes me believe that Ryan Braun may will win the MVP this year. Just the quote at the end alone: "I'm in an amazing place. I feel great. I feel like baseball has given me this opportunity to be a positive influence on other peoples' lives, and when it comes down to it that's what life is all about. Be happy. I'm happy right now." Read: Major Leage Baseball pitchers have been officially been put on notice. Bonus word: lesko.

    PS: Whatever Lesko is doing these days he must have some insane deal with google. Just type in 'free money' into a google image search yields 17 pictures of Lesko. I mean he's almost on the second 'o' page for crying out loud.

    PPS: If Jeff Suppan knows what's good for him he puts ALL his 12.5 million dollars this season on the over of 81 wins. He's not going to trick anyone else into signing him next offseason, so may as well double up while you can. 

  • Sigh....Soup still on.

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    See that picture? That should have been on the front page of the sports section today with a caption that read "In an awkward locker room moment Jeff Suppan actually signs for the box of bats he was recently traded for."

    Sigh.....I=duped. Yesterday when I was reading blog posts on JSONLINE that seemed to imply Suppan might be on his way out of Milwaukee I tried to temper my enthusiasm. That little voice in the back of head kept saying "there's no way another team is going to take on that salary" and "not a chance the Brewers swallow 14 million dollars and cut him" and "you probably shouldn't have PBR and double stuff Oreos for lunch." Yeah. My voice is an ass. But against my better judgement I decided to allow myself to believe that the Suppan era was over. I passed out took my afternoon nap with dreams of Soup in a Padres uniform, or a Dodgers uniform. The possbilities were endless! And like a kid on Christmas morning I woke up 4 hours later and quickly realized that Santa had arrived! Only in this scenario "Santa" would be an article proclaiming a trade or release. What I was met with was a pair of socks under the tree. Suppan on the DL with a neck injury. A neck injury. Seriously Brewers? Anyone who believes that probably also believed Brett Favre twice when he said he was retired. Because the sentence "Jeff Suppan has a neck injury," and "Jon Henseler goes on a date with Heidi Klum" have about the same amount of truth to them.

    So it looks like at the very least the Brewers are going to hide Suppan on the DL and avoid making a desicion on who to leave on the roster and who to cut until mid-April. Honestly is there a 162 day DL? This is like when you get an extension on a mid-term in college. You know you dodged a bullet and vow to use your second chance to work hard and make the right desicions. Except in my case it mostly meant going on a 5 day bender and being in the exact same situation one week later. How I graduated is one of the great mysteries of the world. In any case if we cut a guy like Chris Narveson to keep Suppan or Parra on the roster then we are........not......good at making roster decisions. Yeah. Because Chris Narveson has like a -2.5 ERA this spring and if we lose him to keep one of these two guys I'm calling shenanigans. Also I think I'd rather pay Jeff Suppan to sit on the DL as opposed to pitching in games at this point. This might be his most productive 15 days as a Brewer. Bonus word: sigh.

    PS: I haven't been this disappointed after getting excited about something since Hulk Hogan turned heel. There was the Real American hero walking down the ramp to dispense justice all over Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Then he leg drops Macho Man and starts the NWO. You've never seen a 13 year old Jon so quiet.

    That's two TWO wrestling and baseball blogs this week ah ah ah.

  • Brewers out of Soup?

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    This is what makes the internet great. Well this and fantasy sports. Because all you have to do is type in 'jeff suppan' into youtube and it yields this gem. Like youtube's search engine must have been frieking out when I got to the second 'p' in Suppan. "Come on come on....do I have a video for you!!' Also, what is the percentage chance that this is Jeff Suppan singing this song? It's got to be like 42% at the minimum right? Because as far as I can tell this video was posted in 2009, not 2006 when he signed. Anyone who was still this amped about Suppan as recently as last season is either related to him or invested in an authentic Suppan jersey when he came on board and is looking for a little return on investment.

    Either way I was catching up on reading the Brewers blog on JSONLINE this morning (and by 'catching up' I mean 'clicking refresh madly waiting for updates) and noticed that Ken Macha was being quite cryptic when discussing Suppan's status within the organization. Suppan is supposed to be in the race for the final rotation spot and throwing today, but it looks like his scheduled start has been cancelled and Macha said something along the lines of "roster moves can be made at any point." Now I'm a literal guy, and I don't delve too deep below the surface, but I think this means that they might trade him today? Or cut him?

    Bottom line is that if Doug Melvin can convince ANY team to take on even a portion of that contract AND we get something in return, then he wins GM of the decade hands down. I'm talking bronze statue in front of Miller Park. Even if 'something in return' is a bag of Corn Nuts and one of these:

    Because trust me. This pitching machine's slider has way more on it than Soup's. It's a no brainer to me. Now I suppose this could all mean that Suppan's going on the DL (with a severe case of the 'bad') or something, but I just don't see that happening. So if this is it for Soup's tenure his crowning achievement will be having appeared on the Young and the Restless in 2007:

    How about the curse of the Young and the Restless curse huh? Bill Hall, paid to go away. JJ Hardy traded. Chris Capuano broke his arm twice. And Suppan about to be cut. Memo to Ryan Braun, stay away from the soaps! Bonus word: soap.

     

  • Classic Ueck

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Is it time to put Bob Uecker into the conversation of top 5 coolest people of all time? Like ever? Because I thought he was fringe top 5 before watching this video and now he's got to be in right? I mean I've been working on my list literally all morning. I even went through 3 of the '7 steps to good writing.' I brainstormed. Wrote sloppy copies. And ended with this final draft:

    1. Miles Davis (to quote a modern day philosopher 'if peeing your pants is cool, then consider me Miles Davis. Plato. Socrates. Billy Madison.)

    2. Johnny Cash

    3. Ryan Braun

    4. Bob Uecker

    5. Ryan Braun

    Boom. Done. I mean who else played baseball professionally, is in the baseball hall of fame as a broadcaster for the Brewers (and was the only credible person associated with the team from 1993-2007), nearly won an Oscar for his portrayal of Harry Doyle (I think at least), played the patsy in one of the greatest sitcoms ever to hit the small screen Mr. Belvedere, AND is now inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame. Yes. WWF. It will always be WWF to me. Honestly Vince McMahon must have stepped on an endangered june bug or something to incur that lawsuit. But I'm calling shenanigans. Ask 20 people what 'WWF' means and 22 tell you wrestling.

    Either way this is a marriage of two of my passions, baseball and wrestling. Calm down ladies I know that's a HUGE turn on. In any case I remember watching tapes of Wrestlemania's 3 and 4 about a thousand times on VHS when I was a kid and knowing Ueck was the man even then. That is until my mom recorded over one of those tapes with an episode of General Hospital.....Yup, still bitter about it. I've got rage sweat right now just thinking about it. Bonus word: wrestling.

    PS: I didn't even know this was on TV on Saturday night until Sunday morning. Hell I didn't even realize it was Wrestlemania weekend. Somewhere a 14 year old Jon weeps.

     

     

  • Bizarro!

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Every once in a while I feel it is necesary to justify the 'and more' portion of the 'Strange Brew, Sports and More' portion of my blog. The problem is finding an issue outside of sports that gets my interest piqued. The Jesse James/Sandra Bullock issue is one such topic. Well, that plus the Bucks didn't play last night, the Brewers haven't made any moves in the waning days of spring training, and trying to find out information on the Packers draft interests is like trying to stay at a bar after they turn the lights on. Impossible. So yeah. It was either this or health care.

    In any case I don't know a whole lot about how these two became a couple, how long they've been married blah blah blah. But I do know their pairing was one of the more bizarre in Hollywood. And the fact that all of the pre-Oscar hub for Bullock centered on her relationship with James, and how it has made her not only a better actress but a better person seems to be awful timing. But realistically the dude once married a porn star. He's surrounded by women at all times. Is this story really all that shocking? The part of the equation that is perplexing is the chick who Jesse cheated with, Michelle McGee. Seriously dude? Like I have done HOURS of research on google image search on Michelle McGee and Sandra Bullock and I can't come up with a situation where McGee is a better option than Bullock.

     

     

    Crazy right? The first thought that comes to mind when you see this McGee broad is 'get it off me!' So while I am not condoning cheating, if you're going to do it, isn't the point to at least level up? Not downgrade? Like to me that has to be the hardest part of Bullock to swallow. Yeah he cheated and that sucks, but he cheated on you with this girl?

    In any case James hasn't officially admitted to anything yet I guess. You'd think he'd learn from Tiger Woods. Just hold a press conference, blame your transgressions on your lack of Buddhism, work out and play video games at sex rehab for three weeks, and boom, fixed. Transgressions 101. Honestly Jesse, act like you've been there before bro. Bonus word: bizarre.

    PS: The other purpose of this blog was to use the words 'pique' and 'perplex' in the same write up. I think I read them in a book in college at some point and have been trying to work them into conversation for 5 years. To the point where I just started saying each word at the end of sentences where it didn't even make sense. "Yeah I don't know about Suppan in the rotation. I mean we're paying him a lot of money, but at this point a pitching machine would be just as good. Pique."

     

     

     

  • Boom goes the Dynamite.

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Well if this doesn't apply to my NCAA first weekend picks than I don't know what does. Honestly EVERY instinct I had was wrong. I've never had a first round this bad. Ever. 3 of my Final Four teams are dunzo, and I can't even bring myself to look at my Sweet 16 and see who I actually got right. Sporstline must have just clicked on the 'red line' feature and kept it there while assessing my predictions. Stuff looks like my 4th grade spelling test. I guess I can find comfort in the fact that 90 percent of the people in my pool picked Kansas to win it all and they were bounced by the cast of the Goonies in Northern Iowa on Saturday. So at the very least my championship team (Kansas St.) is still alive and if they win it all I might somehow finish in the top 3. So if you used any of my blog predictions I sincerely apologize. I feel like Tiger Woods right now staring into the camera and owning up to my failings. If only I had maintained by Buddhism....

    In a related story, how awesome was that Wisconsin game on Sunday? Glad I set my alarm for 1:30 in the afternoon to get up for that! Is Cornell serious with that effort? I just kept waiting for Wisconsin to make a move and it never came. But if Cornell thinks they're going to get away with that I'm calling shenanigans. There is no way an Ivy League team is that good at basketball. You can't be good at academics AND athletics. It's college basketball 101. And that's the problem. These kids are smart. I know they cheated somehow, I just can't figure out how. But I swear I will dedicate myself to diligently analyzing this game from every angle until I find out how I was swindled. Or I'll give up after typing "cornell basketball conspiracies" into google and eat an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Either way.

    So for everyone who's bracket is a certified trainwreck I present to you the Gus Johnson soundboard to cheer you up! Click on the link below and drink in all that is Gus Johnson. I've been on this thing all morning and so far my favorites are;

    1. OHHHHHHHH!

    2. The Catch

    3. HAHA

    4. The Catch

    http://www.gusjohnsongetsbuckets.com/

    Seriously if this doesn't make you feel better than I've got nothing. Title of my book one day "I've got nothing, the Jon Henseler story." Bonus word: fail. As in my brackets=fail.

    PS: Was anyone still watching the Badger game when Jason Bohannon dunked with like a minute left? Shouldn't that have counted for like 19 points? I tried finding it on youtube to post today, or even a picture, but I couldn't find anything. So I'm starting to wonder if I imagined it? Did it even happen?

  • Oh. My. Gosh.

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Well it's safe to say this girl is better at cup stacking than I will be at anything I attempt in life. I've watched this video repeatedly once or twice this morning (always have to make sure I do my 'Eddie-editing' in case the boss is reading it, blogging 101) and have tried to find some kind of cut or editing trick that this girl implemented to make it look faster than it really is, but as with everything on internet, it looks to be 100% un-tampered with. Girl's just got cup stacking skill. And she's young. Like the Lebron James of cup stacking. Honestly college sororities have to recruiting the crap out of this girl already to make sure she's locked up and signed on for four years of flip cup dominance. Bonus word: cup.

    As a sidenote, is there some kind of underground cup stacking league that I'm not aware of? When I found this link on youtube there were like a million (roughly) other cup stacking videos of people who do this exact same thing. Apparently the 7 second mark is like the 4 minute mile in the cup stacking world. There's at least a 17% chance we're watching this in 2012 at the London Olympics.

    PS: My buddies Doug, Shoe and I were flip cup BEASTS in college. Like the '92 dream team. Except instead of competing with the greatest athletes on a global stage, we were competing with a bunch of sweaty guys in Stevens Point basements and garages. But pretty much the same thing other than that. Sadly I haven't flipped a cup in years, and now I'm worried I'll tarnish my reputation by coming back. Like seeing Namath with the Rams. Or Jordan with the Wizards.

     

  • Ahhh Memories!

    Posted by Jon Henseler

     

    Sniff....sniff....I promised myself I wouldn't get emotional this early in the morning. How time flies huh? 10 years ago Dick Bennett and the Badgers made an improbable run to the final four before getting beat by (through gritted teeth) Michigan...State. Not that Badger fans are still bitter about that loss. Go ahead. Say the name Mateen Cleaves in downtown Madison and see what happens. It's damn near an extreme sport. Anyhow I can't believe I even found this video. Was youtube even invented in 2000? Did Mark Vershaw upload this on a 56k dial up? Whatever it was it brought back some good memories about what makes the NCAA tournament the best thing in all of sports. Random teams that put it all together at the right time and play good defense can make a legit run at a title. Honestly the average final score of Badger tournament games during that run was 37-34. And that was during an offensive explosion. So here are my final first round picks for the East and South region, as well as my final four and champion. Get prepared to dominate participate in your office pool.

    We're going to burn through these quicker, mainly because it's St. Patty's day and the longer I spend on this the less time I have to drink.

    East Region:

    Kentucky over East Tennesse St.

    Texas over Wake Forest

    Temple over Cornell (even though the Andy Bernard factor almost made me pick the upset for all the Office fans out there)

    Wisco over Wofford

    Marquette over Washington (Marquette and Wisconsin could be 16 seeds and I would pick them to win in the first round. I=homer.)

    New Mexico over Montana in the battle of two states that barely qualify as states.

    Clemson over Missouri

    West Virginia over Morgan St.

    South Region:

    Duke over Arkansas Pine Bluff. If Duke loses to a street sign they get annexed.

    Louisville over California. Along the same lines of Tom Izzo and Gary Williams there are just coaches that know how to win tournament games. And Rick Pitino is another one. He also apparently knows how to pay women hush money after he impregnates them in coffee shop bathrooms. But as far as I know there's no tournament for that.....yet.

    Texas A&M over Utah St.

    And my first real upset, #13 Siena over #4 Purdue. I know I'm one of about 432342 people picking this upset. Purdue's best player is hurt and out for the year. Siena scores at will on offense. This is going to be the high seed to not only win round 1, but also make the sweet 16 where they are going to push Duke as well. Whoa. That escalated quickly, from one upset to winning the tournament and the World Cup all in the same sentence.

    Notre Dame over Old Dominion. This one is a toss up to me. Notre Dame barely got in the tournament and is a 6 seed? So I do what most tournament experts do in a toss up situation. Pick based on mascot. Notre Dame has a drunken Irish fighter who specializes in 30's style boxing. Old Dominion is a happy go lucky lion with a crown. Drunken Irishman trumps lion. And really drunken Irishman trumps ______.

    Baylor over Sam Houston

    St. Mary's over Richmond in a #10 over #7 upset.

    Villanova over Robert Morris.

    Final Four:

    Kansas makes it out of the Midwest. Kansas St. out of the West. I ran out of Kansas teams so Villanova out of the South. And...drumroll....Bucky Badger out of the East! 10 years later the Badgers will make a return trip to the final four. And for once I don't feel like JUST a homer, I feel like they have a legit shot. Final game: Kansas State over Villanova. Book it. Or with more appropriate punctuation. 'book it?' Bonus word: green. As in it's time for a green beer or 19 after all my hard tournament work!

     

     

     

  • I present to you the West Region

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Reason #53445 to like March Madness: Gus Johnson. Honestly this guy could make my life seem interesting with his play by play. "Henseler dips into the Folgers, takes it strong to the filter RISE AND FIRE, OHHHHHHHHHHH HE GOT IT! ALL IN THE FILTER! MADNESS!! HA HAAAAAA!" And the ironic thing is that while these are all game winning clips, Gus calls the entire game like this. From the opening tip to the end. Now I've been calling high school and college ball for 8 years, and Gus breaks cardinal rule #1 by being overly intense the whole time, you're supposed to be calm in the beginning and build up the whole game blah blah blah. I'll take Gus Johnson calling every major sporting event 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

    So yesterday I went through the Midwest region, today the West. And in true NCAA tournament form I read back my picks from yesterday and immediately regretted all my decisions. It just wouldn't be tournament time without 24 hour a day angst.

    #1 Syracuse vs. #16 Vermont: Of all of the 16's versus 1's this is the one I think could be the big upset. Syracuse is an east coast team playing on the west coast, Vermont upset them as a 13 seed five years ago and could be confident because of that, plus Syracuse has some injury issues. With that said Syracuse wins by 30.

    #8 Gonzaga vs. #9 Florida St: Gonzaga is such a maddening team to me. Every year I pick against them they go to the Sweet 16. Every year I pick with them they are bounced in the first round. So my gut tells me Florida St. will win this game, which means the Zags are a lock. Gonzaga the pick.

    #5 Butler vs. #12 UTEP: Ahhhh Butler, Gonzaga version 2.0. In the interest of full disclosure I had to look up what conference UTEP even plays for (Conference USA, thank you google), and what UTEP even means (University of Texas El Paso). On top of that last winter I went to visit historic Hinkle Fieldhouse where Butler plays. It's the same arena that Hoosiers filmed in. Ironically the seats I sat in were right next to the seats where the live Bulldog sat, and I was able to pet the venerable mascot. So because of that Butler>UTEP. Simple math.

    #4 Vanderbilt vs. #13 Murray State:  This is one of those games I'm going to have to put money on to make interesting. I have no idea what either of these teams brings to the table, but I do know I'm starting to get nervous that the only upset I've picked so far is a 9 over an 8. It's like when you have 3 straight 'c' answers on a scantron. Even if the next answer is obviously 'c' you have to pick a different one because there can never be 4 in a row. It's the rules. So Murray State is the pick.

    #6 Xavier vs. #11 Minnesota: Remember that rule of having to root for Big Ten teams because my primary team of interest is from the Big Ten and you want to see the conference do well? That does not apply to Minnesota. Xavier big.

    #3 Pittsburgh vs. #14 Oakland: Truthfully I thought about picking the upset here initially. But that's when I thought Oakland was a team from the west coast. Turns out they are from Michigan, near Detroit. And no team that is remotely close to the Lions can win anything. Pitt is the pick.

    #7 BYU vs #10 Florida: Florida is athletic and play an up temo style. But BYU has a team full of guys that can shoot 3's. And last time I checked 3's are greater than 2's. BYU for the win.

    #2 Kansas St. vs. #15 North Texas: Kansas St. is not only my pick in this game, but my pick for the championship. That plus I'm not even sure North Texas is a real college. The word 'North' in front of 'Texas' seems like an oxymoron to me. You can't fool me North Texas. Kansas St. wins big.

    Tomorrow's a big day, both the East and South, my final four, and champion. Time to rest up and prepare to work overtime. Bonus word: march.  

  • I=Excite!!!

    Posted by Jon Henseler

    Somehow someway the owners of this lamb and the goat that screams like a man need to meet up and let these two animals live in bizarre harmony. Because I hope to one day live in a world where that goat is screaming at this lamb as it CLOMP CLOMP CLOMPS by.

    Anyhow selection Sunday was yesterday and the way this lamb is running from room to room is essentially what I will look like as I run from TV to TV Thursday-Sunday. The only difference is that I will have a laptop in my hands and chicken wings stuck to my cheek. But that could be a Tuesday in June at my apartment. So everyday this week I am going to break down a region and let you know where to put your money come Thursday morning. Now I realize there are four regions and only three days to do this, so I one of these days I will have to do two, or three? I don't know I'm not a math major. So without further adieu I bring to you the Midwest region.

    #1 Kansas vs. #16 Lehigh: Kansas is not only the #1 seed in this bracket but overall. And while I hope to one day see a #16 seed beat a #1 (I wish for this like some wish for world peace apparently), it will not be in this matchup.

    #8 UNLV vs #9 Northern Iowa: Ahhhh the ol' 8 vs. 9. Toughest game to pick, and basically a toss up. Bottom line is there is nothing to do in Iowa. All they think about is basketball. Meanwhile UNLV is the mecca of gambling and partying. You tell me who will be more focused come Thursday. It's science. Northern Iowa in a mild upset.

    #5 Michigan St. vs #12 New Mexico St: Every year there is a #12 that beats a #5. But those that follow the Big Ten know not to bet against Izzo in the tourney. Michigan St is the pick.

    #4 Maryland vs #13 Houston: The Izzo logic also applies to Gary Williams at Maryland. And while it's hard to pass up taking the Houston Cougars (cue Will Ferrell from Old School; Let's go Cougars!), I'm taking the Terrapins.

    #6 Tennessee vs #11 San Diego St: Even when he was at UWM Bruce Pearl proved he can flat out coach a team deep in the tournament. So on that alone Tennessee will cruise past San Diego St. Which of course in German means a whale's....well...nevermind.

    #3 Georgetown vs. #14 Ohio: I had to google 'Ohio University' just to find out their nickname. I ended up with an entire page of Ohio State propoganda. So naturally I just gave up. Georgetown in a landslide.

    #7 Oklahoma St. vs. #10 Georgia Tech: For whatever reason every year I always pick an Oklahoma team to go far in the tourney. University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma State. Oklahoma Sisters of the Poor. Whatever. I don't know why I do it I just do. Like breathing. So lucky for Oklahoma St. there is no other Oklahoma team this year. Oklahoma St. over the Yellow Jackets.

    #2 Ohio St. vs. #15 UC Santa Barbara: This is a tough time of year in college sports. Because I am a Big Ten guy through and through. And you always want the conference of your primary team (in this case Wisconsin) to do well. But that means rooting for your team's sworn enemies. In this case the Buckeyes. Those are the rules. I don't make them, and I don't like them sometimes, but they hold society together. And while UC Santa Barbara bar none wins the best nickname in the tournament (say Go Gauchos! just once and try not to smile), I'm going Ohio State.

    So there's the Midwest. And instead of telling you how the rest of the bracket will break down, I'll wait for Monday when I can go back, explain how the team I picked got screwed and lost and then re-pick the rest of the tourney. March Madness 101. Bonus word: madness.