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!