Thirty-two games in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament (screw you and your “Second Round” designation, NCAA) and I only managed to correctly predict the outcomes of twenty-three of those contests. That’s right. My bracket went 23-9 on Thursday and Friday, good for a measly 71.9-percent accuracy rating. That’s a C-minus in the classroom, but more like the equivalent of an epic fail in March.
It’s no secret that I suck at bracket challenges. I don’t know what it is. I know a lot about basketball in general and spend my winters watching college basketball religiously. And yet when asked to determine a winner between two often-unmatched ballclubs, I can’t do it.
In hopes of better understanding my own ineptitude during this season of madness, I’ve broken down the nine games I whiffed on below. Here you’ll find my reasons for making the picks I made, along with scathing reviews of my failures. Think of this as therapy for the broken-hearted.
Loss No. 1: (8) George Mason vs. (9) Villanova
The loser/My pick: Villanova
Why I picked Villanova: Because the Big East is supposed to be so f**kin’ great.
Why I failed: Because those little bastards at George Mason are probably on steroids. Check ’em. And I swear to God they don’t even start their Winstrol cycles until mid-February or thereabouts. How the hell else do you explain their late-season surges and frequency for upsetville during the tourney? Cinderella’s on drugs.
Oh, and Villanova, you can suck it. Way to go anti-Charlie Sheen on the world.
You can suck it too, East Coast media. Jerks. Trying to tell us that the Big East is all-mighty and powerful. THEY AREN’T ANY BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! You only think they’re good because they’re the ONLY FREAKIN’ CONFERENCE YOU WATCH PLAY ALL YEAR LONG. I’d probably think For The Love of Ray-J was a great show if it was the only program I ever watched, or that McDonald’s cheeseburgers were the greatest food on earth if they were the only thing I ever ate. Ignorance is bliss with you jackasses, and as a result you’ve diligently failed your entire audience by not objectively doing your jobs. I hate you.
Loss No. 2: (8) UNLV vs. (9) Illinois
The loser/My pick: UNLV
Why I picked UNLV: Because the thought of the early-nineties Runnin’ Rebels squad with Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Stacy Augmon, and Anderson Hunt gave me a hard-on.
Why I failed: Because the Big-10 does everything it can to drive a stake through my heart every year during the tournament. I am Team Edward, they are Van Helsing. Sons of bitches.
Loss No. 3: (5) Vanderbilt vs. (12) Richmond
The loser/My pick: Vanderbilt
Why I picked Vanderbilt: Because I didn’t want to be like everyone else and choose this as the obvious 12-5 upset.
Why I failed: Because I didn’t want to be like everyone else and choose this as the obvious 12-5 upset.
Loss No. 4: (4) Louisville vs. (13) Morehead State
The loser/My pick: Louisville
Why I picked Louisville: Duh.
Why I failed: Because I didn’t go with my gut and stick with Morehead State for moral purposes. I mean, Jesus. I wanted to pick Morehead State. Just look at the name. But I couldn’t justify that big of an upset. Over a Rick Pitino-coached team, no less. And yet it went down. And now I’m sitting here looking like the foolish dumbass who watched the girl I used to date get really hot and starting f**king around with athletes. That should have been me. Damn it.
Loss No. 5: (6) Georgetown vs. (11) VCU
The loser/My pick: Georgetown
Why I picked Georgetown: Because there was no guarantee that VCU would even be playing in this game when the brackets were first released. The Commonwealth of Virginia had to topple USC before they were bestowed the opportunity to take on the Hoyas. So really, how could anyone justify making this pick?
Oh, and because the Big East is supposed to be so f**kin’ great.
Why I failed: Because the East Coast media is full of sh*t, while VCU simultaneously has the world’s largest chip on its collective shoulder.
Loss No. 6: (7) Texas A&M vs. (10) Florida State
The loser/My pick: Texas A&M
Why I picked Texas A&M: Because Florida State is never that good and I wanted to believe that the Aggies were better than they were simply because they beat Washington earlier this year.
Why I failed: Because A&M really isn’t that good. And also because Florida State is still living off the magic of Toney Douglas Time, even though Toney Douglas Time supposedly elapsed a few years ago. Which it apparently did not.
Loss No. 7: (5) Kansas State vs. (12) Utah State
The loser/My pick: Utah State
Why I picked Utah State: Because of this justification from my Totally Uninformed NCAA Tournament Preview:
Every year, Utah State screws me. Two years ago they were my big upset pick and lost in the first round. Last year, I picked them yet again…and they screwed me yet again. Now I’m at the point where I feel like if I don’t pick them, they will likely win and reverse screw me. I’d rather get screwed from the front than the back. So, please Aggies. Make this the year. Winner (reluctantly): Utah State.
Why I failed: Because of destiny. Utah State is destined to screw me every which way before I die. Backwards, forwards, sideways, upside-down. They’re giving me the porn star treatment. There’s really nothing I can do about it. It’s supposed to happen. Like George McFly kissing Lorraine Baines at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance. Density.
Loss No. 8: (4) Wisconsin vs. (13) Belmont
The loser/My pick: Belmont
Why I picked Belmont: Because I hate the Big-10. And also because Wisconsin is a different (i.e. worse) team when they’re not playing in their home arena.
Why I failed: Because the Big-10 hates me more than I hate it. And also because Belmont just isn’t very good.
Loss No. 9: (6) St. John’s vs. (11) Gonzaga
The loser/My pick: St. John’s
Why I picked St. John’s: Because of a variety of reasons. One, I hate Gonzaga. Two, I love Steve Lavin. Three, St. John’s has more seniors than an assisted living facility. Four, because Gonzaga sucks this year. Five, because St. John’s had some big wins late in the year (like Duke, for example).
Why I failed: Because, like my relationship with the Big-10, Gonzaga hates me more than I hate it. This one hurt especially bad since I had the Red Storm going all the way to the Final Four. I know. F**k me, right.
Who do the Zags think they are, anyway? As I’m writing this, they’re down by 20 to Team Jimmer. They barely deserve to be here. It’s like their sole mission in life was to make the tournament just so they could screw me, then exit as quickly as possible. Touche, Gonzaga. The damage has been done. The Emperor might still be alive, Darth Vader might still be alive, the Empire might remain intact, but you’ve clearly blown up my Death Star.
My only revenge is the picture at the top of this article. Consider this my occupation of Cloud City.