My God. Greg Gumbel just informed me I’m on the Road to the Final Four. Ernie Johnson Jr.’s bright-blue bowtie is right across the living room in high-def. I even filled out a bracket, two, in fact. I did it on a whim, in response to a Twitter message, last night.
I’m not an expert on college basketball, but I’m banking on luck playing a hefty role. I know there will be upsets, so I picked some. Several have predicted that, for the first time ever, a No. 16 seed will upset a No. 1, but I’m not buying it. Supposedly, the field is more wide open than ever before, and I’m banking on it.
I like some teams better than others, but I’ve got no overriding rooting interest. In general, I like to see underdogs win, but now I’ve got a two brackets in play, so undoubtedly my preference for underdogs will be tempered by who my underdogs are. This I do know, though. The longer the tournament goes, the more my interest dissipates. I like the upset rounds, when Cinderella makes some appearances before her carriage turns inevitably into a pumpkin.
Valparaiso and Gonzaga have such nice names, much better than “Valpo,” which is too much like a dog food, and “the Zags,” which sounds like the Fighting Candy Bars. One of my brackets has the Bulldogs – that’s what the Zags really are, you know – winning because their center, something or other Kelly Olynyk, looks like a 7-foot Tim Lincecum, and I like Lincecum. If Olynyk can jam like Lincecum pitches, at least in last fall’s postseason, Gonzaga is set.
That, of course, is a highly questionable hypothesis.
I’d like to see Davidson win a game or two because Davidson represents the Southern Conference, and Bob McKillop is an excellent coach – even I can see that – and if you’re representing the Southern Conference, you’d better have an excellent coach.
Without one question, one set of Dookies, that being Duke University, has a much better chance than the James Madison Dukes, who needed a play-in victory to get to play Indiana, whom I picked to win it all in my other bracket.
James Madison, by the way, conquered LIU Brooklyn, which I now know exists.
I find myself hoping that the teams representing schools where friends of mine went win, and the schools representing enemies of mine lose. Perhaps I can enjoy some schadenfreude. I’m told it goes well with noodles.