Wednesday, March 16, 2005

If you’re like me, you’re in Wuppertal, Germany. This means you are surrounded by angry Germans who DEMAND that you tell them who is going to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Wuppertal has March Madness. In fact, the whole of Old Europe has March Madness.

I’ll now pause while you organize your lame WWII joke.

OK. So as a service to my reader, I will now tell you who will win each game of the NCAA first round and why. If (and this is highly unlikely) I get better than half of my picks right, I’ll try my hands at the second round.

Bear in mind, when you read this, that I have adopted an unorthodox methodology. Instead of following the Mainstream Sports Media pack, I will (in the finest traditions of the Blogosphere) make shit up. I have chosen to look up the nicknames of certain teams (I knew most of them already) and the dates of the schools’ founding on to help me determine the winners.

First off:

YESTERDAY in Dayton, Ohio (home of the Flyers!), the OAKLAND COLLEGE (?) GRIZZLIES (1957) should have lost to the ALABAMA A&M BULLDOGS (1875). A&M should have won because they are from Alabama and so am I, and they are an older school, but they lost. If I had to guess, I would say that Oakland pulled it off because grizzlies are more awesome than bulldogs.

That means I am 0-1 so far.

TOMORROW (Thursday), in Indianapolis, Indiana, the FAIRLEIGH DICKENSON KNIGHTS (1942) will defeat the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (1867). This is the first big upset I’m going to pick. FDU will win largely because Illinois has a racist mascot, and racism is bad. Also, the chivalric tradition of wherever FDU is means that they will work better as a team. Plus they aren’t FULLY Dickenson, and so should overcome the curse which has caused all Dickenson teams to fail in the past.

WRONG!!! UI 67 FDU 55 Damn that Dickenson curse!
I am 0-2.

FDU (er, Illinois) will play the winner of . . .
the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LONGHORNS (1883) versus the UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA WOLFPACK (1864). Put your money on the Wolfpack, cuz Longhorns are really just big cows. And Jenna Bush went there. AND Nevada is an older school.

RIGHT!!! UN 61 UT 57. This was a minor upset. My first.
I am 1-2.

Take the UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI BEARCATS (1819) over the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HAWKEYES (1847). Older school, bearcats sound fearsome (and what is a hawkeye without the rest of the hawk?), and Cinci wears black and red, which looks cool.

RIGHT!!! UC 76 UI 64
I am 2-2.

They will play the winner of . . .
the UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY WILDCATS (1865) versus the EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY COLONELS (1906). You may think I’m going to pick Eastern Kentucky because they are the underdogs, but you are wrong. I’m picking Eastern Kentucky because that is one of the saddest parts of the United States and need moral support. The mining and timber industries have fucked those people coming and going, and they need a win. Go Colonels!

WRONG!!! UK 72 EKU 64
I am 2-3.

Meanwhile in Cleveland, the UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (1831), coached by the ghost of Wimp “Bear Bryant” Sanderson, will beat the dogshit out of the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE PANTHERS (1956). Roll your mama’s Tide, my friend. Come what may, I will remain a Tide fan.

WRONG!!! Sometimes its hard to be a Tide fan. UWM 83 UA 73. Rats.
I am 2-4.

They will BEAT the winner of . . .
the BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES (1863) versus UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS (1740). I’m takin’ the Quakers. Older, Quakier.

WRONG!!! Sheesh. BC 85 UP 65
I am 2-5.


RIGHT!!! WVU 63 CU 61
I am 3-5.

What a gift to be simple, what a gift to play the winner of . . .
the WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY DEAMON DEACONS (1834) versus the UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA MOCASSINS (1886). As much as I love their nickname, I can’t take Wake Forest seriously so long as it insists on remaining Baptist. The Mocs get extra credit for naming themselves after shoes.

WRONG!!! WFU 70 UTC 54.
I am 3-6.

Up in Boise, in the Taco Bell Arena -- wait. Why does Taco Bell need to pay for an arena in Boise? What ELSE are folks in Boise going to do late at night but go to Taco Bell? I HATE corporate sponsorships. Grrrrr.
Anyway, up in Boise, the ghost of Gene Bartow will lead the UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM BLAZERS (1969) to a thumping of the LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY TIGERS (1860). The deciding factor will be the Blazers being from Birmingham. LSU? It’s in Baton Fucking Rouge! Folks, I’ve known lots of folks from the greater Baton Rouge metroplex and NOT ONE has had anything good to say about it. If you can’t stick up for your home town, then your home town SUCKS. And so does its school.

RIGHT!!! UAB 82 LSU 68. A pretty decent upset. My second.
I am 4-6.

The Blazers will then play the UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA WILDCATS (1885), who will defeat the UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY AGGIES (1888). I have never trusted schools what can’t come up with a proper mascot. What the fuck is an Aggie?

RIGHT!!! UA 66 USU 53.
I am 5-6.

Take the young UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA GRIZZLIES (1893) over the favorite, the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON HUSKIES (1861). Have we learned nothing from the success of Oakland?

WRONG!!! Turns out it was UW 88 UM 77. Harumph.
I am 5-7.

Montana (or Washington, as it happens) will then play either the PACIFIC UNIVERSITY TIGERS (1851) or the UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH PANTHERS (1787). I want to say Pacific, because I think they used to be called Azuza Pacific and that’s where Christian Okoye played football, but I’m going to have to go with Picksburg. Who knew that they were founded in 1787? There were only 10 people in Pittsburgh back then, but I guess they wanted a school.

WRONG!!! Damn it. PU 79 UP 71 (heh! P U! hehe!)
I am 5-8.

Tuscon will be be rocked by the mauling of TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY RED RAIDERS (1923) coach Bobby Knight. The UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES BRUINS (1919) may not be worth a damn at basketball, but they are bears. And Red Raiders are . . . what?

WRONG!!! TTU 78 UCLA 66.
I am 5-9.

And speaking of mauling, no one will be surprised when the WINTHROP UNIVERSITY EAGLES (1886) turn into the sort of animal what mauls and maul the GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (1887). Why? Because bulldogs are dogs, and I hate dogs. And Eagles are pretty. And Winthrop is older (and don’t mention their religious affiliation).

WRONG!!! GU 74 WU 64.
I am (really) 5-10.

The UNIVERSITY OF UTAH UTES (1850) will rue the day they opted to for a racist mascot when the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-EL PASO MINERS (1913) sink a pick in their Mormonic asses.

WRONG!!! The Mormonic asses proved impervious to pickage, and so UU 60 UTEP 54.
I am 5-11.

The UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA SOONERS (1890) versus NIAGARA COLLEGE PURPLE EAGLES (1856). I really want to root against the Sooners, because they are named after cheaters who stole land from the Indians, but I can’t resist being the FIRST person in THE WORLD (outside of the US) to write NIAGARA FALLS!

RIGHT!!! As I predicted, NIAGARA FALLS!!!! NOBODY saw that one coming! Dood. I just made soooo much money! OU 84 NC 67. (U of Oklahoma gets called OU because Oklahomans are weirder than most)
I am 5-12



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