Sorry- today is 15 March: couldn't resist. I guess that makes me Brutus to March Madness's Caesar. It felt damn weird to walk to work today instead of down to the sportsbar, where right now I would be ordering breakfast rather than typing this. Sidenote - for a lifelong East Coaster, that in and of itself is weird, surreal, and bizarre: going to a sportsbar and ordering and eating breakfast while watching the first round of the tourney. Thankfully I have the Slingbox working for me so I'll be able to follow the action, if only one game at a time.
So I have done some cramming and reached out to a few people for some information. Specific & special thanks go out to Big East Ken for breaking down the Big East teams for me. This tiny amount of information plus all that I know from last year as well as trends and tendencies that I have observed over the years has led me to these sure to be wrong picks:
Florida survives Wisconsin to go to the Final Four
UCLA beats Kansas in an epic battle to go the Final Four
Georgetown frustrates Texas to go to the Final Four
Louisville shocks Ohio State to go to the Final Four
UCLA exacts revenge on the Mighty Gators for last year's title game beat down
Georgetown ends Louisville's Cinderella run by turning Pitino into a pumpkin
I'm picking UCLA to beat Georgetown in the title game mostly because there is a history of teams making it to the Final Four and losing one year, and then the next year getting back to the Final Four and winning it all thanks to their experience. As far as just the matchup, I would think Georgetown would actually win the game. They are basically "The Princeton Offense On Steroids" to use Big East Ken's words, and their style will be so difficult for any team to prepare for and play against. But unlike Princeton in the past, this team plays that style but also has a boatload of talent, so I wouldn't be surprised if they won the whole thing. But for some reason I am going with the 'been there and been close last year, return all of our talent, and this year we will get back and do the damn thing'.
So there it is.
The most important thing to root for, though, is what I first & foremost root for every year: the assurance that three teams that I despise cannot win it all. Every year I am not at peace and do not sleep well until Duke, Florida, and Georgia Tech have all been eliminated. Then I stand up from wherever I am sitting, dance a little jig, drink a beer, and move on with a glowing smile in my face and warm fuzzies in my soul. Sadly this moment never came to pass last year, so it is absolutely imperative that it does occur this year. Another damn Florida Gator National Title would really be unbearable.
Enjoy the Madness, have fun, and Happy Brackets.