A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Round 1 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament
By now, a sport everyone’s ignored for the last five months has all kinds of know-it-all experts. Needless to say, trying to fill out a bracket these days can be a little overwhelming. I’m not gonna lie to you: I didn’t watch too much college basketball this year. I started a new job, had to travel a little bit, and just couldn’t get into the season like I usually do. Does that mean I’m unqualified to pick a winning bracket? Absolutely. But where’s the fun in that? Besides, we all know the experts never win these things anyway. Well, I’m about to make those experts look like a bunch of Christian Laettners. Round 1 today, Round 2 tomorrow, the rest on Wednesday.
1 Ohio State v. 16 TBD: I’m not sure which conference TBD is from, but they’ve got a few teams in this tournament. I’ll take my chances with the top team in the nation. OSU
8 George Mason v. 9 Villanova: Both of these teams have screwed me in prior brackets. The ‘Nova pain is more recent. GMU
5 WVU v. 12 TBD: There’s that TBD school again! Seriously, if you have to “play-in” to get in the tournament, you probably shouldn’t be there. WVU
4 Ken-tuck-ee v. 13 Princeton: I will ride this team as long as I can, just so I can make that dorky “Last of the Mohicans” reference. UK
6 Xavier v. 11 Marquette: I once got in a huge fight with a girlfriend during a UMD v. Xavier game. That sucked. Al McGuire was also great. Marquette.
3 Syracuse v. 14 Indiana State: I think anyone that picks Indiana State is doing so because of some weird Larry Bird infatuation. Guess what? Larry ain’t walkin’ through that door. And Indiana State isn’t good. ‘Cuse
7 Washington v. 10 Georgia: I have a friend living in Athens who tells me UGA plays their games in an arena designed and dedicated to the UGA women’s gymnastics team. Ouch. Also, people seem really pissed UGA made it. Washington
2 UNC v. 15 Long Island: Let me just put it to you this way: when I think of “Strong Island,” I think of about 300 things before I get to college basketball. UNC
Southwest (Jeez, really? These names suck)
1 Kansas v. 16 BU: One day, a 16 will beat a 1. This won’t be that day. Kansas.
8 UNLV v. 9 Illinois: These are two teams that are just about indistinguishable to me. It seems like they make the tournament just about every year and flame out in either the first or second round. Eh. Vegas is cool. UNLV
5 Vanderbilt v. 12 Richmond: If I wasn’t blessed with the name “Duke,” I think it’d be cool to be called “Commodore Jackson.” Plus, spiders suck. See how easy this is? Vanderbilt.
6 Georgetown v. 11 TBD: Growing up, I loved Georgetown. Loved them. Growing older, I grew to hate them. Besides, TBD has to win one of these games. TBD
3 Purdue v. 14 St. Peter: I know nothing about either of these teams. I think St. Peter’s is in New York (nope, Jersey), but don’t really care. I’ll take the chalk in this one. Purdue
7 Texas A&M v. 10 Florida State: Two football schools that aren’t really great at football either. I think I’d rather be in Florida than Texas. FSU
2 Notre Dame v. 15 Akron: I loathe Notre Dame. Their team is Duke Lite. But Akron has LeBron and anything he’s associated with usually gets screwed over. Notre Dame
1 Duke v. 16 Hampton: Despite the name, I hate Duke, but they’re good. Plus, Hampton screwed me in 2001 when they beat Iowa State as a 15 seed. Who carries grudges against small colleges from a decade ago? This guy! Duke
8 Michigan v. 9 Tennessee: Two teams that probably shouldn’t be in. Don’t really care, so I go against the team not missing its coach and with the less crappy record. Michigan
5 Arizona v. 12 Memphis: Arizona usually chokes in the tournament and Memphis’ coach used to be a walk-on, mascot, or something at the University of Arizona. I don’t know, I got bored with the article and stopped reading (kinda like where you are with this post, no?) Plus, I gotta have a 12 upsetting a 5, right? Memphis
4 Texas v. 13 Oakland: I dislike Texas for no good reason. I like Oakland for no good reason other than the fact part of me thinks the Longhorns are gonna play the Oakland Raiders. And everything from “Oakland” sounds cool. I told you, I know nothing. Oakland
6 Cincy v. 11 Missouri: Grandpa Simpson sez, “It will be a cold day in hell before I recognize Missour-ah!” Nonetheless, ”Cincy” is such a cool nickname and it’s wasted on a team that has ruined so many of my brackets. Granted, that was 15 years and an entire coaching staff ago, but choke jobs still mean something to this man. Mizzou
3 UConn v. 14 Bucknell: UConn is probably way over-seeded but their best player is named “Kemba” and he is an animal. I also dislike Jim Calhoun, but for some reason like picking UConn. UConn
7 Temple v. 10 Penn State: Penn State sucks and has no business being in this tournament! Why yes, I’m crying and clutching a picture of Gary Williams as I type this. Temple
2 SDSU v. 15 N. Colorado: San Diego State is Steve’s alma mater, has Tony Gwynn as its baseball coach, a cool ass nickname (Aztecs) beat Jimmer, and is in San Diego. I don’t even know what Northern Colorado’s mascot is (upon further research, it’s a “Bear” and it’s lame).
1 Pitt v. 16 TBD: Sorry, TBD U. You’ve had your moment. Pitt
8 Butler v. 9 ODU: Butler was really good last year, right? Butler
5 Kansas State v. 12 Utah State: Utah is a weird state. Then again, so is Kansas. They both have cool uniforms, but the KSU Wildcat looks pretty awesome. KSU
4 Wisconsin v. 13 Belmont: Everybody loves Belmont this year, which makes me not want to pick them. Also, every year I pick Wisconsin to lose early and they somehow prove me wrong. Well, I give in: either Bo Ryan will be a dude and win me over, or I can go back to hating on them. Wisconsin
6 St. John’s v. 11 Gonzaga: I think if I was a college basketball coach, I’d look like Steve Lavin or Jay Wright. That is all. St. John’s
3 BYU v. 14 Wofford: Wofford plays UMD in football every year and sucks. BYU is really not that good, but Jimmer can’t go out in the first round. He’s not done yet. BYU
7 UCLA v. 10 Michigan State: Michigan State always plays well in the tournament (well, they always seem to beat Maryland). Pac-10 teams do not. Plus, UCLA had two of my least favorite players: Jason Kapono and Jordan Farmar. I also had a fraternity brother named “Izzo.” He’s a pretty cool guy. Yeah, I realize this means nothing. Michigan State
2 Florida v. 15 UCSB: Santa Barbara is probably one of the most beautiful places in America. I once saw some weird teenage hitchhikers driving through Gainesville on my way to Tampa. I think if you go to UCSB, it really isn’t for the basketball. Flore-da
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