Hey friends. I am coming back this year to continue my bracket challenge/outline of my strategies due to popular demand/I asked two friends if this was annoying and they said no plus my dad texted me about it.
I’m a little late in getting this written this year. It’s a long story involving working from home, printers, and the fact that I don’t have a full grasp on what Selection Sunday is. But I’m here now, writing out my super thoughtful and scientific strategy while watching Nick
find a forever wife getting his heart broken before ultimately ending up with January Jones on The Bachelor.
So just a refresher in case it’s your first time here. I will walk you through my filling out of the March Madness Bracket by writing down my every thought so you can copy my strategy if you need to. I will also be hosting a bracket challenge through this ol’ website. The winner will win a $35 Amazon gift card.* How to enter and stuff will be at the end because that’s when I’ll take the time to figure out how to tell you to enter.
*In the unlikely event that I win (again), I will treat myself to a Chick-fil-A milkshake and no prize will be awarded.
Okay, enough of this preamble.
First Round (Guys, where did the underline text go in WordPress? Well, I accidentally found a horizontal line a few minutes ago, so we’ll use that.)
I will begin in the EAST region because it seems logical. We read left to right.
Villanova vs. MSMARY/NO. No, Ms. Mary.
Wisconsin vs. VA Tech. Wisconsin. I feel like they’re good at basketball? And maybe one of their colors is blue?
Virginia vs. UNC-Wilm. Virginia. They’re usually here.
Florida vs. ETSU. Is this East Tennessee? Probably not, right? Googling. Well, it is. Way to go, y’all! Still, Florida.
SMU vs. Prov/USC. Wow. I feel like this should definitely be USC, right? SMU, though. Southern Methodist, right? Did they upset last year? Maybe? Hm. SMU is ranked 6, while the other is 11. We’ll go with it.
Baylor vs. New Mex St. Baylor Bears! (I have no real association with Baylor other than Union was often likened to Baylor and I am really not sure why. Still root for them every time.)
S. Carolina vs. Marquette. South Carolina. The Carolinas are good at basketball. Marquette is in Wisconsin. I just checked.
Duke vs. Troy. I was going to make a High School Musical joke, but I am watching Nick propose (or not propose) and I can’t concentrate enough. Zac Efron’s character is named Troy. Troy was good at basketball. Form your own punchlines. Duke will win this, though. Sorry, Zac.
Clockwise to the MIDWEST.
Kansas vs. NCCENT/UCD. First of all, that’s a lot of letters after the vs. Second of all, Kansas.
Miami (FL) vs. Michigan State. I’m going to go with Michigan. I was going to say that’s because they’re blue, but they’re actually green. Pretty sure. (Look how much I’ve learned over the last several years of doing this!) So, Michigan State, no reason.
Iowa St. vs. Nevada. Iowa State. No real reason other than basketball seems like more of an Iowan activity than a Nevada..n activity.
Purdue vs. Vermont. Real talk, I first spelled it Perdue. But they’re here every year. So, I’m going with Purdue.
Creighton vs. Rhode Island. Rhode Island, proud of you. Still going to pick Creighton because Creighton Basketball just sounds more natural than Rhode Island Basketball and because it’s ranked better.
Oregon vs. Iona. Iona, I think you were here last year. Perhaps for the first time? You know, I saw Oregon tweeted about at some point recently, so we’ll go with that.
Michigan vs. Oklahoma St. Def. Michigan.
Louisville vs. Jax State. I like how Jax State is abbreviated so cute. Betcha anything there are some little preschool Jaxes starting kindergarten soon. Anyway, Louisville.
N. Carolina vs. Texas So. Definitely North Carolina. Carolina? yep. Blue? yep.
Arkansas vs. Seton Hall. Seton Hall sounds like a British school. And I love England, so we’re going for it.
Minnesota vs. Middle Tenn. I know Minnesota is ranked higher, but MTSU is the home team here. Gotta go with the home team.
Butler vs. Winthrop. Butler is generally good at this.
Cincinnati vs. KSTATE/WF. This is difficult because I am assuming that is Wake Forest. And they’re the Demon Deacons which is just one of my favorite mascots. I visited the campus once and got a tshirt. Cinci is ranked higher than both the other teams. I’m going with K State/WF.
UCLA vs. Kent State. I think Kent State may be in Ohio? I dunno. We’re going with UCLA. And by we, I mean me.
Dayton vs. Wichita State. Hm. I’m going with Wichita State. I think they’re pretty good and they’re from Kansas.
Kentucky vs. N. Kentucky. Y’all, I didn’t even know there was a North Kentucky. BBN and all that stuff—Kentucky.
Gonzaga vs. S. Dak. St. Definitely Gonzaga. Didn’t they basically win it for me last year? I believe so.
Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt, for sure. Home team. Anchor Down. They’re scrappy (I mean, usually. I really don’t know how the basketball team is doing other than they won their last game.)
Notre Dame vs. Princeton. Princeton, you were here last year? Yes? Or was that Harvard? You’re super offended now, aren’t you? I think you were here and I went with you because you are smart. (Real talk: Just wrote out a whole explanation about why I would go with Yale. This is Princeton, Elizabeth. Not all Ivy League schools are the same.) Turns out, Princeton’s colors are orange and black, not navy like Yale’s. I’m going with Notre Dame.
W. Virginia vs. Bucknell. Bucknell’s name reminds me of a random town in west Tennessee. West Virginia. It’s ranked higher.
Maryland vs. Xavier. Xavier is ranked lower. Weird. I’m going with them anyway.
Florida St. vs. FGCU. I don’t know what FGCU is. Googling. Oh, Florida Gulf Coast University. Well, Florida State is ranked way higher. We’ll go with that. But, way to go FGCU. You made it to the dance (is this the right terminology?).
St. Mary’s vs. VCU. VCU, we meet again. I would have guessed that was Virginia Commonwealth University, and that was confirmed when I looked for that link. I cannot for the life of me remember that each year. It’s a mental block. To make up for it, I’ll go with VCU here.
Arizona vs. North Dakota. Arizona. They’re ranked higher and stuff.
Villanova vs. Wisconsin. Villanova. They’re always here and they are ranked a lot higher.
Virginia vs. Florida. This is difficult. I think they’re both always here. What are Virginia’s colors? Navy and orange. But y’all, their coach is Tony Bennett. Who knew he coached? You think Lady Gaga comes to the games? (I know it’s a different Tony Bennett, but, y’all, why have I not seen this joke before? Probably because I ignore a lot of sports tweets.) Anyway. Florida is also basically blue and orange. What. a. matchup. I’m going with Tony Bennett. He seems to be having a resurgence in his career right now and I’d love to see Gaga’s halftime show adapted for the basketball court.
SMU vs. Baylor. Baylor. Again, no real reason.
S. Carolina vs. Duke. Duke, definitely.
Kansas vs. Michigan State. Kansas because they usually go pretty far and they’re blue.
Iowa State vs. Purdue. I think Purdue is pretty good at basketball.
Creighton vs. Oregon. I have no thoughts on this. Oregon, I guess. They’re ranked higher. Sorry this is so boring.
Michigan vs. Louisville. I think Michigan is blue, but Louisville is ranked higher. I’m still going with Michigan.
North Carolina vs. Seton Hall. Listen, I’m now rethinking the English school in basketball. They aren’t actually good at basketball, in general, in England. Plus, let’s be real, North Carolina is always good at basketball.
Middle Tennessee vs. Butler. Butler. Middle Tennessee is the home team and while I saw someone say that they were ranked lower than they should be, I just don’t know. Wait. I take it all back. Sometimes you have to pick an upset. I’ll pick MTSU.
KSTATE/WF vs. UCLA. Eh, UCLA.
Wichita State vs. Kentucky. Kentucky, for sure.
Gonzaga vs. Vanderbilt. Oh, Vandy. Hm. I have to go with Gonzaga, I think. Sorry, ‘Dores.
Notre Dame vs. W. Virginia. Um, Notre Dame.
Xavier vs. Florida St. Oh man. I have to go with Florida State here due to ratings.
VCU vs. Arizona. Arizona. No real reason. Again.
Bachelor Spoiler Alert: Nick proposed to Vanessa. She said yes. They seem somewhat happy, but are still getting to know one another, so they haven’t set a date yet.
Villanova vs. Florida. Villanova. I have a good feeling about them this year. I guess. Go with your gut!
Baylor vs. Duke. Duke is ranked one above Baylor but will definitely win because they are blue.
Kansas vs. Purdue. Kansas always and forever. Or at least until the next round.
Oregon vs. Michigan. Oregon. They’re ranked higher and I just think I heard someone say they were good. Well, you know. I think Michigan went far last year. Maybe Michigan. I am not confident either way. We’ll stick with Oregon.
North Carolina vs. MTSU. Sorry, MTSU. North Carolina is definitely winning this one.
UCLA vs. Kentucky. Kentucky. They’re usually good and they’re blue.
Gonzaga vs. Notre Dame. Gon-za-ga.
Florida State vs. Arizona. Arizona. Still no reason.
Villanova vs. Duke. I have no idea why, but Villanova. Fun fact I just learned on Google: Villanova’s mascot is a wildcat named Will D. Cat. Not super original, but I don’t even see a name for Duke’s Blue Devil. Villanova.
Kansas vs. Oregon. For sure Kansas because Oregon’s colors aren’t even blue.
Gonzaga vs. Arizona. I think Gonzaga went really far last year and I picked it because it is just fun to say and everyone thought that wasn’t a legitimate reason but then I won. I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened.
North Carolina vs. Kentucky. I don’t think Kentucky has done super well this year. Just because I haven’t seen a lot of BBN tweets this season. So North Carolina.
(Now questioning whether or not I’ve labeled these correctly. Per usual.)
Villanova vs. Gonzaga. This is tough. Both ranked number 1; both fun words to say. I think Villanova.
Kansas vs. North Carolina. Hm. North Carolina. No reason.
[The Bachelor is finally over. We endured several awkward minutes after the final rose, but c’est la Bachelor. I’ll finish this in the morning.]
Villanova vs. North Carolina. Hm. North Carolina is both in a Carolina and a blue team. Villanova is also a blue team, but is from … Pennsylvania. Pretty sure I’ve looked that up before. Possibly every year. But for some reason I feel like Villanova did really well last year and college students only change over every four years except probably the starters were seniors and so they will have gone to the NBA. I’m going with my gut—Villanova.
Annnnd for some reason none of this got saved in my actual bracket. Good thing I wrote out my whole strategy here so I could remember all my calculations!
If you would like to enter to win the $35 gift card to Amazon + bragging rights for an entire year, you can enter the edhyndman.com bracket challenge here. I don’t think there’s a password because if there is I can’t find it. Choose wisely, and have fun!