It is that time of year, y’all. Time for March Madness. I know from the crazy success this post had last year that many of you are waiting to learn my strategy before filling out your own brackets.
Do not worry. I am here to share my secrets once again. Also, new this year, you will have the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card if you play along. So that’s exciting. More on that at the bottom of the page.
A little disclaimer before we get started. I am going into this slightly more informed than I was last year. I kind of know who the best teams are in the SEC. Because I live here. And because, as stated last year, Vandy is my team.
Like last year, I’ll be typing my thoughts as I fill out the bracket, because it helps to really get inside the head of a professional as much as possible when trying to copy their strategy. I understand. I am here to help. Here we go:
I printed my bracket off CBS Sports and boy, is this writing tiny! I can read it if I squint a little, though, so we’re good.
Kentucky vs. Round 1 #1, whatever the heck that means. Kentucky. They won 24 games in a row before Vandy beat them, so I think they got this.
Iowa State vs. Connecticut. Connecticut. No reason, just a hunch. Also, I think that maybe their uniforms are blue. Blue teams are generally better at basketball. That is a fact most sports commentators won’t tell you.
Wichita State vs. VCU. I’m not sure who VCU is but their a seed 12 (am I using that terminology correctly? Just go with it) team and Wichita St. is 5. Plus, what else do they have to do in Kansas in the winter besides play basketball? Answer: nothing. (Wichita is in Kansas, right? [google search wichita.] Yes, it is. Thanks, mom, for those geography lessons. Finally, they’re coming in handy.) Wichita State, it is.
Indiana vs. New Mexico State. New Mexico is new to the tournament this year. So, way to go, guys! That’s quite an accomplishment. Please know that if you’ve made it this far, you’re already a winner. Also, I’m picking Indiana.
UNLV vs. Colorado. UNLV is Las Vegas, right? Wait, people live in Vegas? Besides CSI and casino staff? Hm. UNLV is seed 6, Colorado is seen 11. Going with UNLV.
Baylor vs. S. Dakota St. Baylor.
Notre Dame vs. Xavier. Too bad. I always like picking Xavier because of their fun name. But I’m pretty sure Notre Dame is better. I don’t know why or how I would know that, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.
Duke vs. Lehigh. Lehigh? huh? Duke. duh.
Michigan State vs. Long Island. Like the whole Island? I didn’t know we could enter as a geographical location. Michigan State.
Memphis vs. St. Louis. Good idea, NCAA. Put two of the most dangerous cities in the US together for a basketball game. That’s gonna end well. I’m going with Memphis. Why? Home state, blue uniforms, I hear they’re good.
New Mexico vs. Long Beach State. Wait, is this the New Mexico that’s new this year? I don’t know. Twitter didn’t specify. I’ll pick New Mexico. We all know basketball isn’t a beach sport. I’ll pick you in the sand volleyball bracket, LBS.
Louisville vs. Davidson. Louisville. Kentucky, as a state, is pretty good at basketball. And horse riding.
Murray State vs. Colorado State. Murray State (see above. [they are in KY, right? (google: yes.)]).
Marquette vs. Round 1 #2. Marquette. Two reasons: they’re Seed 3 and it will make it easier if I just go with them, since they’re already on the bracket.
Florida vs. Virginia. (Full disclosure: I read that “Florida. Flo-Rida. Florida.”) Going with Florida.
Missouri vs. Norfolk State. Norfolk State? Where is that? Sounds like an Appalachian school. (google: yep, Virginia.) Missouri. Nothing against Appalachia. I love Appalachia.
Syracuse vs. NC-Asheville. I think Syracuse is usually pretty good.
Kansas State vs. Southern Mississippi. hm. I don’t really know about either of these. Kansas State is ranked one higher. I’ll go with them.
Vanderbilt vs. Harvard. Two smart teams. Definitely Vanderbilt, though. Go ‘Dores! Y’all, they beat Kentucky! We’re really excited about it in Nashville.
Wisconsin vs. Montana. Two states with little to do in the winter. Well, Wisconsin has the Mall of America…no, I think that’s Minnesota. I get those two confused. It doesn’t really matter. I’m going with Wisconsin.
Cincinnati vs. Texas. Normally, I’d go with Texas. But I guess football is really more their thing (FNL). And I remember Cincinnati being pretty good at basketball, I think.
Florida State vs. St. Bonavent. Saint Who? or does that stand for State? State Bonavent? I don’t even know where that is. Florida State.
Gonzaga vs. West Virginia. Gon-za-ga (<the way I always say it) for the win. Interesting names move teams up in my bracket.
Ohio State vs. Loyola (Md.). They had to put the state in there because no one’s heard of it, I guess. (google: loyola.) Nevermind, there are about 10 Loyola schools. Also, CBS, state abbreviations are two capital letters, no period. Ohio State for sure.
North Carolina vs. Round 1 #3. North Carolina, hands down.
Creighton vs. Alabama. Okay, so I had no idea that Creighton even existed. It’s ranked higher than Alabama. Also, I read on facebook that Alabama isn’t very good at basketball, but I don’t know if that was a dig at someone just after a game or if it’s a fact. I suppose Creighton. Sorry, Bama.
Temple vs. Round 1 #4. Temple. They’re in it every year, so they must be fairly good. Right? I mean, players are only there for 4 years, but I suppose a team’s excellence also depends a lot on the coaching. No clue if it’s the same guy as it has been.
Michigan vs. Ohio. Michigan. They’re ranked higher and I once had a roommate who was a passionate Michigan (football) fan.
San Diego State vs. NC State. hmm..didn’t we already have NC State? nope. That was NC Asheville. Is Duke in NC? It’s probably irrelevant. I’ll go with San Diego State.
Georgetown vs. Belmont. Now this is a dilemma. Belmont is ranked way below Georgetown. But they’re the home team, the smaller school, the underdogs. However, I’m pretty sure Georgetown is good at basketball. I guess I’ll have to go with them.
St. Mary’s vs. Purdue. Purdue. Why? St. Mary is a girl (I can say that because I am a girl. And also a Christian. I’m not sure that matters, but I thought I’d mention it). Purdue is typically in this bracket. So, even though St. Mary’s is ranked higher, I’m going for Purdue.
Kansas vs. Detroit. Kansas. Kansas, let’s have a little talk. You have completely, totally messed up my bracket for the last two years. Don’t do it again. Okay? Okay.
SOUTH (P.S. this geography is seriously messed up.)
KY vs. Connecticut. 24. Games. In. A. Row. Kentucky.
Wichita State vs. Indiana. Indiana. Mainly because Wichita State seems so obscure. (insert hipster joke here)
UNLV vs. Baylor. Baylor because I feel like we have something in common since I went to Union and they’re sort of similar. Or maybe not. Whatever.
Notre Dame vs. Duke. Duke. Because 1. Blue 2. They’re everyone’s enemy who is a basketball fan (There have been some passionate discussions here in the office involving Duke. Not that I paid attention to the details, I just heard “Duke” and that level of volume that alludes to high emotional states.). 3. They’re famous for basketball.
Michigan State vs. Memphis. Memphis…Grizzlies? No, that’s the pro team. Right? Are they the tigers? Memphis Tigers? I don’t know. I pick them to win anyway.
New Mexico vs. Louisville. Louisville only because they’re ranked one higher. And the whole Kentucky-is-good-at-basketball theory.
Murray St. vs. Marquette. This is a toughie, because I’m going against what I just said about Kentucky. However, Marquette is a name that’s tossed around often during March Madness. I’m assuming that’s because they’re good and not because their players are constantly getting arrested or something.
Florida vs. Missouri. Florida. Because they’re a big school and they’re good at football. And because one year I went to Atlanta for the final four and they were still in it. I don’t remember who won, but they were in the final four.
Syracuse vs. Kansas St. Syracuse is ranked higher.
Vanderbilt vs. Wisconsin. Vanderbilt. Wisconsin is ranked slightly higher, but I don’t care. Vanderbilt beat Kentucky and that’s all that matters right now.
Cincinatti vs. Florida State. Cincinatti. Oh, wait. Florida State is ranked higher….decisions, decisions. Cincinatti. Why the heck not?
Gonzaga vs. Ohio State. hmm….I like Gonzaga…’s name. But I’m going to have to go with Ohio State.
North Carolina vs. Creighton. North Carolina. Blue uniforms. From North Carolina (it’s like Kentucky).
Temple vs. Michigan. Gut says Temple….checking the rankings…it’s one below, we’ll go with Temple.
San Diego State vs. Georgetown. Georgetown, guys. San Diego, y’all have a really nice zoo, I hear. (bright side?)
Purdue vs. Kansas. Kansas, I swear, if you mess this up…..I will do absolutely nothing.
Kentucky vs. Indiana. Have y’all been paying attention? Kentucky.
Baylor vs. Duke. Again, Duke.
Memphis vs. Louisville. …checking rankings…Louisville, I guess…no, Memphis. Because anyone can win this. Remember last year’s crazy tournament?
Marquette vs. Florida. Florida (see story about final four above).
Syracuse vs. Vanderbilt. Gotta go with Vanderbilt.
Cincinatti vs. Ohio State. Ohio State.
North Carolina vs. Temple. North Carolina, y’all.
Georgetown vs. Kansas. I’m going with Georgetown because I’m bitter about Kansas messing everything up two years in a row (oh, you picked up on that?).
Wait, I’m confused. There aren’t enough brackets here or something. Oh, nevermind. I wrote it inside the box instead of on the line. We’re good now.
Kentucky vs. Duke….Kentucky.
Ohio State vs. Vanderbilt….Vanderbilt.
Memphis vs. Florida…Florida.
North Carolina vs. Georgetown…North Carolina.
Wait…this should be the Championship. Perhaps all these are labelled wrong? No, nevermind. Sorry.
Vanderbilt vs. North Carolina….North Carolina (sorry Vandy. I’m still a fan!)
Kentucky vs. Florida….Kentucky.
So there you have it. You can see my bracket completed at CBS Sports where I have set up a bracket group for this blog.
That’s where the winning a $25 Amazon gift card comes in. If you want to enter your bracket into the competition, follow this link: http://edhyndman.mayhem.cbssports.com/e. The group name is edhyndman.com and the password to enter is naminganimals. You have until Thursday at 11am Eastern Time to set up your bracket. This is a fun group, no judgement, so just pick teams at random if you want. You probably have a chance of winning, no matter how ill informed you are. Example: last year’s bracket challenge.
*This blog is in no way endorsed or affiliated with CBS Sports. I just already had a username set up with them. CBS Sports, if you want to hire me to write entertaining columns like this one, my email address can be found on the About Me page.