Wow. Hammering out a full blue draft rewrite of a fairly intricate first draft script was challenging, but it was a cake walk compared to selecting my teams for our annual office March Madness pool. On the one hand, the Yellow Jackets are very talented and have the potential to play spoiler but, on the other hand, they struggle against perimeter shooters and have proven themselves underachievers. Tennessee boasts impressive wins over two number one seeds (Kentucky and Kansas), yet they’re hurting and facing a road-tough opponent in San Diego State. The Butler Bulldogs ride a 20-game winning streak into the tourney, yet they’re up against UTEP, one of the best defensive teams in the nation. So who’s it gonna be? Perennial first-round winner Xavier or upstart Minnesota? Scrappy Marquette or the more athletic Huskies? Boilermakers or Saints? Demon Deacons or Longhorns? Tigers or Tigers? The thing that kills me is that I’ll spend hours painstakingly researching and analyzing the match-ups before making my picks and still end up losing to Ashleigh who’ll base her choices on which team has the cuter animal moniker. Those Golden Gophers are no doubt looking mighty fine right about now.
Still, I feel that this is the year I’ll break out of my rut and, if not win the office pool, then at the very least finish with a better record than Ashleigh. I’m confident because, after perusing previous tourneys, I’m applying time-tested logic to the selection process. So forget all of those so-called experts with their up-to-the-minute injury reports and match-up breakdowns. Here are Joe’s rules to picking your winning bracket:
1. Go with all the number one and number two seeds in the first round. They NEVER lose early.
2. Never pick a college that has been named after some guy (ie. Murray State).
3. Tourney teams with similar nicknames will cancel each other out in the great karmic scheme of things (ie. bulldogs, wildcats, tigers, aggies, etc.)
4. Avoid teams with goofy-looking team emblems (ie. that wacky Demon Deacon guy or that dude with the big orange head).
5. Cross off any team with a bear nickname be it grizzly or otherwise.
6. Avoid teams with nicknames that either don’t make a helluvalot of sense (ie. Cornell Big Red) or seem more amusing than imposing (ie. Wofford Terriers).
7. As your tourney picks progress, drop teams with colors in their names. So long Blue Devils. Sayanora, Golden Eagles.
8. Then, pick high-flying animal life over their earth-bound counterparts (ie. Cardinals over Blue Devils).
9. Lose any team with a nickname you can’t envision. Can you picture a Gael? No. Then say goodbye to St. Mary’s.
10. Lose any teams with historical trappings (ie. Spartans, Colonials)
11. Drop any team with a nickname indicative of a profession, hobby, or activity you’ve never personally partaken in (ie. Mountaineers, Miners, Volunteers).
12. In later match-ups, select the animal or human representative you would be least likely to invite over for dinner. For instance, I’d rather have a spider over for dinner than a combative Irishman – which would lead me go with Notre Dame over Richmond.
Your personal preferences and experiences will dictate your results but, using my 12 step method yields the following Final Four picks:
The Oklahoma State Cowboys, The Florida Gators, The Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Louisville Cardinals.
Hmmm. In retrospect, I should’ve just picked names out of a hat. Or gone with the team with the cuter animal moniker. I think Ashleigh’s on to something.
Hey, here’s a peek at another Art Department package – this one for SGU’s sixth episode, Water:
Guessing those next five episode titles…
Episode #6: TRIAL AND ERROR
Episode #7: THE GREATER GOOD
Episode #8: *A***E
Episode #9: ???
Episode #10: RESURGENCE