Monday, March 25, 2013

No Really, My Bracket was Great for a Minute

By Justin Cates

I only filled out one bracket this year so that, in theory, I could remember the teams I picked while sitting in a noisy bar or watching games at a birthday bash while distracted by a pantless push-up contest.

As it turns out, I can't help but forget how far I had Syracuse going or if I should be rooting for or against Minnesota because I have the short term memory of a goldfish.

None the less, for the first two days of the tournament I was living high off the hog. My bracket was almost perfect complete with the correct upset selections of LaSalle, Minnesota and California. Yeah I missed Harvard and Florida Gulf Coast, but so did nearly everyone else. I should have been giving interviews on TV explaining my methods.

In fact I was surprised to wake up and check my standing in the ESPN bracket challenge Saturday morning was as follows.

That's right, I had one of the best brackets in the country and it was then I realized I was doomed. 

No bracket goes long without a catastrophic misfire unless you've made proper sacrifices at the alter of the basketball Gods. But I'm a Hokie, the basketball Gods hate me. 

Saturday started off fine with a beer downtown and a Michigan State victory. Then back to the house for a little drinking game during the Louisville win that kept my show rolling.   

The game was basically one drink for a made three-pointer and two drinks for an alley-oop. We quickly ruled that a made two-pointer combined with a made free throw counted as a three, then we added dunks to the list, then charges, then commercial breaks and soon it was, "Hey let's play beer pong!"

That brings us to the evening and that's when things went south on a number of fronts. 

Why exactly I picked Gonzaga to make a run is beyond me. They've been one and done in the tournament every year since I was in high school and somehow I decided they were getting to the Final Four. Perhaps it's best I hadn't been giving interviews.

I figured I was done even though it was the only Final Four team I'd missed on—in fact it still is. 

But then the Syracuse game happened and like a dummy I'm cheering along with all the other 'Cuse fans I was hanging with, thinking I had picked them over Cal.

That was incorrect.

It turns out I somehow had Cal over the Orange and didn't realize until the following morning when I found my challenge ranking hovering around 700,000. 

Now, as I rest comfortably just below 3 millionth I can finally just watch and enjoy the mayhem. 

I've been enjoying the bittersweet triumphs of Virginia Tech transfer (seriously they mention this constantly) Tyrone Garland as he's helped LaSalle to the Sweet Sixteen with his, 'Southwest Philly Floater'. 

Everyone loves Florida Gulf Coast, even though I'm not convinced it's a real school. I'm game for more of this bunch as they seem to have a blast ruining everyone's bracket. Plus, I'm sick of hearing how loyal Billy Donovan is to Florida. 

Am I the only one who remembers him taking to Orlando Magic job for a day? Actually, yeah I probably am. 

"I'm happy to be here....NOT....Rickrolled NBA style!!!!"

I'll continue to disregard the many rodent faces of coach K and his boring Blue Devils and I'll keep enjoying my guilty pleasure by kind-of, sort-of rooting for Miami. I can't help it, that Jim Larranaga is so darn likable!

It should be fun even if your bracket, like mine, has taken a turn for the worst. 

In fact, that's probably for the best. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself.

"You WILL respect me!!! EEEEEEEK"


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