My first thought was to pick all of the teams that have dogs as mascots. However, when the first game I looked at was top-seeded Kansas against the Boston University Terriers, I thought better of that strategy. Besides, I couldn’t give a damn about Huskies and Bulldogs, especially that Georgetown clown. There are far too many of those big, mean breeds in the Big Dance, and from what I’ve seen, large dogs don’t dance none too good. When a bigtime school becomes the Fighting Wieners, call me.
Anyway, I’ve watched enough basketball games by now to know what to look for in this tournament. Those blowhard TV announcers keep saying the same things before, during and after every game, so learning the logic isn’t hard. At tournament time, every winning team needs:
- Strong guard play;
- Accurate 3-point shooting;
- A stingy defense;
- Upper-class leadership, on and off the floor;
- A positive turnover margin;
- To hold its own down low;
- Clutch free-throw shooting;
- An experienced coach who can make in-game adjustments;
- A pep band with a good sense of humor.
So this morning I curled up on my orange blankey and filled out my bracket with some research from the daily newspaper and USA Today and Mike’s SU basketball sweatshirt for inspiration. After thinking it over for about five minutes, I just zipped right through it. Now, I realize I didn’t go too far out on a limb, picking all four #1 seeds to go to the Final Four. I’m about as daring as President Obama on that score. Unlike Bo’s master, however, I like the Ohio State Buckeyes to prevail. When I was done with my bracket, I barked twice and rose up in my own version of the Big Dance.
Well, that was my big effort of the day. Now I better rest a while before tonight’s opening round games get going again. Check back in three weeks to see how I did, especially weighing my picks against Mike (that chump picked the ‘Cuse to beat Ohio State and go all the way) and Heather (gimme a break; like Canadians know anything about this game, eh?).
Meanwhile, on my walk in the park with Mike today I found two more balls: a lacrosse ball (kind of hard and heavy) and another baseball (with its cover already coming off!). As soon as this basketball madness is over, it will be spring, and I can hardly wait.