The 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four matchups are now set, so I decided to take a peek at how my brackets were shaping up. This year I entered two brackets in two separate pools. Total cost: $10. Potential winnings: $750. One pool could net me $600, while the other only $150. Clearly, I’m hoping to dominate the $600 pool.
With bated breath, I logged in to check my brackets. My heart rate accelerated when I saw that I was at the top of BOTH pools.
March Madness Pool #1
March Madness Pool #2
This has never happened to me – I’m usually out by the Sweet Sixteen. Could I actually make some money?! Ultimately, to win the $600 pool I need Syracuse to win the whole thing. If Louisville wins, I should at least get 2nd. However, any further advancement by Michigan, and my brackets are busted like Kevin Ware’s leg.
Reflections on the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight Games
Another year leaves me wondering why I keep thinking Ohio State can play basketball. Thad Matta’s gotta go. Allowing your team to rely on poor perimeter shots instead of getting them to drive to the basket cost your Bucks the game, Mr. Matta. As early as late in the first half, it was clear that when the Buckeyes drove to the hoop, the Shockers couldn’t keep from fouling them. Ohio State finally adopted this approach late in the second half, but by then it was way too late.
On the flip side, Michigan was awesome. As a Buckeye fan, this should make me want to puke (which, after checking my brackets, it does indeed), but man oh man was it great to see them wipe the smirk off the face of Bill Self coming back on Kansas in OT. That game was absolutely riveting. Coach Self still can’t bear to look (top left).
And what can you say about the Florida game? I believe Billy Donovan’s expression says it all (bottom left). I was pulling for the Wolverines (calm down fellow Buckeyes) as they are all that remain of our lauded Big Ten. Of course, that was before I realized how detrimental Michigan winning could be to my winnings. Sorry Team Go Blue, I’m back to hating you now.
Syracuse didn’t look very crisp against Marquette, but the defense was staunch. They’re going to need a replication of that defensive performance against Michigan – though Nik Stauskas can’t possibly stay that hot from downtown, can he?
And Louisville? My heart goes out to Kevin Ware (and, yeah, I apologize for the tasteless joke earlier). What an unbelievably freak occurrence. I’m with his teammates in wishing him the speediest of recoveries. Despite the loss, Louisville stayed mentally tough and made the phrase “Duke sucks” seem quite legitimate. I don’t care how charming our Cinderella Shockers are, Louisville won’t have any sympathy. I see Wichita State getting pressed into ground wheat.
What’s Next (Here Comes the Pessimism)
I’ll take Louisville over Wichita St. by eight. Michigan will beat Syracuse by one on a last-second, boneheaded turnover (because the college hoops gods hate me). Louisville wins the whole she-bang 78 – 70. I win about $200. Just about enough to cover the bottle of Dom Perignon I bought to celebrate finally winning a March Madness pool.