The last time I left you bracket-crunchers, my opus of a random bracket selection for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was complete. Now comes the time to see how my randomly selected picks fare against the reality of March Madness.
I don’t know whether to happy or annoyed. So far my Sheets of Idiocy, this experiment in filling out brackets randomly for March Madness, are not the golden ticket to a perfect bracket, millions of imaginary dollars and all the internets. I didn’t really expect it to happen that way. It’s not as if I took my Sheets of Idiocy and said, “Hey, this looks pretty good. I think I’ll use these selections instead of my own based on sports knowledge and educated guesses.” No, I filled out my bracket all on my own.
My shame lies in the fact that my own bracket isn’t faring any better than this one. After the Round of 64, the round that separates the pretenders from the Cinderellas on the court and around the water cooler, I have found myself trying to figure out if I should smile or cry.
In some ways, my Sheets of Idiocy looked like 99.9% of real brackets (approximately [no, not really]) by picking #3 Baylor over #14 Georgia State. We all know how that one went. R.J. Hunter hits a game-winning 3-pointer to knock Baylor out of the tournament, his father out of his seat and most of our bracket sheets into the waste-paper basket. This game was like an explanation of the Sheets of Idiocy: it’s not about picking the underdog across the board. In random selections, even a favorite can be picked, and lose.
At the same time, a favorite can randomly be picked to win, and really win. And when I say win, I mean win big. And when I say win big, I mean “Did you even bother watching the second half of that game? It looked like a scrimmage.”
The game I’m referring to, of course, is #1 Kentucky’s decimation of #16 Hampton. This is why a #16 seed has never beaten a #1 seed in the history of this tournament. It all but proves that the basketball gods guided my hand once in a while as I blindly pinned picks on the bracket.
This guiding seemed particularly true for my random pick of the entire tournament: #14 UAB over #3 Iowa State.
I can tell you exactly where I was when it happened. I was at my desk, glancing at a score tracker from time to time while I endured normal work things. It wasn’t until I took a break that I looked at my phone and saw that the screen had exploded. There were so many messages and social media update icons on my phone that it had pushed my phone’s connection off the screen. I had never seen such a thing. It was March Madness.
The reason my phone had digitally exploded? The University of Alabama at Birmingham beat Iowa State, destroying almost 80% of brackets, approximately (again, not really.) It was a bittersweet moment. Sure, the Sheets of Idiocy got something right. On the other hand, my real bracket had Iowa State going to the Sweet 16. So I’m crying right there with you, everyone.
Other highlights to the genius, or lack of common sense, of the Sheets of Idiocy include:
Oregon over Oklahoma State (sweet)
UNC over Harvard (not this year, Crimson)
Gonzaga over North Dakota State (obviously)
Maryland over Valparaiso (almost)
Texas Southern over Arizona (yeah, right)
Coastal Carolina over Wisconsin (better chance of being struck by lightning three times in the same spot)
Stay tuned after each round, as I will be updating my scoring, for better or for worse.
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.