I follow college basketball very loosely, in fact I rarely watch a game all season until the big dance comes around. But when the big dance is on, I’m hooked. There’s just something about collegiate sports in the States that adds so much drama and intensity when it comes down to the wire. I just finished working a collegiate volleyball national championship here in Victoria, and there’s just so much uncertainty when it comes to amateur sport compared to the pros. The #1 seed team in the CCAA men’s volleyball national championship not only didn’t win a game, they didn’t win a single set let alone a game until their final 6th/7th placement game. It just goes to show that anything can happen in collegiate sports, which makes it so much fun.
That being said, I’m putting together my March Madness bracket at 1:00am on Tuesday. Why? Because I’m sick as a dog and I can’t sleep.
Again, my knowledge of this year’s tournament is minimal, I know the big names (Bagley, Trae Young, Ayton) but aside from them, and my hatred of Grayson Allen, most of my picks are basically random. I’ve never had any good luck with my brackets in past years, and I’ve never picked a winner let alone kept a bracket in tact past the round of 64. But this is 2018, my time. And my bracket will last longer than Hayden’s, which is all that really matters. With that being said, here’s my 2018 March Madness bracket.
ROUND OF 64
(1) Virginia vs. (16) UMBC
132-0 since 1998, this isn’t the year for a #1 seed to be upset, right?
(8) Creighton vs. (9) Kansas State
I’m always 50/50 with these 8v9 matchups, but I don’t like how Creighton is ripping off my Toronto Blue Jays, so I’m picking Kansas State.
(5) Kentucky vs. (12) Davidson
A staple in the tournament, I just don’t see a team coached by Calipari bowing out in the first round.
(4) Arizona vs. (13) Buffalo
I like Arizona. A lot. DeAndre Ayton is an absolute stud. My co-worker was raving about him last week at work and I didn’t believe him when he put “Dwight Howard” and “jumpshot” in the same sentence. I got Arizona for sure after watching highlights of that PAC-12 championship game.
(6) Miami vs. (11) Loyola-Chicago
Weren’t people upset Miami even got into the tournament? Why are they the 6 seed? This is the first big upset I got, because I’ve never even heard of Loyola-Chicago and why the heck not.
(3) Tennessee vs. (14) Wright State
If I could point out Wright State on a map, I’d pick them over Tennessee, but I can’t, so I’m taking Tennessee.
(7) Nevada vs. (10) Texas
I know who the Longhorns are. They’ve had some terrific athletes come and go through their program. While their record (19-14) is much worse than Nevada’s (27-7), I’ve just got a hunch Texas takes this one.
(2) Cincinnati vs. (15) Georgia State
I actually had Georgia State pulling off this upset, but last minute I decided to switch it back so hopefully this doesn’t backfire. I just can’t name anyone on Cincinnati and I haven’t watched them play at all this year. But, their record is outstanding and everyone has pretty high hopes for them, I’ll let them past the first round.
(1) XAV vs. (16) NCC/TS
I don’t know who NCC or TS is. I’ll take the #1.
(8) Missouri vs. (9) Florida State
Just comes down to the school. I know FSU, don’t really know Missouri. Basically flipping a coin again here.
(5) OSU vs. (12) South Dakota State
Ohio State has ice in their veins. 😉
(4) Gonzaga vs. (13) UNCG
Out here on the west coast, a lot of people here root for Gonzaga. I’ve tried to pledge my allegiance to Washington, but again, very loose with US college sports when it’s not the big games. I’ll take Gonzaga in this one just because they’re the better team, but they always seem to fall flat when I pick them going far.
(6) Houston vs. (11) San Diego State
Because why not.
(3) Michigan vs. (14) Montana
The Fab Five is a terrific documentary. Wolverines take it.
(7) Texas A&M vs. (10) Providence
(2) UNC vs. (15) Lipsomb
No way the Tar Heels bow out in the first round, I watched their showdown with Duke from a couple weeks ago, guys can play.
(1) Villanova vs. (16) LIU/RAD
(8) Virginia Tech vs. (9) Alabama
Wonder what the money line is for Virginia Tech to make it farther than Virginia? Might not be a bad bet to take up. Plus, Alabama already won one college sport, they’re not winning two.
(5) West Virginia vs. (12) Murray State
How many teams does Virginia have?
(4) Wichita State vs. (13) Marshall
Another hunch pick. The higher seeds don’t all make it onto the round of 32, just feels like this could be an upset.
(6) Florida vs. (11) BON/LA
I don’t know either of the 11 seed teams, but looking at Florida’s record, maybe they were the ones who weren’t supposed to be in the tournament? It was either Florida or Miami. I’m taking the upset again.
(3) Texas Tech vs. (14) SF Austin
I like the letter “t”.
(7) Arkansas vs. (10) Butler
Butler’s logo kind of looks like my old high school mascot. Actually it’s identical to Gonzaga’s, either way I’m picking Butler because I like dogs. Expert analysis over here.
(2) Purdue vs. (15) CSU Fullerton
Purdue usually does pretty good. I’ll take em.
(1) Kansas vs. (16) Penn
Kansas has produced some of my favourite players (Wiggins, Embiid) so I’m taking the Jayhawks.
(8) Seton Hall vs. (9) NC State
Wasn’t Seton Hall the name of the school that the Mighty Ducks go to in D3? I’m taking NC State, unless Adam Banks is coming off the bench.
(5) Clemson vs. (12) New Mexico State
Orange is a nice colour.
(4) Auburn vs. (13) Charleston
My boy Cam Newton came from Auburn, hence they have to make it past the round of 64, the only way Charleston wins is if they start wrapping the foil and change their branding to the Chiefs.
(6) TCU vs. (11) ASU/SY
Wait, was it Syracuse who wasn’t supposed to make it in? Oh no.
(3) Michigan State vs. (14) Bucknell
I don’t think the Spartans will fall on their face quite as hard as they have in years past.
(7) URI vs. (10) Oklahoma
Considering I have never heard of URI and I expect Trae Young to drop 35 in the first couple games of this tournament, I’m taking the Sooners.
(2) Duke vs. (15) Iona
Did I mention that I hate Duke?
ROUND OF 32
(1) Virginia vs. (9) Kansas State
I mean, they are the best team in the country for a reason.
(4) Arizona vs. (5) Kentucky
What a game this would be. Again, really like Arizona. Sorry Calipari.
(3) Tennessee vs. (11) Loyola-Chicago
I was on the fence of giving this one to Loyola-Chicago to make things interesting, but I decided to take the safe bet.
(2) Cincinnati vs. (10) Texas
Just kidding. There’s gotta be upsets somewhere.
(1) Xavier vs. (9) Florida State
Again, gotta put these upsets somewhere. Plus, haven’t really heard the buzz about Xavier. I also don’t really listen much so maybe that’s why.
(4) Gonzaga vs. (5) OSU
Ice. In. Their. Veins. Maybe next year Gonzaga.
(3) Michigan vs. (11) San Diego State
As long as Michigan remembers how many timeouts they have, they should win this one. Stay classy.
(2) UNC vs. (7) Texas A&M
I’ve already got one Texas team pulling off an upset, can’t have two.
(1) Villanova vs. (8) Virginia Tech
Wanted to give this one to Virginia Tech, but I just don’t see it happening.
(5) West Virginia vs. (13) Marshall
Come on Marshall! They’ve got the underdog Cinderella story in the making.
(3) Texas Tech vs. (11) BON/LA
Can’t go wrong with those “t”‘s.
(2) Purdue vs. (10) Butler
I can’t go overboard with upsets, I’ll stick to the script with this one.
(1) Kansas vs. (9) NC State
I was so… so close to picking NC State on this one. But I’ve got another upset coming in this division.
(4) Auburn vs. (5) Clemson
Super Cam. MVP. From Auburn. Go Tigers.
(3) Michigan State vs. (6) TCU
Hayden likes Michigan State. Go TCU.
(2) Duke vs. (10) Oklahoma
I HOPE YOUNG DROPS 60 AND THE BLUE DEVILS THROW IN THE TOWEL AFTER THE FIRST HALF AND THE CLEANING CREW HAS TO MOP GRAYSON ALLEN’S TEARS OFF THE COURT.
Was that too far? Let’s move on.
(1) Virginia vs. (4) Arizona
Arizona. Ayton. They’re good.
(3) Tennessee vs (10) Texas
I’ll just take the higher seed here.
(5) OSU vs. (9) Florida State
ICE. IN. THEIR. VEINS.
(2) UNC vs. (3) Michigan
I mean, if it weren’t for Chris Webber, the Wolverines wouldn’t even be in that position. Plus I like the blue and gold combo.
(1) Villanova vs. (13) Marshall
(2) Purdue vs (3) Texas Tech
Gotta go with the high seed after the last pick.
(1) Kansas vs. (4) Auburn
As much as I want to take the Tigers, they’re not taking down Kansas.
(6) TCU vs. (10) Oklahoma
Trae Young is good at basketball.
(3) Tennessee vs. (4) Arizona
I’m still watching that one dunk from the PAC-12 championship game on repeat.
(3) Michigan vs. (5) OSU
ICE. Just kidding. Fab Five better.
(2) Purdue vs. (13) Marshall
Had to make them bow out eventually.
(1) Kansas vs. (10) Oklahoma
Trae Young can’t guard all five positions at once. Eventually someone’s going to exploit the rest of the Sooners and Young will have an off game.
(3) Michigan vs. (4) Arizona
(1) Kansas vs. (2) Purdue
There’s no way a Jayhawk resembles anything like what Kansas’ mascot looks like.
(1) Kansas vs. (4) Arizona
DeAndre Ayton leads the Wildcats to an NCAA title. I can see it now.
71-67 is my final score, by the way.
And there you have it. My complete bracket. I’m sure 3 games into the tournament my bracket will be shredded, but hey, let’s give it a go.