With the NCAA mens basketball tournament 65-team bracket announced Sunday night, you’re probably like the millions who will waste precious office time to fill out brackets in a haste for the chance to win a handful of crumpled-up one-dollar bills.
As you hastily fill out your brackets, you’re always looking for an edge. Some unheralded high seed to beat a low seed. An “upset,” if you will.
Anyone can pick the No. 1 seeds to win, but if you want to definitely make a statement, pick all upsets! So that you’re not alone, I will pick each team as an upset. And I can justify each of these picks:
No. 16 Southern will beat No. 1 Duke because: Southern won the SWAC, and I like saying that one-syllable acronym. Say it yourself – don’t you feel happier? Also, some guy from North Carolina told me so.
No. 9 UNC-Wilmington will beat No. 8 George Washington because: UNCW won the Colonial League, and GW’s mascot is the Colonials. So they should beat anything colony-related.
No. 12 Texas A&M will beat No. 5 Syracuse because: Gerry McNamara is overrated.
No. 13 Iona will beat No. 4 LSU because: LSU’s mascot, the Tiger, couldn’t survive a temperate climate like the United Kingdom, home of Iona’s mascot – the Gaels.
No. 11 Southern Illinois will beat No. 6 West Virginia because: Southern Illinois wasn’t cocky enough to break off from Illinois and become their own state.
No. 14 Northwestern State will beat No. 3 Iowa because: NWSU lost to Iowa State by fewer points (4) than Iowa did (12).
No. 10 North Carolina State will beat No. 7 California because: The ghost of Jim Valvano is much more powerful than the arm of Kyle Boller. Plus the East Coast bias says so.
No. 15 Penn will beat No. 2 Texas because: You shouldn’t mess with Texas, but you should never fuck with a Quaker.
No. 16 Oral Roberts will beat No. 1 Memphis because: Memphis didn’t pray before the game, and God has some money riding on this.
No. 9 Bucknell will beat No. 8 Arkansas because: I just want to see Bucknell pop their jerseys again.
No. 12 Kent State will beat No. 5 Pittsburgh because: Steve Martin’s remake of The Pink Panther sullied the good name of anything related to panthers.
No. 13 Bradley will beat No. 4 Kansas because: Kansas’s center is named Sasha Kaun. If you watched the Winter Olympics, you’ll know that Sasha Kaun is vastly undersized.
No. 11 San Diego State will beat No. 6 Indiana because: The SDSU Aztecs have a more violent-sounding forward (Marcus Slaughter) than the IU Hoosiers do (Marco Killingsworth).
No. 14 Xavier will beat No. 3 Gonzaga because: I’m on a business trip in Cincinnati this week, and I don’t want to make them mad. Also the East Coast bias says so.
No. 10 Alabama will beat No. 7 Marquette because: Alabama didn’t change their nickname recently like a sissy.
No. 15 Belmont will beat No. 2 UCLA because: The UCLA Bruins will be confused that Belmont is also named the Bruins, and will think that they’re passing it to themselves when in reality they’re passing it to the wrong Bruin.
WASHINGTON D.C. REGION
No. 16 Albany will beat No. 1 Connecticut because: UConn lost to Syracuse and Gerry McNamara, who is overrated.
No. 9 Alabama-Birmingham will beat No. 8 Kentucky because: Kentucky never had to endure a bus boycott. Or at least an important one.
No. 12 Utah State will beat No. 5 Washington because: USU beat Oral Roberts twice, who will beat Memphis. At least that’s God’s logic, and do you want to disagree with God? Do you!?
No. 13 Air Force will beat No. 4 Illinois because: Illinois’ mascot is banned from the postseason, unlike Air Force’s mascot — Yelly, the yelling basic training drill instructor.
No. 11 George Mason will beat No. 6 Michigan State because: The Patriots are coached by Jim Larranaga, who used to coach at my alma mater (Bowling Green). And his son, who played for BGSU, went to my high school. (The more you know!)
No. 14 Murray State will beat No. 3 North Carolina because: Some guy from Duke told me so. Also because Gerry McNamara is overrated.
No. 10 Seton Hall will beat No. 7 Wichita State because: The Wichita State Shocker mascot is a bit too … um … should that even exist?
No. 15 Winthrop will beat No. 2 Tennessee because: The Volunteers will undoubtedly slip on coach Bruce Pearl’s sweat.
Either No. 16 Hampton or Monmouth will beat No. 1 Villanova because: I am a raging lunatic.
No. 9 Wisconsin will beat No. 8 Arizona because: Curling is a growing sport, so you can obviously see why Arizona won’t win this argument.
No. 12 Montana will beat No. 5 Nevada because: One word: Unabomber.
No. 13 Pacific will beat No. 4 Boston College because: Teams on the West Coast have had it with the East Coast bias.
No. 11 Wisconsin-Milwaukee will beat No. 6 Oklahoma because: UWM no longer has to deal with the sweat of their former coach, Bruce Pearl.
No. 14 South Alabama will beat No. 3 Florida because: Florida couldn’t beat Alabama, so what makes you think they can beat just part of Alabama?
No. 10 Northern Iowa will beat No. 7 Georgetown because: Georgetown’s mascot makes no sense. “Hoya” is derived from the Latin word “hoia,” meaning “what.” What? So while you may not have ever seen UNI’s mascot, the Barnstormer, at least you can picture what that would look like. A guy storming into a barn. That’s kinda cool. Plus Georgetown lost to Gerry McNamara and Syracuse, who is … well, you know. UPDATE: OK, so I confused UNI’s mascot with an arena football team from Iowa. See, Kurt Warner played for both. UNI’s mascot is the Panther, but that goes against my previous argument regarding panthers. Plus, I bet you wish their mascot was the Barnstormers. So I stand by my justification.
No. 15 Davidson will beat No. 2 Ohio State because: Davidson was not required to take down any Final Four banners this year.