Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Have you filled out your bracket yet? 

I'll be honest...I'm having a hard time choosing between Ben and Aaron--they're both so cute and obviously brilliant, but the way Aaron turns and watches the other contestants give their answers kind of drives me a little nuts. It might be the reason I have to give Ben the upperhand.

What? Why do you look so confused? I'm talking about my bracket for the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions--what did you think I was talking about?

Oh! March Madness! Is it that time of year again? Gee, I hardly noticed. I mean, it's not like my alma matter/lifelong favorite sports team is going to The Dance for the first time in over a decade....

YEAH RIGHT! I'm overjoyed that my 'Noles finally broke free of the NIT after finishing second in the ACC Tournament last weekend and claimed a five seed in the east division. Of course, that exuberance does come with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste. I mean, I did spend five years in the stands and on press row at the Civic Center watching my team bumble one loss after another in the waining seconds of several games. I also cheered my little heart out at our NIT home games, rushed the court when we beat Duke (twice) and Wake, and hid under press row when everyone else rushed the court when we beat Florida. And then what happens? They FINALLY get their act together the season AFTER I leave and make it into the Tourney.

But that's for another blog...

This one is about my tournament bracket, which I agonized over for several hours Sunday night. In fact, I was so torn over a few match-ups that I had to turn to my trusted friend and confidante--my mini magic eight ball. Accordingly, my first round picks are below, along with denotations for my agreements and disagreements with said eight ball. 

Although it was a difficult decision, I did not take FSU past the third round of the tournament--but it wasn't difficult for the reasons you  might think. I am, like most FSU basketball fans, quite jaded when it comes to my team. The aforementioned heartbreaks that I experienced over and over again in my five years at FSU are like old wounds that still ache in certain situations. I had to fight the urge to write them out after the first round, still believing in my heart of hearts that given our Seminole luck, we will choke early and hard. 

Actually, my friend Alicia and I were discussing our pessimistic attitudes toward our beloved Noles and we decided that given our history, the most likely outcome of the tournament is that Florida State will beat the odds, win the whole shabang, then have the NCAA declare us ineligable to raise the trophy because of our cheating scandal and therefore decide to award the NCAA Championship trophy to the winner of the NIT, which in this scenario would of course be our arch rivals, the University of Florida Gators. 

(Side note: The Seminoles bid into the tournament is even more enjoyable given Florida's status in the NIT. Guess they should have let Tad Teto channel his super powers on the basketball court...or maybe they shouldn't have elected to incorporate jean shorts into their uniform this year...)

Alright folks. Check out the picks, lock in your final answers, and buckle down for the best sporting event in collegiate sports.

Good luck and GO NOLES!

- Shan



1 Louisville over 16 (Alabama St over Morehead St)
8 Ohio State over 9 Siena
5 Utah over 12 Arizona
4 Wake Forest over 13 Cleveland St
6 West Virginia over 11 Dayton
3 Kansas over 14 North Dakota St
7 Boston College over 10 USC
2 Michigan St over 15 Robert Morris


1 UConn over 16 Chattanooga
9 Texas A&M over 8 BYU
5 Purdue over 12 Northern Iowa
4 Washington over 13 Mississippi St (8-Ball Disagreed)
6 Marquette over 11 Utah St
3 Missouri over 14 Cornell
10 Maryland over 7 California (8-Ball Pick)
2 Memphis over Cal St Northridge


1 Pitt over 16 East Tennessee St
8 Ok St over 9 Tennessee
5 FSU over 12 Wisconsin
4 Xavier over 13 Portland St
6 UCLA over 11 VCU
3 Nova over 14 American
7 Texas over 10 Minnesota
2 Duke over 15 Binghampton


1 UNC over 16 Radford
9 Butler over 8 LSU (8-Ball Pick)
5 Illinois over 12 Western Kentucky
4 Gonzaga over 13 Akron
6 Arizona St over 11 Temple
3 Syracuse over 14 Stephen A. Austin (8-Ball Disagreed)
7 Clemson over 10 Michigan
2 Oklahoma over 15 Morgan St