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America vs. The World

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I did a pink bracket! For women!

Mandasaurus attended numerous Rockford Lightning basketball games as a child, used to get rides to class with Illini players and wishes she could palm a regulation basketball. She really appreciates you reading this blog.

I'll be honest - I don't know a lot about the NCAA Womens' Basketball Tournament. But I'm learning.

I saw a commercial for the Women's Tourney and I was stirred. Theses women kick ass! They're big and tough and they can shoot. Plus you can bet on them with an easy-to-use bracket (I used ESPN's).

There's lots of reasons to enjoy women's basketball, not least of which is the fine game the women play. I've heard the games are fun and you can get up-close to the players.

Also, as one fan told me, "Female athletes are hot." Fair enough. I, personally, dig the physique of some male athletes and I'm not ashamed to say so.

I've upped the interest for some friends and I by creating a pool. With a $5 investment I'm raring to watch these games go down.

You can copy me and start your own Women's Bracket Pool. For a cool $5 apiece my pals and I are betting on the women. We're going to have a party at Ventnor's for the final game and I'm baking cookies. I asked some trivia buddies to join my bracket pool and all of them (all men) were psyched.

I picked Maryland, which might have been stupid. Or not. Heck, I still have time to change it up and pick the Sooners! That Courtney Paris is amazing, according to my sports guru.

I've decided to become a fan of women's basketball. I can't slam dunk, and neither can most people, but I'd sure like to see someone in a sports bra try. Wouldn't you?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Smurfing Good Brackets *using little to no knowledge of current basketball wisdom

Mandasaurus might suck at making a reasonable prediction about any sporting event, but she does not suck at making creme brulee (which involves a torch). Creme brulee attempt No. 1 was a smashing (if over-sugared) success and that's sweeter than your picks making it to the Sweet 16.

It's time to bracket-up on your bracketology and bracket your bracket over to bracketville, or whatever. I'm never right at picking brackets because I use the flawed logic of denying teams predicted success if I dislike their school, state, team colors, mascot or if their coach is an asshole. Somehow, in my mind, teams feel bad when I don't pick them to go all the way and they consider change their evil ways.

One year I picked Illinois (my alma mater) to go all the way and beat Texas (a school in my least favorite state) by more than 100 points. This year I'll definitely eliminate schools like Ohio State (jerks), Old Dominion (likely involvement in the Confederacy) and Oral Roberts (possibly conservative). Since it's unwise to remove No. 1 seeds I'll wait for a really crazy situation to predict Kansas' defeat, perhaps by Illinois. Alternately, Kansas could be defeated by a team of dragons.

To be ESPN-ish I'll go sub-bracket by sub-bracket to explain some factors you'd probably want to consider.

  • Maryland is a No. 4 seed despite a crappy loss in the first round of the ACC - what gives? Perhaps the Terps can get it together, but I think they've probably been mis-seeded.
  • I think that Florida could easily be trounced in the regionals. That's just a feeling I'm having. My roommate is from Florida (the state) and says that Florida (the team) might have won the tournament last year. Hmm.
  • I like Notre Dame because the Fighting Irish have at least three excellent alums: two nice parents from my work and the West Wing's President Josiah Bartlett.
  • To me Illinois looks awesome in this sub-bracket. I like to imagine that Illinois is using this week to really, really practice free throws and getting the ball through the hoop even if there are tall dudes from the other team all over the place.
  • Look! Southern Illinois - those guys look good too.
  • Indiana and Kansas both sucks. Kansas really sucks the most because their coach is Bill Self. According to Wikipedia's Bill Self page:
    After the 2003 season, Self left Illinois, after insisting he wasn't leaving, to take his "dream job", the head coaching job at Kansas.
    Leaving after you say you aren't leaving is dishonest, nasty behavior. Illinois is better off with Bruce Weber, a real man (who occasionally dons an orange suit!) and a really good coach. But for the record, picking Kansas sucks.
  • Memphis is home of Graceland and great basketball, duh. Pick those guys.
  • Virginia deserves picking because of two things: Thomas Jefferson and Jaberwoke. Jaberwoke is a sandwich shop in UVA's campus town with thebest sandwich I've ever had. Ever.
  • I don't really think it's wise to go for North Texas or Central Conneticut State. Just a hunch.
  • As I will suggest for the rest of my days - UNC sucks. That team is full of cheaters and too-big players. Looking at the tarheel blue uniforms will hurt your eyes. If your team plays UNC your team will be subject to ticky-tack fouls and poor officiating. You'll be so mad that you'll come to say, just as those before you do, "UNC sucks."
  • I would strongly consider teams like George Washington University, Michigan State and New Mexico State.
  • Picking Texas Tech is picking Bobby Knight. Bobby Knight is an outrage. He's absolutely nuts. He is a menace to the NCAA. He is mean and terrible.
My bracket will be a masterpiece. I'll use my amazing logic and probably some wisdom from my good friend Michael David Smith who writes the only sports blog I read.

If my teams don't win I can still enjoy a cold beer as your teams do. And if UNC wins it all, I'll be growling until baseball season starts and I can bet it all on the Cubbies. I-L-L!
Jeff Goldstein is a wanker.