NCAA Tournament: The Perfect(ly Illogical) Bracket

Photographer Lauren Wood is the biggest – and only – Michigan State fan at the Daily Journal. (Photo by Thomas Wells)
Photographer Lauren Wood is the biggest – and only – Michigan State fan at the Daily Journal. (Photo by Thomas Wells)

Let’s face it, you’re not going to win Warren Buffett‘s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. The odds are against you – because I’m going to win it.

The Big Dance begins tonight with the play-in games, and so tonight begins my flawless run through the 2014 NCAA tournament. That’s right, that billion dollars is MINE, and as a goodwill gesture to my Journal colleagues, I will not accept the office tournament pool winnings.

How does one pick a perfect bracket? Well, a logical approach would seem best, but as we all know, the NCAA tournament does not always play out logically. So I have provided some mostly inane reasoning for each pick – not that the picks don’t make sense (some don’t, admittedly), but my reasons for making the picks are not based in reason. At all.

Got it? Great. We’ll break it down by round.

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FIRST ROUND

South Region

(1) Florida d. (16) Albany/Mount St. Mary’s: Because who knows what state those two schools are even from?

(8) Colorado d. (9) Pitt: Because Pitt (which is actually very sound reasoning; sorry.)

(5) VCU d. (12) Stephen F. Austin: The man for whom the school is named never even heard of basketball, I mean come on.

(13) Tulsa d. (4) UCLA: We need a Cinderella team. Tulsa’s as good as any.

(11) Dayton d. (6) Ohio State: Because haha Aaron Craft.

(3) Syracuse d. (14) Western Michigan: Sorry, WMU, you’re a directional school.

(10) Stanford d. (7) New Mexico: I always get New Mexico and New Mexico State mixed up, so I’m going with the school I know.

(2) Kansas d. (15) Eastern Kentucky: I hear Bill Self hired a shaman to ward off the evil 15-2 Upset Demon.

East Region

(1) Virginia d. (16) Coastal Carolina: If THIS GUY coached the Chanticleers’ basketball team, I’d pick the first-ever 16-1 upset.

(9) George Washington d. (8) Memphis: There’s just something about Josh Pastner‘s hair that says “first-round fizzle.”

(12) Harvard d. (5) Cincinnati: What’s the square root of 12? Cincinnati’s face. Don’t understand? Well, you’re not a Harvard man.

(4) Michigan State d. (13) Delaware: Hi. I’m in … Delaware.

(11) Providence d. (6) North Carolina: Divine intervention.

(3) Iowa State d. (14) N.C. Central: Ahem, directional.

(7) Connecticut d. (10) St. Joseph’s: My brain just defaulted to this pick.

(2) Villanova d. (15) Milwaukee: All the beer that comes out of Milwaukee sucks.

West Region

(1) Arizona d. (16) Weber State: Weber rhymes with Bieber, ew.

(9) Oklahoma State d. (8) Gonzaga: Stillwater has an Eskimo Joe’s.

(12) North Dakota State d. (5) Oklahoma: My father-in-law hates Oklahoma, because he’s a big Okie State fan. This one’s for you, Frank!

(4) San Diego State d. (13) New Mexico State: See New Mexico comment above.

(6) Baylor d. (11) Nebraska: Flashy uniforms overwhelm plain uniforms.

(14) UL-Lafayette d. (3) Creighton: ULL used to be a directional school – Southwestern Louisiana – but is no longer saddled with that burden.

(7) Oregon d. (10) BYU: Ducks are too cool to lose.

(15) American d. (2) Wisconsin: NOBODY PICKS AGAINST AMERICA!

Midwest Region

(1) Wichita State d. (16) Cal Poly/Texas Southern: Sure, Shockers haven’t lost yet, but more importantly, they have a player named Chadrack Lufile.

(8) Kentucky d. (9) Kansas State: Big Blue Nation has threatened to send all of its meth to Kansas if UK loses this game.

(5) Saint Louis d. (12) N.C. State/Xavier: Billikens is fun to say. Billikens Billikens Billikens Billikens Billikens…

(4) Louisville d. (13) Manhattan: A “Louisville Manhattan” sounds like something a high-roller might order at a casino, and since Louisville comes first in the drink’s name – sorry, Manhattan.

(11) Tennessee d. (6) UMass: I’m picking Tennessee to beat Iowa in the play-in game, then take down a team with really ugly uniforms. Uglier than Tennessee’s, even.

(3) Duke d. (14) Mercer: Duke will have no Mercer! (get it?)

(10) Arizona State d. (7) Texas: I read a headline about Texas not being so great or Rick Barnes or something, so yeah.

(2) Michigan d. (15) Wofford: “Wofford” is a sound dogs make, right?

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SECOND ROUND

South Region

(1) Florida d. (8) Colorado: Colorado just isn’t diggin’ basketball these days, man.

(13) Tulsa d. (5) VCU: I’ve never seen a “Golden Hurricane,” and I’m pretty sure Tulsa hasn’t seen any kind of hurricane ever, but points for creativity.

(3) Syracuse d. (11) Dayton: Flyers can’t handle Jim Boeheim‘s crankiness.

(2) Kansas d. (10) Stanford: Come on, it’s not like the Jayhawks have a history of early-round flameouts.

East Region

(1) Virginia d. (9) George Washington: Remember Yinka Dare? Well, he’s not playing any more.

(4) Michigan State d. (12) Harvard: Journal photographer Lauren Wood is a Michigan State alum and huge fan. We have no Harvard alums at the Journal.

(11) Providence d. (3) Iowa State: Divine intervention? Yes, because God doesn’t like the state of Iowa.

(7) Connecticut d. (5) Villanova: [DEFAULT PICK]

West Region

(1) Arizona d. (9) Oklahoma State: Stillwater might have an Eskimo Joe’s, but it’s still Stillwater.

(12) North Dakota State d. (4) San Diego State: Sorry, Aztecs, but NDSU has more letters than you.

(14) UL-Lafayette d. (6) Baylor: Scott Drew is Baylor’s coach. Dangit, sorry for the sound reasoning again.

(7) Oregon d. (15) American: NOBODY PICKS AGAINST AMERICA! Unless Phil Knight is involved, because he owns half the country.

Midwest Region

(8) Kentucky d. (1) Wichita State: John Calipari realizes he’s coaching against a team called Wichita State. Everyone has a good laugh.

(4) Louisville d. (5) Saint Louis: After a while, Billikens becomes kind of an annoying word.

(3) Duke d. (11) Tennessee: I like Rodney Hood.

(2) Michigan d. (10) Arizona State: I think the Fab Five could go all the way this year, guys.

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SWEET SIXTEEN

South Region

(13) Tulsa d. (1) Florida: Like I said, Tulsa is my Cinderella team.

(3) Syracuse d. (2) Kansas: Jim Boeheim is a bald man, and you can trust bald men.

East Region

(4) Michigan State d. (1) Virginia: This would make Lauren Wood happy. (Tip: Always keep your photographers happy.)

(7) Connecticut d. (11) Providence: Jim Calhoun has a deal with the devil. I know he’s retired, but the deal remains in effect through 2017.

West Region

(1) Arizona d. (12) North Dakota State: Most of “Fargo” actually took place in Minnesota. Nice try, though, North Dakota.

(7) Oregon d. (14) UL-Lafayette: Phil Knight is richer than all of Louisiana, probably.

Midwest Region

(4) Louisville d. (8) Kentucky: These rivals hate each other, but Rick Pitino hates everybody.

(3) Duke d. (2) Michigan: Aw man, the Fab Five is foiled again by the Blue Devils.

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ELITE EIGHT

South Region Final

(3) Syracuse d. (13) Tulsa: You know what, Golden Hurricane is actually a pretty dumb nickname.

East Region Final

(4) Michigan State d. (7) Connecticut: The devil is scared of Tom Izzo and his relentless consistency.

West Region Final

(1) Arizona d. (7) Oregon: Greg Byrne could totally stare down Phil Knight.

Midwest Region Final

(3) Duke d. (4) Louisville: Mike Krzyzewski is morally superior to Rick Pitino, says the teleprompter.

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FINAL FOUR

(4) Michigan State d. (3) Syracuse: Lauren Wood is a really nice person, and a great photographer to boot.

(3) Duke d. (1) Arizona: Nobody can stare down Mike Krzyzewski.

CHAMPIONSHIP

(4) Michigan State d. (3) Duke: Lauren Wood deserves this.

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