By Evan Rafferty
Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. You’ve gotten past the horrific realization that it has been over a year since the start of the coronavirus panorama, you’ve survived the ides of March (for now), and you can finally relax and enjoy the beauty of college basketball in its purest form: a sixty-four team, single-elimination, balls to the wall chaos fest known best as March Madness. Of course, that means that it’s time to pretend that you know anything about sports, statistics, or the future and lock in your picks for your tournament bracket. Unfortunately, you’re wrong. But you don’t have to be. If you follow my instructions, I can guarantee that you will maybe, potentially, possibly, hypothetically, win your pool and pocket some sweet Venmo bucks from the losers. Of course, I can’t go in-depth into every single game- that’s a premium feature that you’ll have to subscribe to my private Snapchat account to get. DM for more info. Let’s begin.
You would think that #1 seed Gonzaga would have an easy first-round game, but according to my ESPN sources, they will actually be playing two teams at once in a last-ditch effort from the NCAA to nerf the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, both of these teams (Norfolk State and Appalachian State) are from the east coast, and as this is the western part of the bracket, will obviously be out of their home environment. I’m giving this one to Gonzaga in a nailbiter.
The next game I’ll talk about is the 5 seed Creighton and 12 seed UCSB, or Universal Colossal Sonic Blaster. This incredibly advanced satellite protects the entire Earth with a massive gun that fires sonic blasts that can instantly decimate an invading extraterrestrial force. For this reason, however, the UCSB is pointed away from the Earth, and an engineering flaw makes it so the sonic blasts wouldn’t even work on rubber spheres. Talk about a stroke of luck for the Bluejays, who take this game in a landslide.
The final free coverage game from the west bracket is the University of Iowa, a 2 seed, versus the entire Grand goddamn Canyon. I don’t think I need to explain this one. The greatest natural wonder of the world is enough to move any being to tears from its extreme beauty, and it’s pretty hard to play basketball while you’re crying. I would know. The Grand Canyon takes this one.
Our first game out of the east will be LSU vs. St. Bonaventure. Saint Bonaventure was a medieval Italian philosopher and theologian, who died in 1274 A.D., and is the patron saint of bowel disorders. That’s not a joke. Against any other team, old Saint Bonny would be using his powers of pants-pooping to distract the other team, but we all know that there is no God in Louisiana. The Tigers win.
Next up is the University of Texas versus Abilene Christian University. ACU has had a great year, and Texas has often struggled and looked beatable against good teams, especially those that can shoot the basketball. It really comes down to the raw talent of the Longhorns against the great ACU defense which forces an absurd amount of turnovers per game (547 on the season- first in the entire NCAA). Ah, who am I kidding. A big longhorn would definitely kick Willie the Wildcat’s ass. Texas survives a close one and moves on.
Our first debate from the midwest sector starts with what is sure to be one of the most exciting first-round matchups of this 2021 tournament, 8 seed Loyola Chicago and 9 seed Georgia Tech. Both teams won their conference tournaments, the Missouri Valley and Atlantic Coast respectively, so each group of lads is coming into this showdown hot. Unfortunately for Tech, I really like dogs and yellow jackets are scary and might sting me. Loyola Chicago starts what could potentially turn into a Cinderella run and moves into the round of 32.
The second game I’ll go over is San Diego State versus Syracuse, a 6 seed and 11 seed matchup that is sure to draw some anticipation. SDSU ranks 20th in the kenpom overall rankings, with Syracuse all the way down at 41, showing a stark contrast in terms of talent for each team as they come into the tournament. San Diego State represents the Aztecs, an incredible warrior Mesoamerican culture that flourished from 1300 to the 1500s. You would think that this would give them the edge against an orange (which is Syracuse’s mascot, for unexplained reasons, possibly witchcraft or CIA classification), but fruit is actually really good for you, and you should probably eat more! Plus, we all know how people react to a good father-son relationship, and coach Jim Boeheim and his son Buddy are a prime example of a white, upper-class, feel-good story that will surely win a couple of games for absolutely no reason. Syracuse gets the dub.
This is the part of the bracket that I’m most excited about, but maybe not for the reason you’d think. That’s the difference between you and me- I’m always thinking thirty-seven steps ahead. An amateur bracketologist might be excited about Baylor or the hot hand in Arkansas making the final four, but they’re missing the two ACTUAL best teams in the south quadrant – Colgate University and Oral Roberts University. Colgate will use the powers of corporate sponsorship to brush past the Razorbacks, and Oral Roberts will utilize their godly oral skills to out-kiss Ohio State, which doesn’t know a damn thing about mouths. But then, you may be asking yourself, what happens when these two teams meet up in the Sweet 16? Surely one of them has to advance to play Baylor in the Elite 8?
You see, this is what ESPN and all the other big sports companies don’t want you to find out- Colgate and OralU are a perfect match for each other. Colgate’s toothpaste is the soulmate to Oral Roberts’ mouth. One can’t survive without the other. I predict that this game will be the first-ever recorded tie in the NCAA tournament. And, for some stupid reason, ESPN won’t let me account for that in my bracket! I’ve emailed the Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content for The Walt Disney Company, James Pitaro, to try and solve this transgression, and I’ll report back with his reply. Until then, the tournament cannot legally proceed, and I’m using my Pittiful News paycheck to hire the best lawyer around- a first-year student named Justin who is thinking about maybe doing pre-law if his supply chain major falls through. I think he’ll get the job done, so I’m giving this matchup to Justin. A major upset against the mighty mouse of Walt Disney, but crazier things have happened in March. Happy Madness, everyone.