"We messed up some brackets! We messed up some brackets!"
Norfolk State University center, Kyle O'Quinn
The first day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament came and went and I was 13-3. Fortunately the three losses involved teams I had picked to lose before the weekend was out. And that is the key to the big money. Unless the hand of God is involved everyone is going to lose a few games. If one of your teams lose, it better be one that you picked to lose in the next game. Stop the bleeding immediately. Don't eliminate any chances of winning more games down the road because you no longer have a team in that region. Yes, it is, after all, a mathematical process.
Day one wasn't without tension. I have Syracuse going to the final four and they barely escaped from UNC-Ashville. By the three minute mark in the second half I found myself screaming at the TV. The thought kept running through my mind that this is what I get for betting on a bunch of sex addicts whose nickname and colors involve that putrid shade called orange. It served me right for ignoring my innate revulsion for anyone wearing that horrid tint. My entire East regional was going down in flames before my very eyes. When you lose twenty five percent of your final four on the afternoon of the first day you are profoundly screwed.
And I maybe still.
Day two brought disaster. Memphis, Virginia and St. Mary's all got whacked. That was bad, but things were going to turn even darker. Michigan was beaten by Ohio. No, not Ohio State, but Ohio. I had them going to the sweet sixteen. Then those treasonous bastards from Columbia, Missouri went into the tank against that traditional power, the Norfolk State Spartans. Missouri, which couldn't win the Big XII football championship, wanted to get into the Big 10. Unfortunately for them the Big 10 has a modicum of good taste, so the Tigers ran off to the SEC where they will be a perpetual second tier team and will spend autumns traveling to places like Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa rather than Ames and Lawrence. O'Quinn was right because I had this bunch of treacherous malcontents going all the way to the elite eight.
Then there was the coup de grace. I knew it would happen. It always does. While not quite the bracket train wreck as Missouri, Krzyzewski, you vile little snake, your Dukies choked against Lehigh. Why is it every March I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the ball while Lucy is holding it. Well Mike, I hope you like the idea of Cameron Indoor Arena painted brown and white. Yes, those are the colors of Lehigh and you remember my promise don't you? I'm loading up the car with case after case of brown and white spray paint. I'm driving to Durham and one morning very soon you are going to wake up to a God awful sight. All those gray stones painted brown, all those blue seats suddenly transformed into a brown and white checkerboard. You've screwed me for the the last time you scum. Vengeance WILL be mine.
I need an aspirin.