Your Guide To March Madness And Why North Carolina Will Win It All

Hey, I'm Bryan Dano. March Madness is upon us and I am just the right person to guide you through the emotional roller coaster of filling out your bracket.  Here are my qualifications: 1. I watch a lot of sports and I am familiar with most ESPN personalities.  2. I haven’t watched much, if any, college basketball up until last Saturday and Sunday. 3. I pick the same team to win it every year: North Carolina.  Now that you know I’m supremely qualified we will move on to some of the ways to pick teams.  I’ll just go with my two favorites: Coaches and Mascots.

1.  Coaches

Who would be the ultimate coach?  It would have to be someone who is a motivator, a master tactician, and really understands people.  A man that knows how to drain every last ounce out of his squad even if it means running up the score on a smaller/meaker team. He would be so good he could even make a father root against his own son just because he was the coach.  The obvious choice?  Coach Jack Riley.

Who would be the ultimate coach?  It would have to be someone who is a motivator, a master tactician, and really understands people.  A man that knows how to drain every last ounce out of his squad even if it means running up the score on a smaller/meaker team. He would be so good he could even make a father root against his own son just because he was the coach.  The obvious choice?  Coach Jack Riley.

In all seriousness we could never expect Coach Riley to ever give up his post behind the Hawks bench, but we can still dream.

A good coach can go a long way in the tournament.  A crazy coach can go even further if given the chance.  That’s why Mike Rice being fired last year was so disappointing.  Imagine if he would have been given another couple of seasons to mold and shape his Scarlet Knight basketball club.

Practicing the right way

Practicing the right way

Rice will become the Errol Childress of coaching: “You know what they did to me?  And what I will do to all the sons and daughters of Rutgers basketball?”  “GIVE AN EFFORT!!!”

Okay, Okay, Okay.  I’ll stop dreaming and move on to coaches and teams that actually are participating in this years tournament.

There are 7 coaches in this years field that have won National Championships: Billy Donovan of Florida (2), Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Bill Self of Kansas, Tom Izzo of Michigan St, Roy Williams of North Carolina (2), Steve Fisher of San Diego St., John Calipari of Kentucky, and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (4).   That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but experience can do nothing but help.   I would say 5 of these coaches are pretty damn good: Donavon, Boeheim, Self, Izzo, and Williams.  One is an old piece of garbage that won his title about 2 million farts ago: Fisher.  And one coach is a liar: Coach K.  Why is he a liar?  

This man claims he doesn’t dye his hair.  Bullshit

This man claims he doesn’t dye his hair.  Bullshit

http://msn.foxsports.com/buzzer/story/duke-basketball-coach-mike-krzyzewski-says-he-does-not-dye-his-hair-031014

As long as the team you're picking doesn’t have an old piece of garbage or a liar strolling the sidelines, then that team has passed criteria #1 in the selection process.  Which leads us to criteria #2…..Mascots.

2. Mascots

Very simple don’t pick a team with the all time worst mascot like this:

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Pick a mascot that not only looks good, but is willing to fight for their team.  Prime example: The Great Dane of Albany.

140318123157-albany-great-danes-mascot-single-image-cut.jpg

This Great Dane acted like a jerk and went over to mix it up with the Seawolf of Stoney Brook….just because he could. Gotta love it.

And just for fun, the best mascot photo of all time:  

I wish the Orange Bowl was a school.      They would have multiple titles strictly because of Obie.

I wish the Orange Bowl was a school.  They would have multiple titles strictly because of Obie.

BRACKET BREAKDOWN

Now on to the mind numbing, award winning, and better than Digger Phelps Analysis

SOUTH REGION:

Round of 64 winners: Florida, Pittsburgh, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa, Dayton, Syracuse, New Mexico, Kansas

Going with some upsets a 12 seed (SFA), a 13 (Tulsa), and an 11 (Dayton).  Why?  SFA is located in Texas.  That’s it.  Tulsa has Danny Manning as it’s head coach. Yeah!! Danny Manning from the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks!  Wahoo!  Also, I hate UCLA for 2 reasons: 1. I have always disliked the Pac 10/12. 2. Their head coach Steve Alford is a royal douchebag (read why here http://deadspin.com/meet-steve-alford-uclas-future-former-basketball-coac-465601430) Dayton was simple: My stepdad graduated from Dayton. .  The others games were not so hard.  No 16 has ever beaten a 1 for good reason.  Kansas will win at least a game before embarrassing themselves.  Colorado checked out of being competitive in athletics years ago and perfect for a Pitt team that also sucks come tournament time, but hey somebody’s gotta win.  If Syracuse can’t beat W. Michigan they should fold as a program.  New Mexico starts it’s unlikely ride by beating the team with the worst mascot ever (Stanford).

Round of 32 winners: Florida, SFA, Dayton, New Mexico

Florida cruises past a Pitt Panther team that’s just happy not to lose in the 1st round again.  SFA outlasts the Mighty Mannings (and get the SI cover).  Dayton sends professor dork Jim Boeheim and his Orangeman home.  Kansas goes back to the Bill Self Kansas team that shits the bed in the opening weekend as New Mexico marches on.

Sweet 16 winners: Florida and New Mexico

Florida kills the dream of the SFA.  They have now beaten a 16 seed, pathetic Pitt, and a 12 seed to reach the regional final.  Doesn’t get much easier.  New Mexico beats Dayton and that Lobos Love Train is getting full.  Get on board, folks.  It’s going to Dallas.

Elite 8 winner/Final Four participant: New Mexico

The Lobos that couldn’t beat the smart Harvard kids in the 1st round last year under Steve ‘Bad Guy’ Alford now look unstoppable and are headed to the Final Four at the Jerry Dome.

EAST REGION:

Round of 64 winners: Virginia, George Washington, Cincinatti, Michigan St, North Carolina, Iowa St, St. Joes, Villanova

Really no big upsets here.  Memphis thought it was going to be relevant after Derrick Rose left and they’re losing to G.W.  Cinci is a team I hate to pick over the smart kids, but I did.  If Delaware had played anybody else besides Michigan St, I would have Blue Hen fever.  Carolina easy, easy, easy win over Providence.  Iowa St big. St. Joe’s in a slight upset over UConn and Villanova wins because they are playing a college from Milwaukee.

Round of 32 winners:  George Washington, Cincinnati, North Carolina, St. Joe’s.

Our first #1 seed is out in Virginia.  I never bought into the Virginia hype this year and GW shows that TWTW on the way to the Sweet 16.  Cinci over Michigan St is a surprise, but considering EVERYBODY has Michigan St winning it all it’s only logical to go with the Bearcats in this one.  North Carolina does enough to slip by an Iowa St team that is clearly better and has the best nickname for a coach: ‘The Mayor’ Fred Hoiberg.  I picked St. Joe’s because I basically think (like every year) Villanova is fraud.

Sweet 16 winners: Cincinnati and North Carolina. 

I got to admit even I think I’m taking this Cincinnati Bearcat bandwagon too far, but it’s them or the GW bandwagon….Bearcats win.  North Carolina stomps St. Joe’s by scoring more points than them. 

Elite 8 winner/Final Four participant: North Carolina

Tar Heels make the trip to Big D after Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer gives them a motivational speech about failure.

WEST REGION:

Round of 64 winners: Arizona, Oklahoma St, North Dakota St, San Diego St, Nebraska, Creighton, Oregon, Wisconsin. 

Only real upset here is ND St over Oklahoma.  God what Illinois would do to have an athletic program like the ND St Bison.  Arizona rolls.  Oklahoma St pounds Gonzaga and I think it’s time to push Gonzaga out the door as an elite program.  They never win anything significant.  They have been living off that run 12 years ago and have yet to duplicate it.  Nebraska over Baylor as the Bears celebrates over 10 years of murder free basketball.  Creighton big.  I love me some Creighton and Dougie McDermott.  Oregon over BYU for no good reason and Wisconsin let’s the USA down by beating American.

Round of 32 winners: Oklahoma St, San Diego St, Creighton, Wisconsin

Oklahoma St has a player who shoved a fat Texas Tech fan.  Can Arizona say the same?  No, that toughness carries the Cowboys to the Sweet 16.  San Diego St wins and becomes the most boring team in the Sweet 16.  Creighton all day, everyday, Larry Bird baby! Wisconsin advances because the game is in Milwaukee.  

Sweet 16 winners: Oklahoma St and Creighton

Oklahoma St does everyone who doesn’t like slow play, bad field goal shooting, bad free throw shooting, muck it up defense a favor and pounds San Diego St. Creighton dispatches Wisconsin’s best team in years. You can start to hear the Larry Bird comparisons grow louder with Doug McDermott. He drops 3 after 3 after 3 over white guy after white guy after white guy of Wisconsin. 

Elite 8 winner/Final Four participant: Creighton

Like you didn’t see that pick coming?

MIDWEST REGION:

Round of 64 winners: Wichita St, Kentucky, NC St, Louisville, UMass, Duke, Texas, Michigan.

Wichita St wins it’s 1st and only game of the tournament.  Kentucky has a favorable matchup with Kansas St because Bruce Weber is on the KSU sideline. NC St over St. Louis because it’s so obvious STL is way overrated.  How do you lose 5 of your last 6 and get a 5 seed???  Louisville over the Jaspers of Manhattan.  UMass wins over either Iowa or Tennessee.  Duke defeats Ron Mercer College.  Texas over ASU and Michigan big over Wofford.  

Round of 32 winners: Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, Texas.

Wichita St is vastly overrated and Kentucky’s talent wins this game.  WSU is now sent home but can look back at some great quality wins over Illinois St and Evansville.  Good job, good effort guys.  Louisville sends Rick Pitino to a new city the following week where plenty of waitresses nervously await.  Duke takes down the juggernaut that is the UMass Minutemen.  Watching Michigan in the Big 10 tournament is the reason they are out against Texas.  They're a one trick pony.  Live by the 3, die by the 3.  

Sweet 16 winners: Kentucky and Duke

In the battle of Kentucky, Kentucky bests defending National Champion Louisville.  Rick Pitino flies home STD free.  Duke is Duke and beats UT. 

Elite 8 winner/Final Four participant:  Kentucky

Duke comes soooo close to another Final Four before it’s ripped away from him.  Coach K hugs his seniors, claims he loves Duke even more, and says college basketball is the greatest at his press conference.  Pretty much the same thing he does every year.

FINAL FOUR:

#6 North Carolina over #7 New Mexico and #3 Creighton over # 8 Kentucky.  

There is too much Tar Heel bias for the Lobos to overcome as Carolina reaches the championship game.  Creighton out 3’s Kentucky and sets up the a classic final. 

NATIONAL CHAMPION:

North Carolina

Why North Carolina?  Because they are my favorite team, duh.  You expected a logical explanation?  I will have you know I have been right 8% of the time over the past 25 years.  This is the path that can get them there: Beat an 11, 3, 10, 5, 7, and 3 seed to win it all.  That is March Madness.    

Editor's (it's Joe Bates! I'm the editor!) notes:

1. This tournament is already bullshit because there's no WVU in it

2. I love Duke

3. Providence's best player is Bryce Cotton