March Madness is a disease I have never contracted.
I'm Brian DiTullio, an avid sports fan and NFL Analyst who has not watched one second of college basketball in about 20 years.
The reasons for this are long and completely irrelevant to the piece, but when college basketball comes on the television, I change the channel. I do not even view college basketball as appropriate background noise while I do other things.
Beginning after I got married, my wife and I began filling out March Madness tournament brackets to amuse ourselves. We'd check the scores online and see how we did. We currently are tied at two years a piece, having missed last year's tournament due to impending parenthood and complete indifference to the sport on both our parts.
It has been said that anyone can fill out a bracket and not be wrong. So with that in mind, I am filling out a bracket again for your pleasure.
The only knowledge I have of this season's teams is Ohio State is the No. 1 overall team and has had a pretty good year. Beyond that I have nothing.
We will start in the East Region with Ohio State versus Texas-SA / Alabama State.
Since their opponent can't decide where they are from, I have to pick Ohio State. Also, if they have to make that quick of a turnaround before the first game, Ohio State has the advantage due to extra rest.
Next up is George Mason versus Villanova. Villanova gets my pick because I don't trust any team named after a person.
The West Virginia versus UAB/Clemson game goes to West Virginia for the same reasons as Ohio State.
Then you have Kentucky versus Princeton, which is a no-brainer to me. Kentucky wins this one easy because I've been to Kentucky and they would not let me into Princeton.
Part two of the East Region kicks off with Xavier versus Marquette. I've been to Marquette and slept in their fine dorm rooms. There was not any air conditioning and it was a brutal stretch of summer nights.
Any college that makes their students endure the elements produces a tougher grade of athlete and Marquette is the easy victor here.
Next up is Syracuse versus Indiana State. I never pick against a team from Indiana early in the tournament, so Indiana State it is.
Then you have Washington versus Georgia. Georgia has better weather than Washington, meaning the Washington players have less desire to skip practice and go outside. Washington wins this one.
Finally, we have North Carolina versus LIU. I know North Carolina was very good when I was in high school, so nostalgia rules and Carolina advances.
The opening salvo with Duke versus Hampton is an easy pick. I see Duke in advertisements for games all the time, and they have a No. 1 seed, so Duke obviously is a better team and gets the victory.
Michigan versus Tennessee also is an easy pick as I hate all things Michigan. Tennessee wins while Michigan goes home crying.
Arizona versus Memphis is an easier pick than you might think because I lived in Arizona for four years and spent a lot of time there in the 1990's. Memphis has nothing on a team that has to spend summers indoors practicing because it is 120 degrees outside. Arizona advances
Then there is Texas versus Oakland. I got nothing on these two teams and picked the higher seed, Texas advances.
The rest of the West begins with Cincinnati versus Missouri. Ordinarily, I would take a state over a city, but Cincinnati is a pretty tough town that has Riverbend Music Center. I saw some great Pearl Jam concerts there, which means I HAVE to pick Cincinnati.
UConn versus Bucknell. UConn versus Bucknell. What is a Bucknell? Does it have any uses beyond being the name of a college?
I can't think of any, so UConn wins.
Temple versus Penn State frightens me because you just don't mess with a team named after a type of holy structure. Temple wins by divine right.
Finishing out the division we have San Diego State versus Northern Colorado. My gut tells me San Diego State will win. It could be indigestion, but we'll take it for what it is and move on.
The Southwest begins with Kansas versus Boston University. I don't pick against No.1 teams in the opening round because somebody told me not to do that several years ago. Since I got killed in the opening round that year, I'm not doing it again.
Next up is UNLV versus Illinois. I live closer to Illinois than I do UNLV, so I'm picking Illinois. Two years ago that situation was different, sorry UNLV.
Vanderbilt versus Richmond is a tough one because I like saying "Vanderbilt." It just sounds good. But Richmond is my big upset pick for this portion of the bracket.
Louisville takes on Morehead State and Louisville is a team I'm used to seeing in the headlines over the years, so I'm sticking with tradition and going with Louisville.
It does not matter who Georgetown is playing. I love the movie Exorcist III, and I'm picking any team from a town that constantly has to fight off possessed people and the undead.
Next up is Purdue versus St. Peters. I like Purdue. They have a concise, two-syllable name.
Then there is Texas A&M versus Florida State in which A&M will be the big winner because Texas has to win something in this tournament.
Finally there is Notre Dame versus Akron. I'm not a Notre Dame fan. Since I don't like Notre Dame, they will win. Take that to the bank. It's a done deal.
The Southwest Region kicks off with Pittsburgh versus a losing team because Pittsburgh is a No. 1 seed. Let's move on.
Butler versus Old Dominion is a great matchup, but how can you not pick Old Dominion? They should have the Old Spice Guy be their mascot for the tournament.
Then there is Kansas State versus Utah State. I gave my infant son two baby toys, one representing each team, and he chose Kansas State.
Next up is Wisconsin versus Belmont. I have to go with the state over the lesser entity, Wisconsin advances.
The last part of the first round starts with St. John's versus Gonzaga. I love saying "Gonzaga" over and over, so they win this round.
Next up is BYU versus Wofford. I am aware of the player being kicked off of BYU's team for completely stupid reasons, in my opinion. And it is my opinion and I do not care what anyone else thinks. With that in mind, Wofford wins.
UCLA versus Michigan State continues my trend of picking against anything from Michigan, and the bracket is rounded out with Florida versus UCSB.
Give it to Florida because of the higher seed.
The second round kicks off with Ohio State versus Villanova. I'm sticking with Ohio State because I'm still wary of knocking out No. 1 teams at this point.
West Virginia versus Kentucky goes to Kentucky because I flipped a coin.
I'm sticking with Marquette over Indiana State due to the personal bias of having been to Marquette but not Indiana State.
In the battle of Washington versus North Carolina I'm going with North Carolina because I believe North Carolina probably has the better team and the state has been around longer than the state of Washington.
In this bracket, Duke continues its success with a victory over Tennessee due to being a No. 1 seed, while Arizona cruises over Texas due to my love of all things Arizona.
Cincinnati runs into UConn, which is bad for Cincinnati because I like UConn better. No real reason, I just like UConn better.
San Diego State beats Temple because I think a city beats a type of holy structure in this round.
In the Southwest Division, Kansas rolls over Illinois while Louisville destroys Richmond. These are both just hunches.
Georgetown beats Purdue because I'm still rooting for Georgetown, while Texas A&M upsets Notre Dame to make my day much brighter.
Old Dominion's run comes to an end against Pittsburgh in this round, while Kansas State beats Wisconsin. I like the drab colors of Kansas State, it says they don't care about fashion, only winning.
Gonzaga continues to be my favorite word as they beat Wofford, and Florida takes out UCLA because of my East Coast bias.
Ohio State continues its run by eliminating Kentucky, while my love of Marquette just is not enough this round as North Carolina takes them out.
In the West, we have our first No. 1 ousted as Arizona upsets Duke in what will be one of the biggest stories of the tournament. You heard it here first—Arizona can not be stopped!!
Finally, UConn takes out San Diego State because I have no other reason for keeping San Diego State in this tournament.
Another No. 1 goes down!!
Louisville upsets Kansas in another shocker while the talking heads go insane as the tournament loses two No. 1 seeds in the same round.
Georgetown continues to fight demons and devils, knocking off Texas A&M in a close game.
Kansas State throws a scare into Pittsburgh, but they pull it out at the buzzer while Florida ends my Manlove for Gonzaga by sending them packing.
I continue to anger Non-Ohio State fans by boldly predicting the Buckeyes are on their way to the Final Four. Mark it up!
Arizona finally betrays me and loses to UConn, setting the table first part of the Final Four.
On the other side of the bracket, Louisville continues to knock off my favorite teams by name as Georgetown gets pitched down a long flight of stairs and out of the tournament.
Finally, the dream of having two No. 1 teams face each other in the finals falls short as Pittsburgh is upset by Florida.
In the battle of Ohio State versus UConn, Ohio State comes out on top and heads to the Championship.
On the other side, Louisville takes out Florida and we have the final game set.
Why Ohio State?
Because everyone outside the Big 10 seems to hate Big 10 teams. Ohio State winning means a lot of the talking heads are going to have to eat it for the next year and I find that delightful.
Besides, I do not watch college basketball and therefore have nothing invested in this Ohio team. Since I do not root for this team, they will win.
And there you go.