My March Madness Bracket: Gonzo, Team Bates, Justin Timberlake, and Too Many Cats

Welcome to March Madness! I thought the world might like a glimpse into how a scientific-minded, sports-knowledgeable person goes about filling out their NCAA Basketball Bracket.

I don’t know any people like that, so instead I’m giving you a glimpse into how I made my Round of 64 picks this year.

Come journey with me now, as I lead you through Bracket Wonderland with my tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Shannon’s 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Round of 64 Predictions

Hampton v Manhattan
The Hamptons are probably tired from yachting all day. Manhattan has frantic, focused stock brokers. Stock brokers win.
My Pick: Manhattan

Ole Miss Rebels v BYU Cougars
Not sure how a children’s talent competition winner ended up in the NCAA Bracket? Oh. Sorry. I misheard that as Lil Miss Rebels. You’d think Cougars, because, duh, “cat night vision”, but I’m told lights will be on, so Rebels win.
My Pick: Ole Miss

North Florida v Robert Morris
How does one guy stand a chance against the entire upper half of a state?!!? Robert Morris loses.
My Pick: North Florida

Dayton Flyers v Boise State Broncos
The bracket write-up I’m reading to help me choose teams says, “The Broncos fell to Wyoming, giving birth to the first bid thief of this season…” If The Broncos fell down AND gave birth recently, they’re clearly in no shape to compete. Dayton flies over the State of Boise.
My Pick: Dayton

Kentucky Wildcats v Manhattan
Kentucky’s cats are wild. Stock brokers have to get back to the trading floor. Kentucky over Manhattan.
My Pick: Kentucky

Cincinnati Bearcats v Purdue Boilermakers
How can a bear be a cat? And they repeated “cin” in their name. Repetition reeks of laziness. Couldn’t come up with another syllable? Purdue out-labors fictitious Bear-Cat mix.
My Pick: Purdue

West Virginia Mountaineers v Buffalo Bulls
Buffalo Bulls typoed their own name. Clearly they meant Buffalo Bill. West Virginia used spell-check. They win.
My Pick: West Virginia

Valparaiso v Maryland
Valparaiso’s logo says “VALPO”. Looks like Alpo. Dog food. Dog food loses. Should have picked a shorter name.
My Pick: Maryland

Texas v Butler
Have you SEEN Downton Abbey?! Upstairs staff for the win! Although, I would prefer if it was Texas v Valet #TeamBates
My Pick: Butler

Notre Dame v Northeastern
Kanye steps on court pretending to take trophy away, but fans laugh awkwardly and Notre Dame keeps the win. Wait. That’s Northeastern…not North West.
My Pick: Notre Dame

Wichita State Shockers v Indiana Hoosiers
I had to look up what a Hoosier is and what a Shocker is. I still don’t know what a Hoosier is. Wichita State wins.
My Pick: Wichita State

Kansas v New Mexico State
New Mexico State trying to sound hip and happening by calling themselves “New”. They became a State in 1912. I don’t care for that type of deceptive branding. Kansas wins.
My Pick: Kansas

Wisconsin Badgers v Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
A fairy tale rooster? Wisconsin wins.
My Pick: Wisconsin

Oregon Ducks v Oklahoma State Cowboys
Ducks paddle really hard under the water. That kind of effort should be rewarded.
My Pick: Oregon

Wofford Terriers v Arkansas Razorbacks
Wofford sounds a lot like waffles…but I may just be hungry. Terriers doesn’t seem like the right breed for the basketball court.
My Pick: Arkansas

Harvard Crimson v North Carolina Tar Heels
You’d think the tar on the shoes would slow them down, but I’m going against logic.
My Pick: North Carolina

Xavier Musketeers v Ole Miss Rebels
Considering so many future stars came out of the program in the 90s, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, I’m inclined to go Xavier. Sorry again. My eyes are getting blurry. That’s Musketeers not Mouseketeers.
My Pick: Xavier

Georgia State Panthers v Baylor Bears
With identical records and nearly equal points per game, I feel it’s best to rely on the statistical probability of…nah, just kiddin’. I heart Teddy Bears, so I pick Baylor.
My Pick: Baylor

Ohio State Buckeyes v VCU Rams
VCU sounds like “We See You” with a campy German accent. Comic Gold. I’m in.
My Pick: VCU

Texas Southern Tigers v Arizona Wildcats
If it was the Southern Tigers against the Tamecats, we could have an interesting game of bat the ball of yarn on our hands. But. It’s the Wildcats and their opponents are a bunch of super relaxed cats on front porch rocking chairs. Story writes itself.
My Pick: Arizona

Layfayette Leopards v Villanova Wildcats
How many cats are allowed in this tournament? Seriously. This isn’t The Kitten Bowl.
My Pick: Villanova

LSU v North Carolina State
The write-up I’m reading says LSU is a “Jekyll-and-Hyde team”. That sounds like a fun break from all this basketball. Not sure what equipment is used in a game of “Jekyll-and-Hyde”. I assume it’s kind of like hide-and-go-seek.
My Pick: LSU

Wyoming v Northern Iowa
Wyoming is averaging 33.4 Rebounds Per Game. Northern Iowa is averaging 33.4 Rebounds Per Game. So. Clearly Northern Iowa wins on rebounding alone.
My Pick: Northern Iowa

UC Irvine Anteaters v Louisville Cardinals
There are more cardinals in my backyard than anteaters. Cardinals win.
My Pick: Louisville

Providence Friars v Dayton Flyers
When two mascots rhyme…we ALL win.
My Pick: Providence

Albany Great Danes v Oklahoma Sooners
It pains me not to pick a team whose mascot could have been Marmaduke, but that seems like a lot of gangly dogs to have on the court all at once.
My Pick: Oklahoma

Georgia Bulldogs v Michigan State Spartans
Those Spartan helmets must clearly give Michigan State an advantage on the court, right? I mean, they restrict vision, but…they’re steel.
My Pick: Michigan State

Virginia Cavaliers v Belmont Bruins
Two of Belmont’s stats are even numbers. 36.0 Rebounds Per Game and 2.0 Blocks Per Game. If you can’t grab or knock away a tenth of a basketball like everybody else, I can’t pick you.
My Pick: Virginia

Duke Blue Devils v North Florida Ospreys
Ospreys are cool. Duke is Duke. Let’s not be ridiculous.
My Pick: Duke

St. John’s Red Storm v San Diego State Aztecs
Um. The Aztecs lived in the 13th century. Does the NCAA pay for time travel?! When I played college athletics, we couldn’t even get a bus. We had to cram into vans. I’m bitter. St. John’s storms to victory.
My Pick: St. John’s

Utah Utes v Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks
LUMBERJACKS! Please tell me we’re going to do that logrolling thing during halftime?! Lumberjacks roll to victory.
My Pick: Stephen F Austin

Eastern Washington v Georgetown
Only the Eastern half of Washington could be bothered to show up? Lazy. Georgetown wins.
My Pick: Georgetown

Battle of the Abbreviations! IDK. IMHO, I C SMU FTW.
My Pick: SMU

UAB Blazers v Iowa State Cyclones
THERE’S A TEAM WITH A DRAGON MASCOT?!?! How awesome is that? But versus a cyclone? We’ve all seen The Wizard of Oz. I don’t know what that means, but Iowa State wins.
My Pick: Iowa State

Iowa v Davidson
The majority of my family is originally from Iowa. Iowa wins or I don’t hear the end of it.
My Pick: Iowa

North Dakota State v Gonzaga
I want to be able to say “Gonzaga” as long as possible. It reminds me of Gonzo from The Muppets. Gonzo The Great wins.
My Pick: Gonzaga

If you’re curious, I picked the Kentucky Wildcats to take it all. Logic says the winner has to be some kind of cat-related team, based on pure volume of cat mascots in the tournament. #science

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