Late Friday night I was watching the Villanova – Clemson game. My father went to Villanova and Villanova Law; my brother went to law school there; so did some of my cousins. Although I had picked Clemson in my pool (perhaps in a complex reverse-psychological rooting strategy) I am a Villanova fan, and I was in despair. The Wildcats were not only losing by 18 points; they looked terrible. On offense they would bring the ball down and stand around until someone took a bad shot. On defense they would leave huge lanes to the basket. I was sitting with a bunch of my cousins, most of them Philadelphians, and I found myself spouting invectives. Villanova, I said, was a weak 12 seed, while Clemson was a strong number five. Villanova, I said, didn’t deserve to be in the tournament at all. It was pro-Big East bullshit, I said. Villanova sucks. I went to bed.
Sometimes I am wrong. I admit it. Villanova is in the sweet 16!
It was a balm for the pain in my brackets. By Sunday, the only hope I had left, as far as the pool was concerned, was my long-shot national champion, Georgetown. I had no love for Georgetown. In fact, quite the reverse. The greatest moment in my life was the 1985 Villanova defeat of the Hoyas. To pick them was a sort of sacrilege. But I thought the perversity might be just the thing to lead me to victory. I had a feeling.
So I am always wrong. Georgetown lost to Davidson. Davidson! There are only like 12 students at that school.
Most of you are better off than I. A good majority of your national champion picks are still alive after the first weekend, although this almost wasn’t the case. The most popular champion in The Modern Spectator pool was UCLA (There are 11 Bruins believers among us), who nearly lost to the Aggies of A&M. The second most fashionable pick was UNC with 8 partisans, followed by Kansas (5), Texas (3), and Memphis (3). No one was dumb enough to pick Duke. Some long-shot champion picks: Oregon (Dead Ducks), Michigan State, and Villanova (Go, Dina!).
Congratulations go out to Amparo McDowell and Laura Kelley, the leaders, and to Amparo (again) and Christie Flamm who were leading after the first round. A shout out as well to Jacob Craycroft who knew that Western Kentucky would face San Diego and to Greg Dobbins who scored an incredible 8 upset points in the first two rounds. Bravo.
Standings follow with 1st round results at bottom.
Results After Round Two
|5||Joe Kelley III||49|
|19||Joe Kelley II||44|
|39||Marquis de Lafayette||30|
Results After Round One
|20||Joe Kelley II||24|
|27||Joe Kelley III||23|
|37||Marquis de Lafayette||20|
something is seriously wrong if both Matthew McKown and Emily Thompson are above me in this ranking system.
— no question about it Mar 24, 02:40 PM #
Don’t worry. Bear Stearns is auditing the results to make sure everything is on the up and up.
My wife, Laura, who coleads with Amparo, was 4 for 4 on last night’s games. She’s drunk with power.
She also has Wisco, Horns, Memph, and Kans in the final 8. (Please note that these are the official Noms-de-bracket that everyone should have used for these schools on their pool entries.)