Tournament Time is Here! March 15, 2012Posted by Matt in NCAA Tournament.
Tags: basketball, Final Four, Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Tournament, predictions
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If the NCAA Tournament isn’t the most wonderful time of the sports year, it’s near the top.
What’s not to like? You’ve got 68 teams from all corners of the country, from the small, vaguely familiar universities to the longtime juggernauts, battling it out in a winner-take-all tournament to see who will be crowned champion of the year. Where else can you find these levels of elation and crushing disappointment, of excitement and drama?
Granted, the absence of my team, the Arkansas Razorbacks, dampens things a bit, but given that we haven’t been a factor in the tournament since the mid-90’s anyway, it’s no big surprise.
I’ve filled out my bracket and entered our office pool, my perennial donation to enrich someone else for their good luck, but despite the fact that I pick too many upsets and always lose, it’s still a fun time.
My first round upsets include:
New Mexico St (13) over Indiana (4)
Long Beach St (12) over New Mexico (5)
Ohio (13) over Michigan (4)
Belmont (14) over Georgetown (3)
NC St. (11) over San Diego St. (6)
My Final Four:
Kentucky over Ohio St.
I do tend to go upset-heavy, which always spells doom for me in the office pool, but makes for fun watching. A few possible upsets I thought hard about, but ultimately declined include:
Baylor (3) over Kentucky (1)in the Elite Eight
Memphis (8) over Michigan St. (1) in the 2nd round
Kansas St. (8) over Syracuse (1) in the 2nd round
VCU (12) over Wichita St (5) in the 1st round
What do you think?
Matt’s Meandering Mind on Monday March 21, 2011Posted by Matt in Matt's Meandering Mind on Monday.
Tags: family, Lent, music, NCAA Tournament, visiting home
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So, the weekend’s over and a new week is upon us. Here is what’s happening in the world of the Wisdoms.
- We visited my famiily over the weekend to celebrate both our daughter’s 6th birthday and my dad’s birthday. It was great to be with family and we even got to squeeze in one of our regular games of Trivial Pursuit. Saturday night Diana and I drove to the house of some friends whom we haven’t seen in a very long time and visited with them until 1:00am the next morning. Good times.
- We went to the local Church of Christ on Sunday morning with my family and though things have improved there a great deal over the past year or so, I’m more confident than ever that we made the right decision to move on. We joked on the way to church about how hard it would be to keep from kneeling during prayers and crossing ourselves.
- I think I may work on a series soon about my personal theology. It may not be of much interest to many of you, but I think it would be good for me to write it down.
- My NCAA Tournament prognostication skills are not all that great, but I do have to say that I’m not doing terrible yet either. Sure, I missed the Morehead State pick and I didn’t have teams like VCU, Richmond, and Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen, but all of my Final Four picks are still alive (Kansas, Ohio St, UConn, and Wisconsin) so that’s a major plus.
-As I mentioned before, I took the words of Patrick the priest seriously regarding Lent and I’ve been listening to one complete album each day in order to enhance the joy in my life. Here is a list of what I have chosen so far.
1. Bob Marley – Legend
2. Johnny Cash – Unchained
3. Phish – Billy Breathes
4. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
5. Passenger Jones – Float Slowly
6. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
7. The Avett Brothers – Emotionalism
8. Radiohead – OK Computer
9. Grateful Dead – Reckoning
10. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
11. Pearl Jam – Backspacer
12. Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind
Any suggestions for what else should be on the schedule?
- Today our babysitter called in sick, so I stayed home from work and kept JD. It’s been a good guy-only day around our house!
2011 Tournament Picks March 15, 2011Posted by Matt in basketball, NCAA Tournament.
Tags: Bracketology, Final Four picks, NCAA Tournament, upsets
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Though generally a fan of college basketball, I must admit that I have not watched a great deal of it this season. This dearth of amateur roundball may be due to the struggles and failures of my now-coachless team or it may be because I find myself more interested in the NBA now than ever before, but regardless of why, I have not closely followed this season. Despite my distinct lack of first-hand knowledge I have again participated in the same activity as millions of Americans, one that I myself have done for more than 20 years – filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket.
Though I never do particularly well, it is always fun to prognosticate and cheer on unknown underdogs to victory. I’m not going to print my entire bracket on this short blog entry, but I will tell you a few of my picks.
First Round Upsets:
Memphis (12) over Arizona (5)
Missouri (11) over Cincinnati (6)
Richmond (12) over Vanderbilt (5)
Gonzaga (11) over St. John’s (6)
What about you? Who did you pick?
NCAA Tournament Mascot Fight 2010 – The South March 16, 2010Posted by Matt in NCAA Tournament.
Tags: mascot fight, NCAA Tournament, picks
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Over the past three blog entries, we’ve asked the question on everyone’s mind – if the mascots of the NCAA Tournament teams got in a fight, who would win? We’ve seen the Midwest, West, and East divisions, so now we will take on the South.
Duke Blue Devils vs. UAPB/Winthrop
It doesn’t matter which team they face, always bet on the devils and their demonic powers.
California Golden Bears vs. Louisville Cardinals
No contest. The Bears will be eating cardinal nuggets.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Utah St. Aggies
Draw. The two groups of aggies will talk themselves to death conversing about crops and tractors and stuff.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
According to Wikipedia, a boilermaker is a craftsman who produces steel fabrications from plates and sections. A Saint is a person of God. Go with God.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Old Dominion Monarchs
Notre Dame are not just Irish, they are fighting Irish, like a boxer or Fit Finlay. Monarchs are kings and queens who sit around with their crowns on their heads and pinky fingers in the air. Irish all the way.
Baylor Bears vs. Sam Houston St. Bearkats
A bear could definitely take out a smaller bearcat.
Richmond Spiders vs. St. Mary’s Gaels
The Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group originating from Ireland that should have no trouble smacking down a spider, even if it’s a poisonous one.
Villanova Wildcats vs. Robert Morris Colonials
Colonial people are self-reliant, tough, probably armed, and have little regard for lesser species, so they should be able to take out a wildcat.
In round 2, look for the Blue Devils to wield the powers of hell and destroy the Golden Bears. The Saints get a bye due to the lack of Aggies. While a fighting Irishman might be tough, I’d put my money on a wild bear and the Colonials should take out the Gaels because, well, I don’t know what a Gael would do.
Blue Devils vs. Saints – I’ll go with God and the Saints this time. The Colonials are armed, so they should be able to take out a bear.
The Saints still have the Man Upstairs on their side, so I’ll take them over the Colonials who are most likely deists anyway.
NCAA Tournament Mascot Fight 2010 – The East March 16, 2010Posted by Matt in NCAA Tournament.
Tags: East, mascot fight, NCAA Tournament, picks
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Over the past two blog entries, we’ve asked the question on everyone’s mind – if the mascots of the NCAA Tournament teams got in a fight, who would win? We’ve seen the Midwest and West divisions, so now we will take on the East.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. East Tennessee St. Buccaneers
A buccaneer is a pirate, an armed, bloodthirsty, underhanded fighter who should easily be able to take out a wildcat.
Texas Longhorns vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Sure, a longhorn is big and strong and tough, but we’re talking about a demon deacon here. Give it to the team with the powers of hell on their side.
Temple Owls vs. Cornell Big Red
Another color team, ho hum. Even an owl can beat a color.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Wofford Terriers
Those of us from Beebe know how tough badgers can be. And really, a terrier? Come on, give this one to Wisconsin.
Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Washington Huskies
If the husky could get the eagle on the ground, it would no doubt win, but I’m going with the eagles this time. They are just too powerful and patriotic, while Huskies are too Russian.
New Mexico Lobos vs. Montana Grizzlies
A wolf fighting a grizzly bear is an intriguing matchup, but I’ll have to go with the overpowering grizzly this time around.
Clemson Tigers vs. Missouri Tigers
A tiger fighting a tiger? Draw.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Morgan St. Golden Bears
A mountaineer probably has a pick in hand to fight with, but I’ll have to go with the bear.
In round two I see the Demon Deacons ripping the souls from the Buccaneers, thus ending their run. The owl may be able to attack from above, but seriously, we’re talking about badgers here and they are awesome. The grizzlies should feast on the golden eagles and the golden bears advance with a bye.
The badgers’ unlikely run ends when the evil demon deacons come to fight. A bear fight between a grizzly and a golden bear looks better on paper than it does in real life, where the monstrous grizzly no doubt destroys their cousin.
Grizzlies have proven to be tough attackers, but the powers of the demon deacons will just be too much for them to handle.
NCAA Tournament Mascot Fight 2010 – The West March 16, 2010Posted by Matt in NCAA Tournament.
Tags: mascot fight, NCAA Tournament, picks, West
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Yesterday we asked the question on everyone’s mind – if the mascots of the NCAA Tournament teams got in a fight, who would win? We’ve already looked at the Midwest division, so today we will move on to the West.
Syracuse Orange vs. Vermont Catamounts
A color against a mountain lion? The Catamounts will tear it apart.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Florida St. Seminoles
While bulldogs can be ferocious, Seminoles are probably armed with bows, arrows, tomahawks, and other deadly weapons. Give this one to the Seminoles.
Butler Bulldogs vs. UTEP Miners
Though the fight could be a bit gruesome, miners probably have picks which they can use as weapons to take out the dogs.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Murray St. Racers
I’ll go with the naval figure over the snake. Vandy wins.
Xavier Musketeers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Even though the Golden Gophers are one of my favorite team nicknames, they will be no match for people armed with muskets.
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies
Now this is a fight – panthers vs. grizzly bears. I’m sure it will be tough, but give this one to the heftier and stronger grizzlies.
BYU Cougars vs. Florida Gators
The cougars will be no match against the powerful jaws of the gators.
Kansas St. Wildcats vs. North Texas Mean Green
Look, I don’t care how mean they are, North Texas is still merely a color, so the Wildcats will prevail.
In the second round, I envision the Seminoles hunting down the catamounts with relative ease and the well trained commodores to defeat the miners. The musketeers may get off a shot or two at the grizzlies, but that won’t be enough to stop them and the Gators will have the wildcats for lunch.
The battle-hardened Seminoles may take some hits against the commodores, but they can probably defeat people from the navy in hand-to-hand combat. The grizzly and gator matchup is intriguing, but the overall power of the bear should be too much.
The Seminoles, like other native Americans, have become masters over nature, but I would reckon that they have rarely seen anything as large and powerful as a grizzly bear. It will be a tough and bloody battle, but, unless the Seminoles can keep the bears at a distance, they will fall, so give this one to the grizzlies.
NCAA Tournament Mascot Fight 2010 – The Midwest March 15, 2010Posted by Matt in NCAA Tournament.
Tags: mascot fight, Midwest, NCAA Tournament, picks
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Each year at NCAA Tournament time many hours are consumed poring over the teams in the brackets, studying their strengths and weaknesses, laboring over their strength of schedule and analyzing common opponents, all in order to choose the winners of the upcoming games. While I could do that, and I probably will at some point, I think it’s a little more fun to look at these teams in a different light, namely their mascots. So, as we have done in years past, we will now choose the winners of the tournament, not based upon their prowess on the court, but upon something even more important – whose mascot would win in a fight.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks
According to Wikipedia, the Jayhawk was a name adopted by militant abolitionist groups in Kansas. A Mountain Hawk is a bird of prey. The Jayhawk probably has a gun so give this one to Kansas.
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. N. Iowa Panthers
It doesn’t matter how fast the rebel runs, the panther will get them.
Michigan St. Spartans vs. New Mexico Aggies
I believe an Aggie is a person who practices agriculture while a Spartan is an ancient warrior with a sword. Give this one to the Spartans.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Houston Cougars
Whether you mean for a Cougar to be a member of the cat family or an older woman looking for a younger man, they should be able to take a terrapin.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. San Diego St. Aztecs
Volunteers have muskets while Aztecs have spears. Go for the superior firepower.
Georgetown Hoyas vs. Ohio Bobcats
According to Wikipedia, a Hoya is a genus of tropical climbing plants, so you can give this one to the Bobcats.
Oklahoma St. Cowboys vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The yellow jackets may get in a sting or two, but a well-placed swat would take care of them. Go with the Cowboys.
Ohio St. Buckeyes vs. UCSB Gauchos
According to Wikipedia, a buckeye is a type of woody tree or shrub. A gaucho is a South American cowboy who should make short work of a plant.
In the second round, I see the armed Jayhawks, Spartans, and Volunteers advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. The fourth game features cowboys from the American West against South American gauchos – a gunfight that could be a close match, but one that will have to eventually be won by the Americans because, well, they’ve got that whole John Wayne/Clint Eastwood/Stranger from the Big Lebowski vibe going.
Look for the Jayhawks, who are armed with guns, to make short work of the Spartans and their ancient swords.
In the other game, I would choose the Cowboys with their pistols to defeat the Volunteers with their bulky muskets.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Again give it to the Cowboys because, well, they are self-sufficient, well-armed cowboys….
A Few Notes on March Madness March 15, 2010Posted by Matt in basketball.
Tags: arkansas, Kentucky hatred, Mike Anderson, NCAA Tournament, upsets
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I love the NCAA Tournament, even in years when I haven’t paid close attention to the college game, I’m still an avid follower of the brackets. I guess it’s because I love the David vs. Goliath stories of big upsets by little schools. So, as you might guess, my favorite time is the first weekend, when the field of 64 is whittled down to 16 and you get the chance to see all of the schools you probably miss during the regular season. So, bring on the Big Dance, perhaps the most exciting sporting event in America. Below are a few things that struck me after seeing the teams that made the field yesterday.
I have a few upset teams that I’m eyeing so far, namely, St. Mary’s, Siena, and UTEP, but those could change between now and when I actually fill out a bracket.
I don’t have a favorite squad in this year’s tournament, given that Arkansas was a triumphant failure and Memphis was relegated to the NIT, but I do have an un-favorite: Kentucky. If there is one team and coach that I want to see lose and lose badly, it is UK and John Calipari. I mean, I will even root for Texas if they advance to the second round. It’s that bad.
It is a really sad day for Arkansas basketball when you realize that the only team in the state to make the tournament is not UA, UALR, or even Arkansas State. It’s UAPB, in the play-in game. Ouch.
I will be watching Missouri again this season and hoping, probably against all common sense, that maybe, just maybe, Arkansas can bring Mike Anderson back into the fold as head coach. Then perhaps they could even bring Nolan back as a special consultant and it’ll be like old times again…
I’m still in the process of working on my bracket, but I’ll be sure and post some picks once I have them complete. What about you? Have you filled out a bracket yet?
The Rain Falls… March 27, 2009Posted by Matt in basketball, Memphis.
Tags: loss, Memphis Tigers, Missouri, NCAA Tournament, rain
There is a cold rain falling in Memphis this morning. Threatening clouds shroud the city in darkness, casting their pall upon the citizens who found their hopes and wishes dashed to pieces the previous night and diffusing the great joy for which they had yearned.
Another season is over.
Despite a valiant second half effort, our Tigers fell last night to Missouri, ending another great run for the Championship. Even though this 33 win season ended in the Sweet Sixteen, there is still much pride to be found around the city for our team.
But, the skies won’t stay dark and overcast forever. The rain will not fall for an eternity. No, eventually the sun will peak through the clouds again.
There’s always next year…