The second week of the NCAA Tournament is upon us, and I have just one little leftover message remaining from last week.
Thanks, Kansas. You too, Iowa, you [expletive deleted].
After Kansas kindly presented us with their latest March choke job, I received an e-mail belittling my pick of the Jayhawks as a Final Four team, a missive that included words like "useless" and something about an antelope being able to do what I do. I was prepared to shoot off a retort, but after looking at the results of my horrific bracket, I instead agreed with him. And I'm going to blame someone new this time around: the Internet.
Back in the days when I used to be good at this thing, when Prodigy was considered the cutting edge way onto the World Wide Web, I may have had much more time on my hands to watch college basketball all year long (sorry, British Literature), but I don't think that's why I now fail horribly at making my picks each year. I'm blaming CBS and ESPN and CNNSI and Boston.com and Sportsplus and PTI and message boards and chats (don't forget Joe Sullivan chats at noon today on Boston.com!) and blogs galore and all the information the Internet makes readily available, including 8,000 different ways to make me doubt my initial picks. My heart told me to stick with my revulsion for the University of Kansas, but Andy Katz liked them too. I mean, is this what I have become, following the advice of Andy Katz?
In lieu, I suppose I could do what "Cold Pizza" did and determine the winner of the Sweet 16 based on school mascot, but that would 1) entail that I admit I watched "Cold Pizza"; and 2) be idiotic.
I could do some lamer Sweet 16 to decide the worst commercial during CBS's coverage, but that's a bit too trite and a bit too easy in my estimation. Any way that Applebee's Gilligan's Island disaster doesn't win that one? Straight down to the ocean squirt into the woman's eye. And I want to eat there? Much less, shrimp at Applebee's? Shrimp? And don't think you're off the hook either Friday's with your Kung Pao option. If I want frozen shrimp, I'll pick it up at my local grocer, not your dime-a-dozen, strip-mall-America, good God, am-I-really-eating-here establishments, comprende?
Duke has the best chance to fall tonight when it faces Big Baby and LSU. But the Blue Devils have been solid so far in their first two games, hardly breaking a sweat in beating Southern and George Washington, respectively. Memphis was tabbed by a few as possibly the first top seed to lose to a 16. Nope. I like them against Bradley, but to fall to Gonzaga in the Elite Eight, thus giving us the first No. 1 to fall.
UConn has probably spiked sales of defibrillators in Connecticut with their Great Escapes against Albany (Albany!) and Kentucky. There's one more on the docket when the Huskies will possibly need overtime to overtake Washington. But after that, they pound Wichita State into the ground to reach the Final Four. And sorry, but Villanova ends Boston College's season in embarrassing fashion.
Elsewhere, Texas will win and Florida will send Georgetown home.
We're working on getting the antelope to cooperate, but the darn thing won't sit still.