Two rounds into the NCAA basketball tournament and I can officially throw my bracket in the trash. I picked Kansas, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Villanova to make it to the Final Four… only Kentucky remains alive. You might be curious why I didn’t take the very talented number two seed Ohio State Buckeyes to go to the Final Four instead of Kansas. My answer is three-fold. First, it is a well-known fact that my teams never do well in the NCAA tournament. I am cursed. If I pick you, then you lose… usually in a painful, last second choke kind of way. Second, Kansas is a tough team and I really questioned Ohio State’s ability to beat perhaps the best team in the tournament. It is no secret that Ohio State relies too heavily on Evan Turner to get them out of sticky situations. Why should I have believed that Diebler, Buford, Lighty and Lauderdale would all of a sudden make meaningful contributions to the team at clutch points in the game? Third, I figured everyone who I was competing against would have Ohio State beating Kansas out of some sense of pride and loyalty to the University. It’s not that I don’t have these things; it’s just that I really, really wanted to win the prize money and the ability to boast about my basketball picking ability. If Ohio State would have lost as I predicted and if Kansas would have won the tournament, I would easily have won the pool since no one else would have had similar picks. It’s too bad none of my strategies ever seem to work as I envision. Fortunately this time the results aren’t entirely negative… Ohio State is still in the tournament and most of the really good teams that would have posed a challenge to them have already been knocked out. Sure my bracket is complete garbage, but maybe this March might just be the month of the Buckeyes.
Tonight I went to my first Ohio State basketball game. The game pitted the #4 ranked Purdue Boilermakers vs. the #9 OSU Buckeyes. As you can imagine, the Shottenstein Center was rocking! Although the Buckeyes were down for most of the game, the fans never quit. After rallying from 16 points down, the noise was so loud that I couldn’t even hear the guy next to me. Despite the Buckeyes valiant effort, the halftime deficit was too much to overcome and they failed to convert a last second 3-pointer to tie the game. Watching the game in person was so much better than I expected and I am now an Evan Turner super fan. Overall I was really impressed with the team and am looking forward to an exciting March Madness!
In other news, I am finally finished with midterms. It was a rough two weeks, but I think I did well so I’m excited to see my results.