Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Updated: March 15, 9:43 AM ET
Bank on it: This is the perfect bracket
By DJ Gallo
According to mathematicians, the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are somewhere in the neighborhood of one in 240 billion. Or one in 150 billion. Or one in 13 billion. (Apparently, they don't all agree on the exact odds.)
But the point is this: You're about to become very, very rich after reading these predictions.
(1) Florida vs. (16) Jackson State
Florida returns its entire starting lineup from the team that won the national championship a year ago. Whereas this is Jackson State's starting five. Easy pick.
(8) Arizona vs. (9) Purdue
Lute Olson doesn't have Parkinson's disease. But maybe he'll tell his team he does so the players are inspired to finally play up to their potential.
(5) Butler vs. (12) Old Dominion
This matchup means we're guaranteed to get one mid-major out of the way immediately, and that's great because everyone hates an underdog. Thanks so much, selection committee!
(4) Maryland vs. (13) Davidson
Davidson will hang close and have the ball with a chance to win on the last possession. Then the Wildcats' point guard will slip on the pool of sweat leaking out of Gary Williams' pants and turn the ball over.
(6) Notre Dame vs. (11) Winthrop
Notre Dame fails yet again to step up in a big game. Say hello to the second round, Brady Quinn.
(3) Oregon vs. (14) Miami (Ohio)
Being meek isn't going to get you anywhere in the ultracompetitive NCAA Tournament, Miami of Ohio. Either be proud of where you're from and lose the parentheses, or don't even bother showing up.
(7) UNLV vs. (10) Georgia Tech
Until I see a picture of current UNLV players sitting in a hot tub with a known points-shaver, I'll doubt the program's commitment to winning.
(2) Wisconsin vs. (15) Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Wisconsin would struggle to beat Texas A&M, but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi? I don't think so. Christi is a girl's name.
(1) Florida vs. (8) Arizona
Regardless of the outcome, one state full of retired, old people is going to be very cranky. I wouldn't want to be a whippersnapper on a lawn in Arizona once this game is over.
(4) Maryland vs. (12) Old Dominion
Old Dominion could be this year's George Mason. But in this game, Maryland will be the team that plays exactly like this year's George Mason team.
(3) Oregon vs. (11) Winthrop
The Ducks will advance to the Sweet 16. But they'll need an extra tall ladder if Tajuan Porter (5-foot-6, 160) is going to help cut down the net.
(2) Wisconsin vs. (10) Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech doesn't match up well with Wisconsin. For instance, the Yellow Jackets don't have anyone like injured Brian Butch who can bend his arm both forward and backward at the elbow.
(1) Florida vs. (12) Old Dominion
The Monarchs' run comes to an end. Thankfully, there will be no beheading or mass rioting by the proletariat.
(2) Wisconsin vs. (3) Oregon
Oregon has five players who average double figures. Wisconsin often doesn't score double figures as an entire team.
(1) Florida vs. (3) Oregon
Don't expect Joakim Noah and the experienced Gators to play tight with a trip to the Final Four on the line. The only thing that will be tight is Noah's scrunchie.
(1) Kansas vs. (16) Niagara
Kansas is lucky Niagara will be tired from playing Tuesday night in the "opening-round" game because the Jayhawks would get crushed otherwise.
(8) Kentucky vs. (9) Villanova
Kentucky's AD says Tubby Smith will have a job next year. Lucky for Smith, he'll be able to start working on next season right away.
(5) Virginia Tech vs. (12) Illinois
This is one of those infamous 5-12 pairings. And sorry, Illinois, but you're going to be upset by a No. 5 seed.
(4) Southern Illinois vs. (13) Holy Cross
I wouldn't want to face any team confident enough to name itself after a smooth, slender dog that has curly, droopy ears. The Salukis are no bite, all bark and very adorable.
(6) Duke vs. (11) Virginia Commonwealth
Commonwealth, huh? What's the deal with all the wealth sharing? I don't like Duke, but I like communists even less.
(3) Pitt vs. (14) Wright State
Wright State doesn't have a chance. Pitt has a long and proud history of squeaking out a first-round win before falling to a lower-seeded team later on.
(7) Indiana vs. (10) Gonzaga
What -- you can't imagine how Gonzaga can pull the upset? Then you're not trying. Try psychedelic mushrooms.
(2) UCLA vs. (15) Weber State
UCLA is known for basketball. Weber State is not. Weber State is known for ... umm ... do they maybe do grill research there?
(1) Kansas vs. (9) Villanova
Sorry, ladies, no more high-definition Jay Wright on your television.
(4) Southern Illinois vs. (5) Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is a Jekyll and Hyde team. In this game, the Hyde side will show up. Then it will return to campus and party with Marcus Vick.
(3) Pitt vs. (6) Duke
I wonder how long it will take Mike Krzyzewski to notice that Pitt's "Aaron Gray" is really just Cherokee Parks made over with a new, nonhippie name and a slightly different haircut.
(2) UCLA vs. (10) Gonzaga
Gonzaga's Mark Few has installed a new system designed to prevent his players from bawling like little girls when they are eliminated from the tournament. We'll see whether it works.
(1) Kansas vs. (4) Southern Illinois
Kansas fans are known to chant: "Rock, chalk, Jayhawk." Whereas Southern Illinois fans chant: "Hey, losing in the Sweet 16 is nothing to be ashamed of, right?" (It's actually quite catchy.)
(2) UCLA vs. (3) Pitt
UCLA's fans have put intense pressure on the Bruins to return to the Final Four. But Pitt can play free and easy because the citizens of Pittsburgh already are caught up in Pirates Fever.
(1) Kansas vs. (3) Pitt
Kansas' athletic, up-tempo style will present problems for the Panthers. But Pitt will be able to slow the Jayhawks down by falling behind by double digits.
(1) North Carolina vs. (16) Eastern Kentucky
EKU's school motto is "Where students and learning come first." How pathetic. Clearly they don't know what it takes to have a successful, big-time athletic program.
(8) Marquette vs. (9) Michigan State
Did you know Tom Crean and Tom Izzo used to coach together? It's true. And did you know Steve Mariucci has begged them both for a job? Also true. (Probably.)
(5) Southern California vs. (12) Arkansas
Being the No. 5 seed in a 5-12 game can cause a lot of paranoia. Kind of like the paranoia O.J. Mayo's friends often experience as a side effect.
(4) Texas vs. (13) New Mexico State
It's not often that Kevin Durant is overshadowed by a bigger talent. But he will be in this game because New Mexico State is coached by former "Hang Time" star Reggie Theus.
(6) Vanderbilt vs. (11) George Washington
Use this game to teach your kids about two icons of American history: the Vanderbilt family and George Washington. Your history lecture will be more exciting than the game.
(3) Washington State vs. (14) Oral Roberts
Nine-hundred-foot-tall Jesus gets sent home early from the tournament yet again. (Work on your midrange game, giant Jesus. You can't expect to always dunk on everyone.)
(7) Boston College vs. (10) Texas Tech
You know Bob Knight will have his team prepared for this game. That means neck braces, headgear and any other protective equipment necessary to play for Bob Knight.
(2) Georgetown vs. (15) Belmont
I hope Belmont doesn't try to upset the Hoyas by doing what Villanova did to them in 1985. For one, there is now a shot clock in college basketball. And two, nut-hugging shorts are very unsightly.
(1) North Carolina vs. (8) Marquette
As the final seconds tick away, the Golden Eagles will pull off the mask of North Carolina's star "Scooby Doo" style and reveal it was old man Hansbrough who was their nemesis all along.
(4) Texas vs. (5) Southern California
USC's stingy defense will hold Durant to just 25 percent shooting from the field. Unfortunately for the Trojans, Durant will put up 148 shots.
(3) Washington State vs. (6) Vanderbilt
Rookie Washington State coach Tony Bennett will lead the Cougars into the Sweet 16. He will then serenade his team with a cheesy rendition of "The Best Is Yet To Come."
(2) Georgetown vs. (10) Texas Tech
Knight won't be able to pull off the upset. Especially with Georgetown rubbing a magic substance on Jeff Green.
(1) North Carolina vs. (4) Texas
And so Durant's brief college career comes to an end. And it's too bad for him. This is the most talented team he'll play on for several years.
(2) Georgetown vs. (3) Washington State
Bennett will be outsmarted by John Thompson III. Bennett will prepare for Georgetown's offense, but Thompson will have his team run Princeton's offense.
(1) North Carolina vs. (2) Georgetown
Georgetown has amazing pedigree: John Thompson's son, Patrick Ewing's son and Doc Rivers' son. All North Carolina has is Roy Williams, wannabe son of Dean Smith.
(1) Ohio State vs. (16) Central Connecticut State
Ohio State has phenom Greg Oden and several other talented freshmen. Central Connecticut has only two freshmen on its roster, and together they equal Oden's height and age.
(8) BYU vs. (9) Xavier
I don't know whether a Mormon can win the presidency. But I'm pretty sure a bunch of them can beat Xavier.
(5) Tennessee vs. (12) Long Beach State
If the 12-seed loses, I fear Long Beach native Snoop Dogg might be charged again with murder.
(4) Virginia vs. (13) Albany
The latest steroids bust proved one thing: You don't mess with Albany. So win if you want to, Virginia. But expect to be arrested within the week for purchasing steroids.
(6) Louisville vs. (11) Stanford
This will be tough for Rick Pitino. He'll have to deal with playing in Lexington in front of Kentucky fans who hate him. And he probably also will have to deal with the Stanford Tree vomiting on him.
(3) Texas A&M vs. (14) Penn
Quakers are pacifists. That's the good thing about Quakers. The bad thing is that they reek of oatmeal.
(7) Nevada vs. (10) Creighton
A police report says Nevada coach Mark Fox is abusive and profane. That sort of behavior will make a team of fresh-faced Nebraskan Jesuits wet their pants.
(2) Memphis vs. (15) North Texas
The Conference USA champions will be rattled playing a team that has players talented enough to dribble with both their right and left hands. But Memphis still will manage to squeak out a win.
(1) Ohio State vs. (8) BYU
Danny Ainge will try to sign Greg Oden to a Celtics contract at halftime to put a stop to Oden blocking all his son's shots and making him cry.
(12) Long Beach State vs. (13) Albany
Long Beach and Albany are more similar than you might think. Both are on the water -- Long Beach the Pacific and Albany the Hudson -- and either team will get crushed in the next round.
(3) Texas A&M vs. (6) Louisville
Pervis Ellison isn't walking through that door, Louisville fans. Darrell Griffith isn't walking through that door. Samaki Walker might, though. I hear he delivers pizzas now.
(2) Memphis vs. (7) Nevada
Sorry, Memphis, but you are too worn down from your brutal conference schedule to have anything left for the tournament.
(1) Ohio State vs. (13) Albany
A recent study claims Ohio State graduates just 10 percent of its basketball players. That means you don't have to worry about the Buckeyes getting upset in the tournament because they were wasting time on schoolwork.
(3) Texas A&M vs. (7) Nevada
Once the final horn sounds and the Wolf Pack are eliminated, arena security will shoot coach Mark Fox in the neck with a tranquilizer dart.
(1) Ohio State vs. (3) Texas A&M
If Acie Law I through III couldn't make it to the Final Four, I don't see why the fourth edition will do any better.
Florida vs. Kansas
Kansas is the chic pick to win it all, but if you want chic, look no further than Joakim Noah. I mean, come on -- a wispy mustache on a slender young woman? HOT!
Ohio State vs. Georgetown
Don't worry, Ohio State. You'll have a chance to win it all next year. And for many years after that, too, because apparently no one in your program ever graduates.
Florida vs. Georgetown
Florida fans will be unbearable after this game, what with simultaneously holding the national titles in basketball, football and chew spittin'.
DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and the new Cracked magazine, and he has written for The Onion. His first book -- "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck" -- will be in stores in May.