Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nicole's Crystal Ball: NCAA Tourney '10

Another year, another NCAA Bracket filled out by my lovely wife.  She and I both entered a bracket contest on, and this morning I entered her picks in for her.  I would tell her the teams playing and their seeds, and she would follow any one of a number of meandering paths towards which team she would pick.  After one or two games, I quickly realized that this needed to be recorded for posterity, so I took notes on her line of thinking as she picked. 

In previous years, she followed a pretty orderly path towards her picks, as I recorded last year in a blog post.  That system worked pretty well and she actually beat me in 2009.  It seems to have broken down though and is now a pretty dizzying process to be a part of, to be honest.  If you read that post from last March, you will remember a few key points that will help this make more sense: she has an affinity for Cougars as a mascot, private schools, Catholic schools, interesting words in school names, and schools from cities or states she knows people, or knows alumni from.

The greatest hits from Nicole's 2010 Bracket picks (I gave the schools, seeds, mascots, and answered follow up questions; she provided the magic):

First Round
Northern Iowa over UNLV: "I am going to Iowa for work soon and panthers are like cougars.  Plus, Vegas is gross."
Maryland over Houston: "Turtles always win."
Tennessee over SDSU: "SDS Who?  State sucks." (Note: we both went to USD, so we don't like SDSU.)
Oklahoma St. over Georgia Tech: "I have mosquito bites from our ultimate game on Tuesday, so I hate bees."
Ohio St. over UCSB: "UCSB is a party school.  They're not gonna win in basketball."
Gonzaga over Florida St.: "Gonzaga sucks but they're good.  Right?"
Butler over UTEP: "Butler is private.  Texas sucks."
Minnesota over Xavier: "Xavier is Catholic, but I have too many bulldogs, so pick the other one."
Pittsburgh over Oakland: "Panther is close to cougar."
Florida over BYU: "A cougar vs. a gator would be awesome, and I think the cougar would kill the gator, but I need East Coast, so Florida." (Note: she's picked two teams that were panthers because that's "like a cougar" but has now picked against the first cougar she's come accross.)
Texas over Wake Forest: "I have vetoed all the other Texases, and Wendy went there.  One round for Wendy."
Cornell over Temple: "Owls are smart so Temple wins." (I then reminded her that The Office's Andy Bernard went to Cornell and she changed her pick.)
Wisconsin over Wofford: "Anthony Van Asten went to Wisconsin."
Marquette over Washington: "Huskies are fat and Marquette is Catholic."
Notre Dame over Old Dominion: "Irish.  It's St. Patrick's Day!" (Note: It is March 18.)
Baylor over Sam Houston St.: "Baylor makes me think of 'Bears, beets, Battlestar Gallactica.'" (Note: another The Office reference.)
St. Mary's over Richmond: "WCC, dude." (Note: USD is in the WCC.)

Second Round
Maryland over Michigan St.: "Turtles are so cute."
Tennessee over Georgetown: "Volunteering is good, but Georgetown is Catholic.  Which is more important?  I guess you can be called a Catholic but not be a good person.  Volunteers have to volunteer."
Ohio St. over Oklahoma St.: "T.O. is a bitch, so no Cowboys. Plus, Ohio State has a blow-up costume." (Note: T.O. hasn't been a Cowboy in a season and a half and Nicole was a mascot and wore an inflatable costume at USD.)
Syracuse over Gonzaga: "Jeff's school over the Zags." (Note: Jeff, here, is her former coworker Jeff Suss.)
Vanderbilt over Butler: "Jeff went to Vanderbilt.  And I have too many dogs." (Jeff, here, is my brother-in-law, Jeff Donlevy.)
Pittsburgh over Minnesota: "Panthers, dude.  They kill gophers."
Kentucky over Texas: "Wildcats kill bulls. Wildcats equals cougars!"
Cornell over Wisconsin: "Ooh, Andy vs. Anthony.  The Nard Dawg beats Van Asten."
West Virginia over Clemson: "Two." (Note: This was all she said after considering their colors, mascots, states, cities, and conferences.  West Virginia is a 2 seed.)
Baylor over Notre Dame: "Bears, beets, Battlestar Gallactica."
Villanova over St. Mary's: "St. Mary's is Catholic, but 'V' is cool.  Go with the V-one."

Sweet 16
Maryland over Kansas: "Turtles are cute, plus the Dulaneys went there."
Tennessee over Ohio St.: "Volunteers already got two, plus Ohio St. has the blow-up.  But orange is the Mets color." (Note: Nicole, if you're reading this, I love you.")
Syracuse over Vanderbilt: "Jeff vs. Jeff.  Work's been hard for Jeff since I left so he wins.  Syracuse."
Kansas St. over Pittsburgh: "I knocked out Kansas, so maybe keep Kansas St.  Plus Pittsburgh just won the Stanley Cup anyway."
Marquette over West Virginia: "Schools with two names can't be taken seriously."
Villanova over Baylor: "Villanova is Catholic.  Plus...'V'."

Elite 8
Maryland over Tennessee: "Dulaneys and Herbie." (Note: Herbie is the name Nicole gives to basically every wild animal she sees, but in this case she is referring to the green sea turtles we saw in Hawaii, all of which she named Herbie."
Syracuse over Kansas St.: "I don't know.  The Wizard of Oz was in Kansas.  But Kansas St. has two words.  Syracuse."
Marquette over Kentucky: "KFC sucks.  The other one."
Duke over Villanova: "Ooh, they both have cool names...Duke." (Note: This is by far the most she considered picking against Duke thus far.  Until now, once I said, "Number one Duke Blue Devils vs. ..." she said, "Duke.")

Final 4
Maryland over Syracuse: "Dulaneys and turtles, and plus Maryland is Catholic." (Note: Maryland isn't Catholic; it's a public school.  But I suppose the state was the most Catholic of the colonies.)
Duke over Marquette: "Duke."

Championship Game
Duke over Maryland: "Duke hasn't been in a while and he's the Olympic coach, but turtles are really cute.  What are the colors ... hmm ... all American.  Seeds? ... Who won it more recently? ... Would people pick Maryland? ... OK, I don't want to make a dumb pick, so Duke."

Tie-Breaker: Championship Score
Duke 71, Maryland 69: "I was born in 79.  Is that too high? ... What month were you born?  October, so 10.  Too low.  I was July so 7.  Too low.  But I was born on the 17th.  So flip it ...71.  And 69 for the Mets."

I've never been prouder.


Anonymous said...

"What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone [here] is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Justin H. said...


Scott T. Bergen said...

Note: Nicole won the whole freaking thing with these picks. And thank you to the moderator from Billy Madison for those stirring words.