Who will win the NCAAs? The second-most powerful being in the universe, of course!


March 16, 2004, midnight | By Luke Bostian | 16 years, 8 months ago


Seems like every time I enter a pool for the NCAA tournament the winner has absolutely no knowledge of college basketball. A good friend of mine, in fact, won $450 in a pool last year having never watched an entire game of college basketball in her life. As a person who obsesses over college basketball from early September until late April and chooses his picks with utmost care and deep analysis and thought, I resent these people like I resent all the kids who sleep through class and pull off A's anyway.

Since analysis has worked for me just once (in 2001, when I picked the winner, both teams in the finals, everyone in the Final Four and six of the Elite Eight teams), I decided to try a different tack this year. I have produced the invincible bracket, guaranteed to bring me victories in all my pools and spread my reputation as a predicting genius. I took each pairing and looked at the team's mascots. After a brief period for consideration in each matchup, I decided which mascot would win in a fight between each pair and penciled that team in to move on.

This produced some interesting upsets. For example, Maryland's Terrapin, no matter how unique, would get his butt kicked by UTEP's Miner in the first round (sorry, Terp fans). I mean, come on. A turtle versus a guy with a pickax? No contest. The University of Central Florida's 14th-seeded Knights will crush Pitt's third-seeded (and, dare I say, under-seeded) Panthers by an astounding margin. A Knight rides a horse and armor and has a sword and such. Maybe in the woods, he'd have trouble. But we're talking one-on-one combat here.

Of course, that open-combat rule leaves a few problems. What to do with the teams called "Flames:" Pacific and Liberty? Well, Pacific's matchup with the Providence Friars is an easy call. The Friar could just pour holy water on the flame and it'd be all over. But Liberty faces off Saint Joseph's Hawks in the first round. A hawk fighting a flame? A tough call for sure, but I had to go with the flame. No hawk could possibly beat a fire without burning up. The fact that a 16-seed has never, ever beaten a one-seed did not deter me from my path. And while we're on top seeds, the Stanford Cardinal (always hated that name) will lose in a tight match to the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio.

The hardest call of all was Alabama over Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sweet 16. Each advanced easily over opponents with the respective names "Crimson Tide" and "Ragin' Cajuns." Classics, both. There, as with the Liberty-over-St. Joe's pick, I had to go with the force of nature. A Cajun, no matter how Ragin', can't do anything about an algae (yes, crimson tides are caused by algae) that kills everything near it.

Those of you who are still reading are probably thinking, "Enough chit-chat, who's in the Final Four?" Easy. The Spartans of Michigan State will be defeated by the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest in the Midwest-vs.-East semifinal. And the Blue Devils of Duke will beat that Crimson Tide back in the South-vs.-West game.

The winner of it all will be Duke. Face it, people. I don't care that we all live 15 minutes from College Park. The Devil is simply the second-most powerful being in the universe. He can do pretty much whatever he wants. And since I don't see any teams called the "Jehovahs" or the "Christs," I think Duke's pretty safe.

My invincible method has yet to put its toe in the water of March Madness. But I have high hopes. If worse comes to worse, I've saved myself some time; anything's gotta be better than spending four straight days reading nothing but analyses of all 65 teams. That never works, anyway.

To enter Silver Chips's NCAA Tournament contest, pick up your bracket in room 158 and bring it back by the end of 5B on Thursday.



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Luke Bostian. Luke Bostian is a senior in CAP and has nothing much to say for himself. Well, actually, that's a lie. Luke has a lot to say for himself and says it all the time. So he won't bore you with it. Suffice it to say … More »

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