Six pools, one Sheet of Integrity, countless hours of gutless chalk and baseless punts on underdogs -- it must be March Madness time again! Yes, it's those magical few weeks when national productivity plummets as everyone who's been ignoring college basketball up until this point suddenly becomes keenly interested in the sport (or at least in the prize money for winning their office pool).
I make no claims of great insight or analysis; the vast majority of college basketball games I watched this season were with the sound off and podcasts playing instead. Still, I would be remiss if I, too, didn't jump into the pool with both feet. It's only a matter of time before my bracket is irreparably busted, of course, at which point I do like any self-respecting observer and cheer for chaos.
First-round upsets: Missouri (9) def. Colorado State (8), Oregon (12) def. Oklahoma State (5), St. Mary's (11) def. Memphis (6).
Second round: Louisville (1) def. Missouri; Oregon def. St. Louis (4); Michigan State (3) def. St. Mary's; Duke (2) def. Creighton (7).
Sweet 16: Louisville def. Oregon; Michigan State def. Duke. Elite Eight: Louisville def. Michigan State.
First-round upsets: Wichita State (9) def. Pittsburgh (8); Iowa State (10) def. Notre Dame (7).
Second round: Gonzaga (1) def. Wichita State; Wisconsin (5) def. Kansas State (4); New Mexico (3) def. Arizona (6); Ohio State (2) def. Iowa State.
Sweet 16: Gonzaga def. Wisconsin; New Mexico def. Ohio State. Elite Eight: Gonzaga def. New Mexico.
First-round upsets: None. I know Minnesota (11) over UCLA (6) is a popular pick, but did you see how the Gophers finished the season? The same Gophers who lost to Nebraska while an NCAA bid was on the line?
Second round: Kansas (1) def. North Carolina (8); VCU (5) def. Michigan (4); Florida (3) def. UCLA; Georgetown (2) def. San Diego State (7).
Sweet 16: Kansas def. VCU; Florida def. Georgetown. Elite Eight: Florida def. Kansas.
First-round upsets: Temple (9) def. North Carolina State (8). I just can't pull the trigger on another sexy pick, Bucknell (11) over Butler (6).
Second round: Indiana (1) def. Temple; Syracuse (4) def. UNLV (5); Butler def. Marquette (3); Miami (2) def. Illinois (7).
Sweet 16: Syracuse def. Indiana; Miami def. Butler. Elite Eight: Miami def. Syracuse.
Louisville def. Gonzaga; Florida def. Miami.
National Championship Game
Louisville 71, Florida 63