Look, I know that none of you care about the men's NCAA tournament, but I'm not going to let that stop me from going on about it anyway. However, I'm going to go on about it in what I hope is at least moderately interesting to most of you.
Some basics you need to know:
• There are 64 teams that show up. (Technically, there are 65 teams, but you can ignore that. I do.)
• Last weekend eliminated 48 teams. There are 16 teams left. (See - I'm even doing the math for you!)
I love that there are always a number of teams that I have no idea where they are from or what their team name or mascot is. Morgan State? Robert Morris? Siena? If any of you know where these schools are located, you are pretty good. (The answers will be in the PS. If I remember.)
My favorite team name is the Akron Zips. Zips refer to the rubber overshoes made in Akron many years ago. Naturally, their mascot is a kangaroo.
How about the Chattanooga Mocs. Mocs is short for mockingbirds (I would have assumed that it was snake or Indian related). The Radford Highlanders have a large Scottish guy as their mascot.
There were four teams with Eagles in their name, and between them they won one game.
There were two teams with Wildcats in their name, and both won all of their games and are up to four wins so far.
There were four teams with Tigers in their name, and they have five wins so far.
There were six teams with large mammal-based names (Bruins, a couple of Bears, Rams, Longhorns, and Bison) that only won two games between them. Meanwhile the large rodent teams (Badgers, Wolverines, Gophers) each won a game.
Teams named after Indian tribes (Utes and Seminoles) lost all their games while the team named after cowboys (Cowboys) won one game.
I was hoping to come up with a pattern that you would use as a guide for choosing likely winners (like maybe the Wildcats, definitely not the Eagles), but nothing jumps out. There are way more teams named after large cats and birds than are named after dogs. There is one team named after a tree (Buckeyes, no wins) and another named after a French battalion that fought in WWI (weirdly, the Blue Devils, two wins and still going). Two are named after famous colors (Orange and Red - the Orange are still going).
There are several states that have four teams in the tournament (California, New York, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania) and one state that has five teams (Ohio, although if I counted that stupid 65th team, New York would also have five teams in the tournament). North Dakota had a team in the tournament for the first time ever (they promptly lost to Kansas and are now fighting extreme flooding, probably not Kansas' fault).
OK, enough trivia. There are 16 teams left and they start playing again on Thursday. Who should you root for? Glad you asked.
Obviously, Kansas is your top priority. Following them are Missouri and Oklahoma. And just because it bugs so many people, Arizona. Gonzaga just because they are from the west. And that's about it. The rest of the teams are just varying degrees of me hating them. Like Duke and North Carolina.
So have fun watching the games (pretend, OK?).
Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk!
That's it - move along...
PS: I remembered! Morgan State is in Maryland (I should have known that). Robert Morris is in Pennsylvania. Sienna is in New York. How many did you get right? (I would have gotten zero right.)