Well, my bracket’s toast.
That’s what happens when you lose seven of your Sweet 16 in the first round, have Indiana and Georgetown meeting in the Final Four and pick the Hoosiers to win it all.
But on the bright side, I DID have Florida Gulf Coast making it to the Elite Eight!
No, I didn’t.
But who cares. Brackets are stupid, right? AMIRITE?!
“. . . . . . . . . . .”
OK, fine. But whether or not you’re still alive in your pool, Friday night's March Madness schedule should bring the goods. And that’s convenient because we could all really use some goods (at least while we wait for the Bruins to acquire a player who actually wants to be acquired, for the NBA playoffs to get underway and for Jackie Bradley Jr. to announce his candidacy for the next mayor of Boston).
Most notably, Friday marks the return of the aforementioned No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, one of the most exciting and easily the most entertaining Cinderella story in years. FGCU takes on the University of Florida, in a matchup so perfectly scripted that Disney’s already in negotiations to buy the rights (I assume). The only downside is that the game doesn’t start until 9:57 pm, which might make it hard for some East Coasters to get all the way through.
And there are obvious concerns over what will happen to Cinderella if the game doesn’t end before midnight.
The first game of the night (7:15 pm) takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and the recurring nightmare known as Super Bowl 46. This one features Rick Pitino and the No. 1 overall seed Louisville Cardinals against the most disrespectfully seeded No. 12 Oregon Ducks.
Remember that Pitino full-court press that never quite caught on during the coach’s four-year train wreck with the Celtics? Well, it’s working in Louisville. And if Oregon can’t cut down on the turnovers, the Cardinals are going to do to the Ducks what the football Ducks do to everyone else.
And what do we have in between Louisville/Oregon and the Battle for Florida? Only two games featuring four of the most storied programs in college basketball history.
First, at 7:37 pm at the mammoth Cowboys Stadium, it’s top-seeded Kansas vs. No. 4 Michigan.
The Jayhawks are obviously stacked with talent, led by freshman Ben McLemore (the projected No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft). But thankfully for Wolverines — they’re stacked as well, only their talent will make you feel older than dirt. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III are both big-time talents but point guard Trey Burke is the guy who needs to make the biggest impact. Regardless, all three are projected as first round picks this summer.
And finally, there’s Michigan State vs. Duke, at 9:45 pm in Indy, where two best buds — Coach K and Tom Izzo — face off for a berth in the Elite Eight.
Duke comes in as a three-point favorite, and it will take an a big effort from enormous Derrick Nix (6-9. 270 pounds) to put the Spartans over the top.
Come on, Derrick. Everyone non-Duke student/graduate in America is counting on you.
And that’s all for now. Enjoy the games.
Standing Room Only will be back on Sunday with a special Red Sox preview . . . featuring the musical stylings of Brian Evans!
Well, my bracket’s toast.