18 March 2009

East Coast snob.

So with March Madness about to begin, I figured I'd just divulge to you my Final Four picks: Kansas, Connecticut, Villanova, UNC, with Connecticut topping Villanova in an all-Big East final. Along the way, Pitt will lose to Tennessee and Louisville will lose to Wake Forest.

I also decided to follow the lead of my friend Matt, who once made an entry into his family's NCAA pool on behalf of the family dog. The idea was simple: anytime a team with a canine mascot plays a non-dog team, the dog team wins. In the event of a dog-eat-dog matchup, the higher seed wins. The underlying project is to pick a bracket based on an arbitrary principle and see if it works better or worse than your "educated" picks.

I decided to make my "control" bracket by choosing whichever school is farther East in every instance. This seemed like a good idea since the ACC and Big East are so strong, but it doesn't look good: only one #2 seed (Memphis) makes it out of the first round, and the Sweet Sixteen only features four teams seeded 3 or higher in their region (Pitt, Villanova, UNC, Connecticut). What really ruins it is that Temple beats Villanova by only twelve miles in a close Final Four matchup. 

So, congratulations to Boston College: you are the 2009 national champion of Easternness. Better luck next year, Portland State.

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