Clankucopia

Time again for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 14th annual. Same as last year, we’re using Fibonacci scoring (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21), though there are upset bonuses, +2 points for upsets in the first two rounds, +1 for upset picks after that. Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the surest, most over-confident pickers of all time. Take a sip of whiskey to quell your anxiety. Then get on with it. There’s no time time for calling your bank teller, reading your heart of palms, gazing into your crystal ping pong ball for hints about what the future doesn’t hold.

Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!, Clankucopia (ID#59134). If you have questions, elbow me as hard as you can in the sternum with an email at dereknmueller at gmail.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, faux-frenemies, Canadian compadres, Facebook friends, advisees, mentors, interim interim provosts, sentiment engineers, nouveau artists of the contact zone, members of BoredAF Anonymous, grad school cohorts, children of long conners, bracketoricians, distractable sabbaticaleurs, phonies, discount tattoo artists, grandparents at the bus stop, snakes in a can on a plane, Portland edibles dealers, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Giant stakes: reputations are made (and ground to what’s finer than such a fine-ground dust it’s invisible) right here.

Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em
Group: Clankucopia (ID# 59134)
“14th annual.”

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 12, and first tip of the round of 64, whatever time that is EDT on Thursday, March 16.

Dissoi Bracketologoi

Time for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 13th annual. Like last year, we’re using Fibonacci scoring (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the surest, most over-confident pickers of all time. There’s no time for worrying your picks, no time for calling your fortune teller, reading your horoscope, or consulting your constellations. Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Dissoi Bracketologoi (ID#46007)
. If you have questions, elbow me as hard as you can in the sternum with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com (I’m on research leave; it will take me three weeks to respond). Invite your friends, frienemies, faux-frenemies, square dance partners, Facebook friends, advisees, mentors, bots, posthuman malingerers, artists of the contact zone, hystericists, children of the corn hole ringers, bracketoricians, Jimmie Johns addicts, discount tattoo artists, grandparents at the bus stop, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and ground to coarse dust) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Dissoi Bracketologoi (ID# 46007)
“13th annual.”

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 13, and sometime (I’m checking) EDT on March 17.

Alt Bracketdemic Careen

Time for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 12th annual. Like last year, we’re using Fibonacci scoring (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the surest, most over-confident pickers of all time. There’s no time for worrying your picks, no time for calling your fortune teller, reading your horoscope, or consulting your constellations. Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Alt Bracketdemic Careen (ID#23161)
. If you have questions, knee me gently in the sternum with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, faux-frenemies, neighbors, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, bots, posthuman colleagues, hystericists, bracketoricians, Jimmie Johns addicts, discount tattoo artists, children at the bus stop, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and ground to coarse dust) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Alt Bracketdemic Careen (ID# 23161)
“Makes no difference to us what you studied in college.”

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 15, and 1:00 a.m. EDT on March 19.

Bracketorical Teary

Already time again for the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em – 11th annual. We’re using Fibonacci scoring again this year (2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). Everyone is welcome to join this pool, which will include some of the savviest pickers of all time. There’s little time for rocking back and forth in your chair out of trepidation and anxiety (well, okay, but make it quick). Sign up! Free, free, FREE to you: join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Bracketorical Teary (ID#80061)
. If you have questions, elbow me gently in the forehead with an email at dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends, frienemies, arch-frienemies, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, colleagues, former classmates, bracketoricians, etc. The group has space for the next 49 who sign up. Pride-ish stakes: reputations are made (and dashed) right here.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Bracketorical Teary (ID# 80061)
“Smarty tants, dance.”
Password: ewm

Firm up your selections any time between the selection show on Sunday evening, March 16, and 1:00 a.m. EDT on March 20.

Trophy Ceremony

College basketball is at long last over for the season. And that can only mean one or more things: we have an official and undisputed winner in the Brick-à-Brack (ID#21100) NCAA tournament pool: Julie Meloni. Given that this is Julie’s second EWM Tournament Pick ‘Em win in, what?, two or three years, we can either 1) urge her to write a ProfHacker entry on the blood, sweat, and tears it took to out-predict the rest of us or 2) conclude that something statistically suspicious is afoot and impose a three-year Pick ‘Em probationary period for this possible (some would say “probable”) violation. Okay, so maybe No. 2 is too scornfully anti-congratulatory. Whatever the case, this second championship elevates Julie into Krzyzewskian ranks. Congrats, Julie!

No, I really mean it. I do. Like everyone else you defeated, I’m sincerely “happy” for you.

I don’t have much else to say about this NCAA Tournament (read CGB’s entry on why college basketball in general comes away a winner after a tournament like this). By the end, I was rooting enthusiastically for Butler. Like this, “Go Bulldogs! Woof! Woof! Woof!” Not really. I mean, I *was* rooting for Butler, but without barking. To be honest, though, I misjudged Duke and Butler as upset specials. Neither of them had even a slim chance in my vision of how things would play out. I had Butler losing to UTEP (first round) and Duke losing to Louisville (second round). Be forewarned: Next season I will keep these hallucinations and blindnesses in mind.

Brick-à-Brack

It is March again: time to try your luck in the internet’s most competitive, most hyperbolic NCAA pool. The trophy is small, so small in fact that you might not hear about it when you win. Nevertheless, for the seventh consecutive year the EWM Yahoo! NCAA men’s basketball tournament pick’em welcomes everyone from the fearless to the bored to pick against the the savviest basketball futurologists around. There’s no time for biting your nail out of nervous habit (well, okay, but make it fast). Simply sign up! At no monetary cost to you, join this year’s group on Yahoo!,
Brick-à-Brack (ID#21100)
. If you have questions, heave a three-quarter-court email my way: dmueller at earthwidemoth.com. Invite your friends.
Invite your arch-nemeses. But don’t invite that shady character who brought a spoiled pecan cheese log to the Superbowl party. The group has room for the next forty-nine who sign up. What’s at stake is more valuable than the cash in your pocket: your status as a basketball know-it-all.


Yahoo! Tournament Pick’em

Group: Brick-à-Brack (ID# 21100)
Password: ewm
Firm up your picks after the selection show on Sunday, March 14. The latest you
can sign up is five minutes before the round of 64 tips off on Thursday, March
18.

Finito

Did you watch the game last night?  Whatever your answer, I can’t say I blame you. 
What does that mean, anyway, "can’t say I blame you"? I watched, using it as a good reason to stay up and eat jellybeans, until nine minutes remained in the second
half.  Reminded me of the time my good mutt
Tony was
surprised to find himself sniffing around in tie-up-reach of two German
Shepherds, double-surprised when one took him in its jaws, and surprised yet
again when the beast shook him around like a rag doll and tossed him up in the
air like a UNC jump shot in the first half of last night’s drubbing. T.
scamperlimped away and hid under some neighbor’s deck.  By association, it
comes down to this: I’d have been happier if the Spartans won and I’d have been
more interested if the game was ever close.

The pool
is complete, and the victor is Julie M. with 145 picktelligent points. What
stands out to me the most about JM’s impressive finish is that last year she was 12th; this
year she was 1st.  Guess who was 12th this year? Yours truly. This can only
mean that next year I am due to join the elite company of EWM Tournament Pick’em
Champs.

2009  Julie M.  (1 of 24)
2008  Billie H. (1 of 18)
2007  Jason L.  (1 of 17)
2006  Chuck T.  (1 of 11)
2005  Mike J.   (1 of 7)
2004  Jeff R.   (1 of 7)

Reason #7

Local sports columnist Bud Poliquin shared his “20 Reasons Syracuse Will Make The Sweet 16” in yesterday’s Post-Standard. I’d already picked the Orange to win their first couple of games in this year’s tournament: no surprise, then, that I was nodding along with Poliquin’s twenty reasons.

I paused on No. 7, however:

7.It’s been 1,825 days since SU has won an NCAA Tournament game, which was on March 20, 2004. Or before anybody heard of Hannah Montana, before Alex Rodriguez played a single regular-season contest for the New York Yankees, before that airplane on “Lost” crashed in the South Pacific. That’s a long time.

A long time, indeed. In fact, it’s exactly five years ago, and it’s just about the time (within a couple of weeks, anyway) I committed to SU for a doctoral program of study, just about the time I said “Yes” to Syracuse. A long, long time. Long. Time.

Of course, the latest developments on Lost throw a wrench into this; that Jack et al. are now on the island in 1977 tinkers with time-space decorum ever so slightly, but, alas, it does not change the fact that the Orange have gone 0-for-the-NCAAs since I moved to town.

That will change later today, right?

Hunches

The tournament
pool
is up to a record 20 participants. Over the past five years,
participation has gone from 7 to 7 to 11 to 17 to 18. Now 20. It’s still
your option to

fill out a bracket
through noon tomorrow.

I have listened to the ESPN gurus tell me who they like: #13 Cleveland State
over #4 Wake Forest, #13 Mississippi State over #4 Washington, #11 Utah
State over #6 Marquette. Surprises, upsets, these. In years past, I
let this chatter seep into my thinking about who to pick. Wake Forest was
awful late in the season; Washington…the only thing I know about Washington is
that they wear purple and yellow; and Marquette is down a senior guard. In other
words, these are upset picks that seem reasonable to me, which means they’ll
probably be wrong.

So, I look for other unexpected teams to advance to the Sweet Sixteen because
1.) I have not noticed them and 2.) I am not picking them in my bracket: #10 USC,
#14 American, #11 Temple. These teams are invisible to me. Are they in the
tournament? Seems so. Thus, even though I have not picked them, I have come to
expect that one such team will arrive in the Sweet Sixteen. Why not
American?

I have eight first-round upset picks and two second-round upset picks. My
hunch is that it would be cowardly to have fewer and reckless to have more.