the importance of your opposite


Yeah, yeah, I’ll go back to other topics tomorrow, but ESPN’s NCAA bracket software is driving me bonkers. Not only does it randomly decide you don’t exist for a day, it loads more slowly than a teenager’s MySpace page. Dan Kois actually migrated his entire pool to CBS, although I’m not sure how he did it – I thought it was past the deadline. Either way, can somebody get some trained chimps to write us some code?

Not to say I told you so, but Tessa is thrashing me for the fourth year in a row. This is getting really boring, darling. Here’s the thing: I actually watch a lot of college basketball, even the occasional team that isn’t playing us. I’m up on SportsCenter, I follow a little bit of recruiting, and I have a pretty good working memory of a team once I’ve seen them.

And yet Tessa has this system where she determines how much sleep a team gets, along with some other theory or two, and she crushes me yearly. I’d also like to mention that currently, four of the top six players on our bracket site are women (five if you count Jon Vaden, who owns a Pure Prairie League album). What can it all mean? Cathie’s a priest, so she’s divinely inspired, but how about the rest of you?

The Heels made it past a gritty Michigan State team (sorry, Sean M., although I have to say I really like Tom Izzo) and now our team is off to NYC next weekend for the regionals. I have half a mind to fly back for the game, but apparently I’d be single-handedly responsible for the carbon emissions from the plane, so I guess by not going, the airline will no doubt cancel the flight. Or is that not how it works? I’m confused.

By the way, back in the Dark Ages, they used to say the ACC spent so much time beating the shit out of each other that they had nothing left for the NCAA tournament. Fortunately, that stopped being true about Carolina around 1991, but for the rest of the league, it seems so. Frankly, I don’t understand – and my bracket doesn’t either – how Virginia Tech, Virginia, Boston College and even Georgia Tech can show such brilliance throughout the regular season and then lay such an egg in the tournament?

And Dook, who managed to get 22 wins this year with 6 McDonald’s All-Americans, and gets beat by Virginia Commonwealth in the first round? Sure, it’s always nice to see them collapse into a immolating pyre of self-recrimination, but there’s something truly pathetic about their death spiral. Sure, they might rebound next year (or the year after) and we’d be back to quaking our fists with rage, but you have to be careful what you wish for, or else there might be nobody left to loathe.

0 thoughts on “the importance of your opposite

  1. Pete Corson

    Here I go failing to be a homer again, but I didn’t think the ACC had a very strong field this year. Take another look at the losses outside the conference for Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Boston College (I’ll leave out Maryland), and you’ll see these were some very inconsistent teams that weren’t exactly peaking in March. Fuck Duke. I can think of other years the ACC deserved 7 bids, but this wasn’t one. (4 or 5 would’ve been my preference.)

  2. Kois

    Sportsline is nice because unlike ESPN, it allows for the group manager – the guy who set up the group — to manually enter or alter brackets, and to manually add people to the group, even after games have begun. ESPN doesn’t allow you to do any of those things.
    The good news is that meant I could move my pool over to Sportsline when ESPN deleted some people and didn’t let other people in. The bad news is it meant me entering 60 brackets manually.
    I guess it’s because ESPN’s “tournament challenge” is a contest with a prize, whereas Sportsline exists solely for people to manage office pools. I have learned my lesson for next year.

  3. yaytee

    “I’d also like to mention that currently, four of the top six players on our bracket site are women[.]”
    This includes numero uno, meaning moi, T. Stroud.
    Who’s your mommy, fellas?

  4. Anne D.

    Eternal ECAC and Northeast region optimist that I am, I’m going to go with Clarkson in 3 for the Division I championship.
    Oh wait. This isn’t about hockey? ;-)

  5. Andy

    Ian – I’ve used Yahoo to manage my brackets for the past several years and always have good luck with that.

  6. Sean M

    Yeah, Izzo’s a quality guy. ESPN, on the other hand, not so much quality. Been doing another pool the last few years on CBS Sportline, always been great.

  7. Rebecca

    I am last in our pool. Oh sure, S. Vecc is listed under me, but clearly his or her picks did not go through, and the score is 0 across the board. Surely I deserve some sort of special recognition for being in the bottom 1% of the nation.
    I admit, my husband tried to warn me. In fact, when I filled out my bracket, he looked at it and said, “You can submit that to Ian’s group, but you need to do another one for my office. I’m not taking that in with me.” So I did, and I’m middle of the pack with that group. (Side note: Matt submitted three to his office pool, one of which had these teams in the final four: MD, Va.Tech, BC and UVA. And yet he made fun of ME!)
    I’ve learned my lesson. Stop trying to pick upsets and just go with the higher ranked teams. Most of the time, you’ll be right.
    So now I’m rooting for Cathie, the Episcopal Priest. By the way, Cathie, did you know Kelli Auletta at G’town? She was one of my dearest friends.

  8. Neva

    Yes, I’m kicking your butts fellas and I know not what I pick. I just thought which state do I like better California or Texas?. Hmmm it’s mighty hot in Texas … I’ll pick USC. I prefer Texas to Kentucky however so Texas A and M stood. I’ve never been to Memphis and have wanted to visit so they went forward. I couldn’t remember where Marquette was so that put them out of the running. This method seemed to work well. I recommend it to you all for next year.

  9. jje

    I’m usually pretty lucky in March. I won the pool I entered last year, though that doesn’t say much about my competition since I won with Carolina picked as the eventual national champ. But that’s my Achilles’ heel – I just can’t pick against us, so my fortunes are completely tied to how well Roy’s Heels do. So I may still completely tank this year.
    Best win was my junior year at Carolina. I beat a mess of football players who lived next door to me at MillCreek in the pool they were running. Still remember the looks on their faces when they handed over the money. ;-)

  10. kjf

    espn fantasy sites are useless. here’s another vote for the cbs site. we use it for fantasy football also and it is reliable and easy to use. next year you should try it.

  11. cathie

    don’t try pawning off my wins on God!! i watch TONS of college basketball. i was on retreat with my parish this past weekend, and scheduled our meetings around the games.
    i even picked VCU to beat duke….
    however, it all comes down to georgetown. if my alma mater beats yours, then start warming up that blog for me. if not, well, then at least i have my faith to keep me warm.

  12. Ian

    Ha! I love getting Cathie to comment!
    Georgetown is going to be beastly, but if we get through USC, I think we match up well.

  13. scruggs

    Rebecca, no worries, as S.Vecc I will claim last place. Yes, I had no picks due to my company’s firewall but that can keep you from winning prize for dead last.

  14. GFWD

    GRUMPHREYS & SCRUGGS, looks like the Heels don’t tipoff until 10:00 PM on Friday night. What time does Hobex take the stage at Smith’s Olde Bar? Even though I’d love to see the band play live in my figurative back yard, I will be watching that game. Any chance you won’t take the stage until after midnight?


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