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ROUND TABLE: My ‘Bracketology’ is a muddle of Madness

March Madness is one of my favorite times of year:

By this time brackets have all been filled out, and not being in a pool this year I did one just for fun, to see how close I might come to that Warren Buffett Billion Dollars weirdness. In case you were confused about the bracketology this year, here are a few suggestions I am happy to pass along:

Full disclosure: I did not choose North Dakota State, but neither did you.

But if you did, then you are officially entitled to gloat (first bad pun alert) about your No. 15-beats-a-No. 2 pick, that special form of smugness known as Bracket-doccio.

To my prognostications:

n I know this is just my thing, but I kind of like teams named for cities: so I went with Tulsa, Manhattan, Memphis, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Albany, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Louisville.

n Another way to pick: anything with a direction in the name: Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, and the plethora of North schools: North Dakota State, North Carolina, North Carolina Central, and North Carolina State. Since we’re in the neighborhood, I think Coastal Carolina is a really cool name for a school. I lived for a summer on the other end of the Tarheel State, so I think it’s too bad Mountain Carolina isn’t in the Big Dance. Okay, there is no Mountain Carolina, but if there was I would pick them every time.

Second bad pun alert: As for Coastal, well, they were seeded No. 16 in the East against No. 1 Virginia, which makes them Toastal.

n Some of the NCAA teams are mouthfuls, so, heck, why not just go with schools with five or more syllables: California Polytechnical, North Carolina Central, New Mexico State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Virginia Commonwealth, or Brigham Young University.

n Too bad Mt. St. Mary’s got eliminated on the last day of qualifying, because it could have joined George Washington University and the list of schools named for people: Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana-Lafayette, BYU, St. Joseph’s, St. Louis, and Baylor. (You mean that last school is not named after Elgin?)

So my Final Four picks are Florida-Michigan State and Arizona-Duke, with Florida winning it all against Duke. Predictable yet edgy, right?

The NCAA Tournament (or as the organization likes call it but no one else does, the “Men’s Basketball Championship”) bracket is all about combinations and possibilities. This year the likelihood of upsets seems bigger than ever. So while I predict Gators beating Wildcats, I know what would be a really great final, when you think about it: they are both long shots as 9th and 15 seeds respectively, but wouldn’t you have loved a matchup of George Washington v. American?

I’m sure our first president would have been a basketball fan, and despite his historical connection to our first state, I’m pretty sure when he saw the 4-on-13 matchup with Michigan State even George would have off his list crossed Delaware.

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