Normally I avoid the madness that consumes America in March. I don't really care anything about college basketball unless a local team makes it to the championships.
This year, however, I got caught up in the excitement and paid five dollars to enter a bracket in the office pool. I had to do some cramming to have any credible choices. Herewith (before the tournament starts -- let's see how I do for even one round) my picks:
[Update, 3/15/06: After an 8-0 start, I end the day with 14-2. Stay tuned.]
[Update, 3/17 AM: Stupid Midwest Regional. I'm 27-5, three of the losses coming in the Midwest.]
[Update, 3/17 PM: The Midwest continues its curse. Butler defeats Maryland.]
Florida. Arizona. Butler. Maryland. Notre Dame. Oregon. Georgia Tech. Wisconsin
[Update, 3/17 AM: Purdue beats Arizona. Winthrop (?) beats ND. UNLV beats Georgia Tech. I picked the wrong upset.]
Florida. Maryland. Oregon. Wisconsin
[Update, 3/17 PM: Stupid Butler.]
Kansas. Kentucky. Virginia Tech. Southern Illinois. Duke. Pittsburgh. Indiana. UCLA.
[Update, 3/15/06: VCU upsets Duke.]
Kansas. Southern Illinois. Pittsburgh. UCLA.
North Carolina. Michigan State. USC. Texas. Vanderbilt. Washington State. Boston College (sorry about that, Tech). Georgetown.
North Carolina. Texas. Washington State. Georgetown.
North Carolina. Georgetown.
Ohio State. BYU. Tennessee. Virginia. Louisville. Texas A&M. Nevada. Memphis.
[Update 3/15/06: Xavier upsets BYU.]
[Update, 3/17 AM: Except for the BYU loss, a good bracket. But I've picked Tennessee over Virginia; keep an eye on that game.]
Ohio State. Tennessee. Texas A&M. Memphis.
[Update, 3/17 PM: Ohio State escapes Xavier, scoring a 3-pointer to tie it up with two seconds left in regulation, then wins in OT.]
Ohio State. Memphis.
North Carolina. Ohio State. Florida. Kansas.
North Carolina - Ohio State. Winner: North Carolina.
Florida - Kansas. Winner: Florida
National Championship Game
North Carolina - Florida
Winner: North Carolina.
Final Score: 86-79