Now that we’ve officially hit the Sweet Sixteen mark of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, it’s time to assess the damages done to the original seeding created by the tournament committee just over a week ago. Only one No. 1 seed has fallen, but there have been plenty of other upsets (many of which came at the expense of ACC teams, as I referenced earlier this week) to keep everyone engaged. I’m personally not a big believer in Gonzaga, but I also wasn’t a believer in South Carolina upsetting Duke. My top three would look like this, because I won’t burden anyone with a full top 16: Kansas, Arizona, and Kentucky. Georgia Tech is a close fourth, because why not?
Now that everyone’s favorite Duke Blue Devils are out of the postseason and your bracket is dead, allow ESPN to point you in the direction of a new favorite team to follow. At this juncture there’s no point in rooting for the ACC, so choosing North Carolina wouldn’t be the best decision since they are so hate-able. I’m personally going for Butler, mainly because I want former Bulldogs head coach Brad Stevens, now of the Boston Celtics, to get distracted and start losing games. Yeah, I’m a big-picture guy like that. Also, their school is in Indianapolis. They’ve suffered enough.
The vaunted Buzzkill of the Year award goes to Chicago Tribune writer Robert Reed, who recently unleashed one of the hottest takes of the century when he proclaimed that bracket contests should be banned from offices across the country due to their harmful properties. Reed contends that businesses lose out on worker productivity thanks to the NCAA Tournament, citing figures as high as $2.1 billion in losses resulting from bracket contests.
Cripes, what a killjoy! Just the fact that he expects his readers to react with the phrase “cripes” tells us one of two things we know about Mr. Reed: he knows his audience. The other thing we know is that he picked Villanova to win it all.
But in all seriousness, we better watch it with these brackets — NCAA Tournaments are a hell of a drug. A good friend of mine filled one out with his coworkers one time and he was hooked immediately. Last time I saw him, he was rocking back and forth in a McDonald’s parking lot clenching a CBI bracket in his hand, CBI brackets being a cheap fix for people who’ve exceeded their quota of regular brackets on Yahoo! and ESPN. It’s a slippery slope, folks.