The Common Man’s approach to CBB, brought to you by the most normal person on any team. No, not the Backup Punter. But instead, the Bench Performer. In this changing of seasons, the equivalent of the Backup Punter finds himself positioned at the end of the bench. Not quite next to the Athletic Trainer, but like two seats closer to the coach. A seat he earned from hours upon hours of celebratory practices. This man was practicing high 5s on the C Team while dishing out a 15/6/2 stat line. But then puberty happened and he still had a decent shot, so he kept playing basketball. Then college came around and teams need GPA boosters, so here he sits. Towel draped around his neck, ready to snap the hardwood at the slightest inkling that a transferal of manhood from one person to another is about to take place. I’m talking soul-crushing crossovers, grab-a-quarter-off-the-top-of-the-backboard dunks, and step-back, man-in-your-face, bottom of the bucket 3’s, this is the life of the Bench Performer. Commonly referred as “the walk-on,” his job is one of respect, not only to the game, but to his craft. It is for this reason that the M?M?BP wishes to pay tribute to their living legacy.
I spent the last four days on the couch. Not even a flight stopped me from taking in the West Virginia-Murray State game IN ITS ENTIRETY. I took two of my vacations days from work and spent them living my best life. But anyways, enough about me. There’s plenty of money to be made in the name of the NCAA men’s tournament. Too bad I’m not Jon Goodman...
But since most of you already know everything that happened, I wanted to try and provide a quick 30,000 foot level recap, while giving my insights into how the rest of the tournament will shake out. And, given my recent string of bad predictions on basketball, you should only take my advice on about 65% of them, but NEVER parlay. You’ll thank me later.
yea, this game happened. It was a 20-point obliteration of a lifeless Tony Bennett squad the entire second half. But don’t let any of that take away from the game the Retrievers played. They shot the lights out of the gym, and at one point had things going so much in their favor, Lyles hit a 3-pointer after a foul on the floor was called. No ordinary 3 mind you, but on one foot, with one hand, floater, that was just straight cash. It was amazing. It basically ruined everyone’s bracket, looking at you four of the six people above me right now in @MagnaCarterLive ‘s ILLUMINATI Bracket Picks. I will pass you. You have been warned.
That was far and away the biggest upset of the weekend, with Arizona getting throttled by Buffalo coming in second. Arizona might have been sweating about bigger things than Buffalo, but who knows... guess that’s why they play the games.
Next, we have UNC getting literally man-handled by Texas A&M, who, for most of the game, looked like that one big kid in youth league that just backed people up until he could hit a 3-footer. Luke Maye could get nothing going, and UNC couldn’t buy a shot from 3. Remember that before you pick a team that plays suspect D and rebounds poorly.
SPEAKING OF REBOUNDING POORLY. OH MY GOD SYRACUSE. HOW I LOATHE THEE.
good ol’ uga, I think I have found my second least favorite team. It has to be the stupid zone-playing, airball-fearing, Boeheim Buttholes.
They gave up like 37 (factchecker.com) offensive rebounds to Michigan State, and still managed to win this game. And they sure didn’t do it by making 3s either. 1-8 from behind the arc. But that stupid zone held Michigan State to 25 percent from the floor, and it looked like Tom Izzo had literally been teleported from the pre-Naismith era and asked to coach this game. That’s how bad their offense was. If Tillman didn’t have nine offensive rebounds himself, this would’ve likely been even more of a blowout.
Even bigger losers than Michigan State, Sean Miller, and Jerkins Cavalier (definitely their mascot’s name, roll with it)? The entire city of Cincinnati.
First and foremost, shoutout Christopher Hanewinckel, who must be the single fastest photographer on this Earth.
Nextly, welcome to sports misery Cincy. Atlanta welcomes you with outstretched, tear-soaked arms. Lost my train of thought here last night as Thomas Edison’s magical lightning balls blew out the transformer in my neighborhood. So... ya. There’s your recap. On to this weekend’s games shall we?
This week’s plunge into unproductivity kicks off at 7:07 p.m. God’s time (Eastern Standard) with Sister Jean vs The Comeback Kids. Using my basketball analysis skills that I recently acquired (hahaha I know nothing about basketball), I honestly can’t explain how Nevada does it. But as for Loyola, they were greatly aided by a couple of different scoring droughts that Tennessee suffered, but almost gave up a 10-point lead with four to play. The thing to watch here is gonna be Nevada’s offense against Loyola’s Sister Jean. I have a deep-seated respect for the seesters. Prediction: Loyola 71, Nevada 68
Texas A&M and Michigan tip off 30 minutes later. After an impressive showing against Montana then a game against Houston I got robbed on, I don’t think I can really trust Michigan yet. People on the internet tell me they have a fantastic defense, but what matters to me? Size. Ask North Carolina:
Three starters over 6’9”. They outrebounded UNC by 14, but it felt like a million billion. Prediction: Texas A&M +3, Texas A&M over 136 on their own, Texas A&M to the bank
At 9:37, we have this gif matchup personified:
I’ve got Calipari and all his youth as my overall winner, so it’s no surprise I’m taking Kentucky here. By like, more than you made on your SATs.
Lastly Thursday, Florida State vs. Gonzaga. Much like Xavier, I really doubt that they’ve ever heard the Tomahawk Chop in person. It turned little Chris Mack into a mental midget, and I think the same is about to happen to Mark Few & Co. Let’s go ACC train. Speaking of likesuchas.
Clemson-Kansas at 7:07. I think Clemson runs out of luck here. Kansas and Bill Self will save their second weekend loss for Sunday. Let’s go Kansas here. No real analysis, not very interested in this one.
GAME OF THE NIGHT TIME - Villanova and West Virginia. Man oh man, what a matchup. We have my favorite coaching personality in Jay Wright against my other favorite coaching personality in Huggy Bear. Press defense versus Freshly Pressed Shirts under a tasteful navy suit.
Man I love Villanova’s team, they’ve cruised through the tourney so far, but I’m smelling a little backcountry sizzle. The hills are calling, and those country roads are taking West Virginia on into the Elite Eight.
Syracuse-Duke - Dookie everywhere. by a lot. in Boeheim’s nostrils. a stench that will carry him through the entire offseason. good. previously mentioned Cuse hate rant over.
Texas Tech-Purdue is the last match-up of the evening and all I can say is...
Lastly, I must share with you the way in which you all failed to do your brackets correctly. Writer Nishant Prasadh here at FTRS beat all of you in his methodology. Random number generator? Too mainstream. Coin flip?
What we have, is a Strength of Name generated tournament. Not school name, not coach name (Shoutout @tyhildenbrandt ‘s Granmama H for only picking Italian named coaches and Catholic schools in her brackets), but a player name bracket.
Let me inform you of the eventual Final Four:
And, your 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Division 1 Champion:
Get me a better roster name from this year’s tourney, and I’ll venmo you a dollar. How’s that for user interaction.
So, with these fine words, I wish you all the best in your efforts, and maybe, if you’re good, you can get next week’s matchups too. Kisses. And may this sort-of quote from Baker Mayfield carry you through the weekend.
Oh [styx]. Yea there’s games Saturday and Sunday too. How bout that.
Going from TopLeft Bracket to BottomRight by whichever means you want to get there: (brevity is the soul of wit)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLUpKYjKlXg (but, ya know, the opposite)
Peace, Love, and Dinkin Flicka. See y’all next week.