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Burdell’s Building Bracket: Selection Sunday

Taking history, petty housing and college rivalries, and location into account for a Tech-ified big building dance.

Tech Tower, this year’s overall number one seed.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

I felt inspired. Since we sadly won’t be seeing any brackets with Georgia Tech on any line, let’s have some fun with a bracket with only Georgia Tech on all the lines. Casual Friday has caught a case of March Madness.

Allow me to introduce the latest little plot here at From the Rumble Seat with one of my favorite poems:

Basketball Ides of March

The gym lights gleam like a beacon beam
And a million motors hum
In a good will flight on a Friday night;
For basketball beckons, “Come!”
A sharp-shooting mite is king tonight.
The Madness of March is running.
The winged feet fly, the ball sails high
And field goal hunters are gunning.

The colors clash as silk suits flash
And race on a shimmering floor.
Repressions die, and partisans vie
In a goal acclaiming roar.
On a Championship Trail toward a holy grail,
All fans are birds of a feather.
It’s fiesta night and cares lie light
When the air is full of leather.

Since time began, the instincts of man
Prove cave and current men kin.
On tournament night the sage and the wight
Are relatives under the skin.
It’s festival time, sans reason or rhyme
But with nation-wide appeal.
In a cyclone of hate, our ship of state
Rides high on an even keel.

With war nerves tense, the final defense
Is the courage, strength and will
In a million lives where freedom thrives
And liberty lingers still.
Now eagles fly and heroes die
Beneath some foreign arch
Let their sons tread where hate is dead
In a happy Madness of March.

For those a little more well-versed in the history of high school basketball, especially in Illinois, you might recognize this as a poem written by Henry Porter, an Illinois High School Association official and the editor of the Illinois Interscholastic, around 1942. With the country in the thralls of World War II, Porter’s immortal words are the first recorded use of the term “March Madness,” fittingly in the publication of the state that invented the very idea of postseason basketball.

“March Madness” was born in Illinois. The annual tournament of high school boys basketball teams, sponsored by the Illinois High School Association, grew from a small invitational affair in 1908 to a statewide institution with over 900 schools competing by the late 1930’s. A field of teams known as the “Sweet Sixteen” routinely drew sellout crowds to the University of Illinois’ Huff Gymnasium. In a time before television, before the college game became popular with the average fan, before professional leagues had established a foothold in the nation’s large cities, basketball fever had already reached epidemic proportions in the Land of Lincoln.

So, what’s my point? I’m a homer for niche history, obviously, and my home state, too, but as a guy who grew up hooked on watching the boys play in Peoria’s Carver Arena, home of one of the mid-major stories to watch this week, the Bradley Braves, and an alumnus of the school that started that first March Madness in 1908, March has always meant something a little more to me. With no Tech in the big dance this year, I figured From the Rumble Seat could have a little fun by making our own tournament.


I made a bracket in Excel. I then found a list of all 300+ (!) Tech buildings and power ranked them according to notoriety, notability, relevance, and their backstory. I then re-seeded the top 68 according to location on campus and tried to make some interesting matchups. A little blurb about each place will appear in each article. With each round, it’ll be up to you to vote and get your favorite spots at Tech to win...I don’t know...bragging rights? A replica T from Tech Tower? A real one? I don’t know. Just have some fun with it.


Here’s a PDF version of the bracket: Tech Buildings.pdf. A note: when I was making it, I color-coded the buildings blue for residential, green for sports, yellow for academic, and orange for others. There’s no reason to still be color-coded, but it is.

The Bracket

Stay tuned for the First Four on Tuesday. Winner will be decided via polls embedded in the article and the rounds will be posted concurrent to the Big Dance.

Who ya got? Who got snubbed? Looking forward to seeing who the commentariat brings to the big one. Releases will be timed to the round of the actual tournament, come back for the First Four on Tuesday and the halves of the First Round Thursday and Friday.