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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Time for ‘Arts’ Madness break down

This week 30 million Americans will take up a pen and paper, scour the Internet, flip coins, solve long-winded algorithms and draw papers from a hat, all in an effort to assert their place in March Madness.

That's right, it's bracket time.

And in the highly scientific field of "bracketology" there is no right or wrong way to pick 'em. All of them have a fighting chance — whether they pick based on rankings and stats or highly involved color vs. team attractiveness analysis, and be they sports editors or tech enthusiasts.


The Badger Herald staff is no exception. Even our athletics-evading Webmaster and the extremely pale (and equally cynical) copy chief are participating — so, in order to escape becoming "that girl" around the office — I'm putting every ounce of my knowledge, NCAA and otherwise, into filling out a bracket to send home to mom.

If Jessica "Chicken of the Sea: poultry or tuna?" Simpson can fill out a bracket and handily take down Nick Lachey and his meathead cronies based purely on pretty colors and mascot likeability logic, I like my odds. After all, I do know a thing or two about the Big Ten: I can hold my own in a discussion about the creepiness of Drew Neitzel's bald head, how huge/old Greg Oden really is or how sad it is to watch Wisconsin's "Polar Bear" sit on the sidelines donning what looks to be a robotic arm.

However, as my bracket history has certainly shown, when it comes to the NCAA as a whole, I fall into a bit of the Jessica Simpson category, leaving me to scramble for some, shall we say, less conventional methods of picking.

While I could have simply trusted the experts from Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS and otherwise and created a composite of their respective picks — snooze. Sure, I weighed some of the odds. Did I advance any No. 16 teams to the second round? No, that would be a Britney Spears-esque decision. According to the record books, over the last 10 years those down-and-out No. 16s are shooting 0-40 — positively Northwestern — in the Round One victory department.

Instead, I chose a hybrid approach, grounded first in logic, then sprinkled in a couple of upsets, a few mascots, colors and other random loyalties into the mix — because well, sometimes it's fun to become a bandwagon fan of the Bucknell Bison or others of the like.
So, without further ado, let the Madness begin.


No big surprises coming out of the Midwest regional. Going to the standby, fairly irrational decision-making, I'll take Georgia Tech over the UNLV Runnin' Rebels for the simple reason of mascot redemption. Yeah, they're the ever-intimidating Yellow Jackets, but with the gold and yellow color scheme, they may as well be the bumblebees. Ferocious, really.

Keeping things relative, I'll pick Purdue to steamroll over Arizona for one reason — CARL! — Landry, that is, brother of Wisconsin's own Marcus. As for the standard issue upset, my vote goes to No. 12 Old Dominion Monarchs, who will stay true to their majestic nickname, rule the court and oust the No. 5 Butler Bulldogs. What butterfly can't beat up a bulldog?

Segueing into a little Sweet-16 action, my bracketology calculations see the Gators bumping off the fourth-seeded Terrapins — an especially difficult call, as I am a generally a fan of any turtle, ninja or otherwise. This will set the scene for an Elite 8 matchup between Florida and the Badgers (after the grizzly mammals bump off the Oregon Ducks in Round Three, since the only big victories reserved for Ducks should best be left among the likes of Gordon Bombay and the flying V). And while the Disney enthusiast in me wants a Wisconsin victory over those Gators, gaining a birth in the Final Four — and subsequent movie deal with a soundtrack packed with Queen hits and starring Chris Rock as Kammron Taylor (sorry, I had to get the obligatory Rock reference in my 15 seconds of sports "glory") — my selection has the reptiles advancing to the next round.


If I have one wish in Round One, it would be Marquette shutting down Drew Neitzel and his strange, Mr. Clean head to advance over Michigan State. What can I say, I'm really good at holding grudges.

For obvious reasons, part of me toyed with the idea of picking Oral Roberts over Washington State — I mean, a higher power has to be on the side of schools founded by televangelists. Furthermore, Stephen Colbert picked ORU to win it all last year — what team with a 900-foot-tall Jesus as a center loses ("He can dunk from the other end of the court")? However, the true Wisconsinite in me won out and gave Washington State the W — with Tony Bennett, son of the amazing Dick Bennett at the helm, the Cougars are a force to be reckoned with.

However, in true patriotic spirit, I side with the Colonials and foresee Wazzu losing out to G.W. in Round Two and thus setting the stage for the "Battle of the George" — 'Town vs. Washington — where the rabid Hoyas roll, using the momentum to take a bite out of No. 1-ranked, prettily clothed (you have to love Tar Heel blue) UNC and claiming the top position out of the East.


Bold prediction: Upset City in the South will be Albany pulling one out over Virginia. How in the hell do I figure that? Well, it's easy — I have an intense love for Scooby Doo, who is basically their mascot. Plus, I hear the Great Dane rowdies have been known to give a mean "U-A" cheer (sung to the tune of "Olé") that rivals even the craziest of soccer hooligans.

And finally, because they're from the Big Ten, because the Wisconsin team colors and subsequent cheers still apply, and most importantly, because the "Greg Oden looks like a grandpa" jokes still haven't lost their appeal, Ohio State secures victory straight on through to the Final Four.


My foray into the West started out all fun and games. I vote for a Southern Illinois-Virginia Tech matchup in Round Two just so the Salukis can play the Hokies — and emerge victorious, because dogs are far superior to birds and maroon and white uniforms are preferable to maroon and burnt orange, which is frankly a bit too close to the Minnesota color scheme.

Western surprise package comes from VCU, because I found their mascot Rodney the Ram far more loveable than Duke's Blue Devil.

In the Sweet 16, I see UCLA and Kansas facing off and the Bruins showing some teeth to grab the win. Hey, not all No. 1 seeds can make it to the Final Four. Not my fault, it's just a "scientific" fact.

Final Verdict

Phew, 64 teams whittled down to just four vying for a chance at the ceremonious net-cutting. That leaves Florida vs. UCLA and Georgetown vs. Ohio State. Florida and Georgetown (Insert joke about Grandpa Oden tiring down the stretch here) roll to the Big Dance — repeat showing means additional hype and personal profiles, "Will the Gators win a second consecutive championship?" analysis, and, likely, some great montages.

I can't argue with a good montage.

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