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Mike Wise Hates Your Brackets


Currently competing for first place in your pool.


Your weekly March game-o-chance update.

* Remember the Vegas bracket, filled out by the geniuses at Las Vegas Sports Consultants? They would have gone 25 for 32 in the first round--well above average, from what I can tell--and 11 for 16 in the second round, which probably also beat the average. In most normal scoring systems, that'd be good for 47 points. In the two main strictly voluntary pools I entered, Vegas would be tied for fourth (out of 65) and tied for first (out of 29). Man I love Vegas. And no, I didn't enter these picks anywhere.

* My best bracket, by far, is in the entirely voluntarily Washingtonpost.com Tourney Tracker Celebrity pool, in which I rate second, behind Kevin Harvick and just ahead of the aforementioned Wilbon. Ben Olsen is comfortably in last. NASCAR just sent out a release touting Harvick's first-place status. He does have an exceedingly fine bracket, although Georgetown in the Final Four isn't gonna help much.

* As of this writing, here's the best five-team parlay you could have entered in the Atlantic 11 March Challenge: Coppin State (four wins, 40 points), Mount St. Mary's (four wins, 32 points), William & Mary (three wins, 24 points), Virginia (two wins, 18 points) and either American, George Mason or UMBC (three wins, 15 points). Virginia Tech would become the fifth team with a win tonight.


Currently leading my pool.

* Mike Wise, playing Mike Lupica on Sports Reporters, did a Washington Post Live "Postscript" last night in which he solemnly railed against the simple minds who fill out more than one NCAA bracket and then boast that they "picked Davidson over Georgetown," or whatever. An excerpt:

These are the same people who fill out five brackets and simultaneously play five NCAA pools at the same time. Please, tell them they're not Nostradamus and that they shouldn't be Vegas book makers or palm readers. In fact, they're no better than the clown hugging his friend at the roulette table, the clown who plays all 36 numbers and gets excited when one comes up. You didn't win. You just covered your bases, because you didn't have the guts to commit to just one pool. Admit it: you didn't want the heartbreak and the disappointment that the kids feel when they get eliminated, so you played the field and made sure you had options.

So Michael Wilbon doesn't want us to have fun playing fantasy football, and Mike Wise doesn't want us to have fun filling out brackets. Thanks, guys. I'll take another serving of "Breaking down the motion offense in 413 simple steps," please.

As someone who's pledged annually to just fill out one bracket, but who always winds up with at least four, I'd argue it's less about playing Nostradamus than acknowledging that predicting a Western Kentucky-Drake winner involves neither guts nor palm-reading. Dude hit a desperation shot at the buzzer. Total coin flip.

If part of the fun of this event is rooting for your picks, and if some brackets can arbitrarily be dashed against the pointy yellow sticks of highlighter despair--not by a lack of wisdom but by pure chance--why not make every attempt to survive such twists of fate, through a second bracket if necessary. Or even a third, or twelfth?

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 26, 2008; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: Xavier Grows Beards, W. Va. Dances

Comments

Apparently Mike Wise doesn't gamble.

Posted by: Johnnie Futbol | March 26, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Did you HAVE to show a photo of the Mirage?

Posted by: Chris | March 26, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

You have Louisville winning! Another reason why you are my favorite blogger.

Posted by: Chelsea, from louisville | March 26, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Any updates on Brenda Haywood's bracket?

Posted by: StetSports.com | March 27, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

well mr. wise, I picked both davidson and wfvu, and filled out the same bracket in all my pools. unfortunately, I also had clemson and baylor.

a far worse sin are the idiots at the bar who cheer for the favorites solely because of their brackets, which was extremely noticably during the ucla/a&m game. nobody cares about your bracket staying intact. either root for the upset or leave the bar.

Posted by: jrp | March 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I have absolutely no problem with multiple brackets as long as the person is truthful and acknowledges that they called/picked that upset "on one of my drawsheets." That's fine. Just own up to it.
Me? I'm a Sheet of Integrity man, myself.
Of course, if it's truth I seek, and humanity's involved, it could be a loooong wait.
And to jrp: As much as I love upsets I still do root for drawsheet favorites. (Who wants their champ going down in the first weekend?) There's more than one way to enjoy the Tournament.
Perhaps you should drink less. Or stay home. Or open your own single-minded bar.

Posted by: Mason Patrick | March 27, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

sorry patrick, but unless the seed differential between the two teams is less than three, loud cheering for the favorite is pretty amateurish. if your champ goes down in the first weekend, that's your problem.

also, i want to point out that i have no problem with wanting your overall champion/final four picks to win their games, just do it with class. wipe your brow and say, whew, that was close, thank god.

if there was a bar that played by these rules, my friends and i would attend it exclusively. i'm assuming this means that they would also have the brains to correctly set up their flat-panel sets with HD feeds. i couldn't believe how many different bars botched this last weekend.

Posted by: jrp | March 27, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

jrp: Well, I couldn't agree with you more now. While I see nothing amateurish about wanting your drawsheet to excel, I said nothing about being an ass about it. I understand any idiot can pick UNC over Mount St. Mary's, yet you'd never see/hear me crow about that. (Now THAT's amateurish.) In a bar, unless you were seated directly next to me, you'd probably never know my rooting interest.
Right again on the HD-feed issue. I love how so many of these "establishments" are willing to give up an arm and a leg for the massive flatpanels but, please, be sure you're equipped and prepared to use them correctly and to their fullest extent.
Yeesh.

Posted by: Mason Patrick | March 28, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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