March Madness is here, and if you're like pretty much every other person in America you'll be competing in at least one bracket challenge for every separate circle of your professional, social and family life. For a lot people, that means hours spent poring over non-conference results, strength of schedule, results against similar opponents and performances down the stretch. And as we all know, none of it ever, ever works. It's all hopeless. You're never going to win the $50 Chili's gift card no matter how hard you try.
But we all know you're just going to keep trying anyways, so on we go to the South Region!
(1) Kentucky vs. (16) Mississippi Valley State:
Yeah, Mississippi Valley State has to beat Western Kentucky to even get to this point, but keep in mind that Jerry Rice is a MVSU alum. Ain't no way the G.O.A.T. is gonna' stand for that kind of nonsense. I'm also going to predict that the Delta Devils upset the Wildcats because no one has ever made that joke before.
(8) Iowa State vs. (9) UConn
Iowa State are nicknamed the Cyclones, which is a thing I've never understood; "yes, let's name our team after a think that causes millions of dollars worth of property damage all over our state every year." I'm expecting Seattle's NHL team to be called "the Fightin' Collapsing Viaducts." UConn wins because Huskies is a perfectly respectable nickname (assuming they aren't called that because the guy that founded the school was bit by a rabid dog.)
(5) Wichita State vs. (12) VCU
I am picking Wichita State for one reason and one reason only.*
I don't know what the hell that thing is, but despite the fact that it appears to have been crafted to appear as cartoonish and non-threatening as possible it will haunt my nightmares for weeks to come.
*This isn't true. I am also picking them because they are better at basketball.
(4) Indiana vs. (13) New Mexico State
This isn't a vintage Indiana team by any stretch. That's probably a good thing really, since this Indiana team will beat New Mexico State while the 1971 Hoosiers squad probably wouldn't fare as well. I mean even if they're in good shape it's tough to picture a team of guys in their mid 50s hanging with the WAC Champions.
(6) UNLV vs. (11) Colorado
It's an irrational remnant of my childhood, I know, but to this day whenever I see UNLV's name on a bracket I just assume it's the late-80s/early-90s teams that scored 130 points every game and can't help but pick them. Seeing as how Colorado is only in the dance due to their win of a mediocre conference's tournament, in this instance that instinct is the correct one.
(3) Baylor vs. (14) South Dakota State
Not picking South Dakota State in this game is unbelievably difficult; they are the Jackrabbits! That is just tremendous. But I have a responsibility not to lead you astray, as every other prediction in this post has surely demonstrated.
(7) Notre Dame vs. (10) Xavier
Ah yes, the much anticipated "Battle of the Teams Whose Logos Are Composed Entirely Of 1990s Styled Block Letters." You might think Notre Dame has the edge here seeing as how they have two of them to Xavier's one, but that's actually a disadvantage in combat as they risk of tangling is far greater. That svelte 'X' will propel the Musketeers to victory!
(2) Duke vs. (15) Lehigh
Take a wild stab there, Sparky.
Stay with this NCAA Predictions StoryStream throughout the day as SBN Seattle's crack team of bracketologists give you their picks.