Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kelley Family Bracketology

For the last couple years, Jessica and I have competed against each other in picking the winners in the NCAA tournament, which begins tomorrow. I follow sports more closely than she does, but she's still beaten me about half the time because I tend to over-think my brackets. Most guys I talk to about this express the same frustration, where some guy in the office's girlfriend ends up winning the bracket pool because she picked based on the cuteness of mascots. (Jessica just goes with her gut instinct.)

This year our daughter, Kate, is getting in on the action, too. So here it is: the Kelley family's 2010 Bracket Showdown.

My bracket is defined by my love for my alma mater, Butler University, and my sincere (perhaps foolish) belief that they could make a serious run in this year's tournament. Upsets include Houston (13) beating Maryland (4) in the first round, Minnesota (11) over Xavier (6),  Sienna (13) over Purdue (4) (though with Purdue's injury situation, this isn't a huge upset), and Marquette (6) making it to the Sweet 16. I have Butler beating Vanderbilt in the second round. Choosing my undergrad over my graduate school was a not as gut-wrenching as some might expect.
My Final Four is Kansas, Butler (yeah, that's right, go Dawgs!!!), Kentucky, and Baylor. I have Kansas beating Kentucky in the title game. I love Butler, but I also want to win the competition.

Jessica's bracket shows her love for her parents' alma mater, the University of Kentucky (who, based on their coach's history, will no doubt get their wins for this season revoked when the NCAA uncovers the grade fixing and various other violations Calapari and his one-and-done players are no doubt engaging in). She isn't picking too many upsets, but has Gonzaga beating Syracuse in the second round, and Purdue beating Duke in the Sweet 16.
Her Final Four is Kansas, Butler (because she loves me), Kentucky, and Purdue (clearly she didn't watch the Big 10 Tournament or read up on the Robbie Hummel injury). She has Kentucky beating Kansas in the title game.

While this is not Kate's first NCAA tournament (she was a whole six weeks old last year), she has yet to learn the intricacies of shooting guard match-ups and the glory of mid-major Cinderellas, so she's making her picks based on the mascots. Specifically, she's going with mascots she recognizes from her books or her stuffed animal collection. Bears trump anything else, then cats and dogs get preferential treatment. Thus we have lots of interesting upsets: Cornell (12), Montana (11), and Oakland (14) all going to the Sweet 16, and Morgan St. (15) upsetting West Virginia (2)!
Since she loves her Mommy and Daddy, Butler and Kentucky are playing each other in the national title game, having defeated Georgetown and Baylor, respectively, in their Final Four games. Right now her national champion slot remains blank, which probably means she hasn't decided which parent she loves more. Guess who's going to be getting lots of cookies from Daddy?

Of course, we all know who would win if graduation rates and player GPAs were factored in:

Go Bulldogs! Enjoy the tournament!


tearzamariebaggett said...

this was awesome. :) emery only recognizes my face and daddys. therefore i guess i win out since i HAD her... and therefore she must possess some UT genes.

so she has them upsetting everyone and screwing up the world's brackets- and winnng. it all.


SpeasHill said...

A very unbiased post, Rev. Kelley. :) Becca based her picks primarily on color: red beats all. If 2 reds or no reds are playing, she went for best mascot (hence a Huskies win - good call!). If family favorites were involved (and not playing red), they win. Above all, though, Vandy won the whole shebang, since they were oh so good to her. John and I both picked Sienna to be a Cinderella...oops.