March 14, 2006

Rather than help kids learn math, I decided to spend my class time today finalizing my bracket. After all, a D- only last until the next semester, but winning an office pool brings eternal glory. Gotta keep my priorities in order here.

The Official Mad Cal Rules for the 2006 NCAA Bracket

Disclaimer: Many of my long standing rules which you have grown to love, such as never picking schools with 'state' in its name when the name is not a state (Murray State) and schools with directional words and a state name in its name when the directional word is not part of the actual state name (Southern Illionis) have been retired. Still, 14th seeded Northwestern St in the ATL region really annoys me.

First Round
Rules will be listed in order of importance. (Rule 2 will supercede rules 3 and 4, but not 1, etc.)

1. The top 4 seeds in each region will win.
If the team has a 1,2,3, or 4 next to its name, it will win. The only question is if they will cover.
(Bonus note: The other day, ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote: 'When you really think about it, that play-in game between the No. 64 and No. 65 seeds is almost like the "Do you have a gambling problem?" litmus test.' I do not have a gambling problem. But I would have taken Monmouth -3.5)

2. "For I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots."
Any team with 'George' in its name will lose. Fans of George Washington, George Mason, and Georgetown, too bad. (Of course, if I happen to put down money against any of these teams, there is a 92% chance the 'Opposite George' corollary will kick in.)

3. Bet the pass line on the come out roll.
7 Winner! All 7 seeds will win in the first round. This means I am picking Wichita State, a non-state 'State' school to win. 7th seeded G-Town will lose due to Rule 2, meaning I am picking Northern Iowa, Kurt Warner's alma mater and a directional-state school, to win. (Crazy! One rule violating two of my former die-hard rules.) However, all 7 seeds except Cal will crap out in the second round.

4. Bizzaro Civil War
In the remaining games where teams named after states face off (Arizona vs Wisconsin, Nevada vs Montana, etc), the one located more south on a map will win. Utah State (vs Washington) will qualify for this rule because Utah is not in the field. UAB qualifies because Alabama is not facing a state team and is already under the jurisdiction of rule 3. Similar situation for Southern Illinois. UW-Milwaukee is not affected in its game vs Oklahoma because the state of Wisconsin is already represented in this rule. Too bad for Oklahoma.

That should give you 90% of my first round picks (all stone-cold locks, by the way). The remaining games involve Syracuse, Kent State, and San Diego State, so you should have an idea on how I went with those games.

Rest of the Bracket
This is where it gets less fun, but it's where the big points come. Don't get too greedy with the upset picks.

No mid-majors or phoney conference schools in the Sweet Sixteen except for Memphis.
Stay with the BCS conferences. Adam Morrison and the Zags? Gon.

Cal will get Pittsnogled.
Right after I mention not getting fancy with the upset picks, I pick Cal to beat Texas. I hate Texas. And I have West Virginia beating Iowa on the way to taking out the Bears. I like West Virginia.

Big East is big time.
4 of the Elite Eight and 2 of the Final Four will come from this conference.

Can't give away all my secrets. I don't want to split that perfect bracket prize.

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