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Bracket Racket picks the tourney winner

St. Patrick's day is tomorrow, so it's definitely a day of celebration.

But before you go out and have a great time, fill out your college basketball bracket. By the time you recover on Thursday, the games will have tipped off.

And before you turn in that sheet, take a look at my Bracket Racket formula. It's picked three of the past six winners, with narrow misses in the years that it failed.

Let's get right to it:

Eliminate all No. 16 seeds. We start off simple by crossing out a seed that never has won a game.

Next, letters spell disaster. A team that goes by a couple letters won't win the couple games it needs to cut down the nets. That means UNLV, UTEP, BYU, Texas A&M, N.M. State and UC Santa Barbra are out of consideration.

My wife gets directionally challenged sometimes, and that applies to this year's tournament. Don't bet your bracket on Northern Iowa, North Texas and West Virginia.

I know teams like to make a statement, but State schools won't win, either. That eliminates Michigan State, San Diego State, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Florida State, Murray State, Kansas State, Morgan State, Utah State and Sam Houston State.

No chance for the locals. Pitt's not it this year (remember, my theory with Pitt is they will always break  your heart) and Bobby Mo won't get it done.

There's no Catch-22 with these teams. To be crowned champ, a school needs to win more than 23 games before the tourney begins. So make sure you don't have Houston, Ohio, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Florida, Wake Forest, Marquette, Montana, Clemson, Missouri or Louisville winning it all.

Cinderella stories don't last. Everyone likes an underdog, but they never win it all. It's good to follow a lower seed and get caught up in the excitement. But there's no way a school seeded eight or lower will win. Say see ya to Texas, Cornell, Wofford, Washington, Cal, Siena, Old Dominion (which would qualify under the alphabet rule as ODU), St. Mary's, Gonzaga and Oakland.

That leaves us with the Awesome 18: Kansas, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgetown, Syracuse, Butler, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Kentucky, Temple, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Duke, Purdue, Notre Dame, Baylor, Richmond and Villanova.

Indiana might be the host state for the Final Four, but teams from that state won't win either. There won't be any return-home stories for Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame.

These teams just don't fit: Seriously, do you think Vandy, Xavier, Temple, Wisconsin, New Mexico or Richmond can win? Didn't think so.

That leaves us with the Nifty Nine. This is where the winner will emerge. That gives Baylor, Tennessee and Maryland a chance, just not enough to convince me. The same goes for Georgetown.

Out of the Final Five -- Kentucky, Duke, Villanova, Syracuse and Kansas -- there can be only one.

This year, the one is already ranked No. 1. Kansas is your winner.


  1. Next season, I will refine the Bracket Racket to include avoiding anyone the president picks.


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