Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, March 17, 2006

The life: college basketball and green beer

As I said last week while "NIT-picking" at the Michigan basketball team (who showed some passion against UTEP last night, in a 82-67 victory), it feels a bit strange to be writing about college basketball when I've barely paid attention to the sport all season.

For bloggers who really know what they're talking about on this subject, check out Complete Sports, which has been doing a great job covering the sport over the past few weeks, along with The Gatorade Dump, the live-blogging Deadspin, and of course, the one-stop shop for college basketball, Yoco Hoops.

But like most sports fans yesterday, I turned in my NCAA tournament brackets before noon and had the TV on most of the day to keep tabs on the opening games. And within a couple of hours, I came close to losing one of my Final Four picks in the first round. Oh, Boston College - you made me hug and bite things unnecessarily for most of the afternoon. I'm glad I was alone in such a vulnerable moment.

I'm also glad Bruce Pearl wore a darker suit for Tennessee's nail-biter against Winthrop. (Why can't I find a picture of Pearl completely sweating through his suit when I need one? Maybe it's for our own good.) And former Michigan coach Steve Fisher came oh-so-close to sticking it to an old Big Ten rival that often had his number.

(Speaking of Coach Fisher, if you missed it, the New York Times ran a feature on him in Tuesday's edition. His Aztecs have been through quite a bit. Incidentally, since I love making things all about me, I'd like to mention that our Ann Arbor phone number was apparently very similar to the Fisher household's. So when Fisher was fired by Michigan in 1997, we got a bunch of wrong-numbered calls from reporters.

I sometimes regret not working on my Fisher imitation so I could've fed quotes to the press, such as "Tom Goss #@$%ed me right up the @$$, man," "I use blush and apple butter to get my cheeks that rosy," or "Oh yeah, the baggy shorts and shaved heads were my idea. That's how I rolled in college." C'est la vie. I'm digressing, aren't I?)

Along with Need4Sheed, The Wayne Fontes Experience, Leelanau Sports Guy, Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass, the aforementioned Complete Sports, and a few others, I'm participating in Kevin Antcliff's Yahoo! tournament pool. And after the first day of games, I'm doing pretty well, going 13-3 with my picks, tying me for first place with Complete Sports.

I got the two upsets (Texas A&M and UW-Milwaukee) right, but wasn't exactly stretching with those picks. The one game I got completely wrong, thus exposing my shallow knowledge of college basketball, was Wichita State's 20-point victory over Seton Hall. Oops. (Oh, I'll pick the Big East team - that's a good conference!)

But things can change, of course, and change fast. Since I'm more than willing to brag when I do well, I'll post my Final Four picks here, so you can point and laugh when I'm wrong later. Along with Boston College, I have UCLA, Iowa (Is that a homer pick, now that I'm living in Michigan?), and Connecticut, with the Huskies my pick to win the tournament. Pretty safe picks, I suppose. But picking a UConn-Duke final didn't seem like too much fun.

How did I not follow this sport all season... ?

Okay, I'll be watching "my" Iowa Hawkeyes play at noon, here in Michigan. (Hopefully, the Lions won't sign another quarterback today and I can just enjoy some hoops.) Northwestern St. is going down, and going down hard. Hawkeyes fans are free to crash at my place this weekend, but it's B.Y.O.F, because my refrigerator is empty. And I hope you brought your own fried pork tenderloin sandwiches, 'cuz you ain't finding that around here.

Carry on with your bad selves and have a great weekend. Be safe with that green beer.

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