Have You Tossed Your Bracket Into The Fire?

If your bracket belongs inside this dumpster, trust me, you're not alone.

In the span of just three hours last night, I lost two more of my final four teams (Michigan State and North Carolina), and have been completely obliterated in the South region, where I'd previously thought Virginia had the easiest path to the Final Four. 

March Madness is in full swing, and as we await the start of Sweet 16 play, two Number 1 seeds will be missing in action. Last night in the West region, top seeded Xavier was upset by Florida State 75-70 while second seeded North Carolina was upset by Syracuse 55-53. In the South region, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was knocked out by Kansas State 50-43, thus eliminating the 16 seed who previously had upset top-ranked Virginia in the first round.      


It's a shame that the Retrievers of previously unheralded UMBC couldn't parlay their stunning upset over Virginia into the Sweet 16 round. But it's also understandable after the emotional roller-coaster of doing what had never been done since the inception of the current tournament format.

For the record, and since I know you'll be asking for it later, here's the fight song for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

 

Virginia's men's basketball's utter failure in the first round was underscored a bit by the supposedly classy reaction of losing coach Tony "I left my gameplan in Charlotte" Bennett. 

I get it. There's no other way to address one of the most monumental upsets in recent sports history other than to be humble about it, but are those in sports media honestly just going to let him walk off after this embarrassing loss and shrug it off as just a "butt-whipping"?

"We had a historic season and a historic loss. So that's life."

Really? And we're gonna let him off with just that?

I get it. Better to be humble about it than be pouty and whiny, but still, where's all my sports media types who want to scream and shout about this coach not being a better motivator and that coach's fire and brimstone nonsense?   

Who'd have thought the NCAA Tournament would have made us a bunch of softies?

So, here's what's left of your brackets as we look ahead to Thursday and the beginning of the Sweet 16 round. 

I'm not one to be a skeptic of your viewing activities (that's not really true, I'm totally skeptical), but I'm curious how many people who already aren't college basketball fanatics and who most likely had their brackets turned into scratch paper over the past 48 hours are going to be dialed on Thursday night for that epic showdown between the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago and the Nevada Wolf Pack.

I kid, but while we chuckle and glorify the idea that Cinderella stories are nice, that's not always the case for networks and their sponsors.

The cool story about the unknown teams are fun to chat about, but without a Google search or a really keen awareness of these teams, there's a better chance you know the names of each state capitol than you know the names of one player on those two teams combined rosters.

McIlroy wins, then offers criticism for you drunken fools

Rory McIlroy ended a year and a half drought on the PGA Tour with a rousing final round on Sunday to capture the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. McIlroy shot an 8-under 64 to win the tournament by three shots over Bryson DeChambeaux. Tiger Woods finished 8 shots back of McIlroy, good enough for a tie for fifth place with Ryan Moore.

But the story of Rory (yeah, I wanted to write that phrase all morning) goes beyond just the win and the ending of the losing streak, but also delves into comments made by the golfer shortly after the win.

Seems McIlroy has had it with all you drunken hooligans on the course and all their silly commentaries during play.

"I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I'm all for that, but it's when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy it can get a little much. It used to be you bring beers on the course but not liquor. And now it seems like everyone's walking around with a cocktail. So I don't know if it's just go back to people walking around with beers in their hand, that's fine, but I don't know."

Aside from the non-committal knowing and not knowing found in a 22-second soundbite, McIlroy does bring up an interesting point. The game of golf is far different from sports like football, basketball, hockey, etc., where the action is relatively constant and the fans are (for the most part) a minimum safe distance from the participants. 

But to suggest the sites of these events limit themselves to what can and should be sold to paying customers is something that shouldn't even be remotely an option.

Fans should know better, and for the vast majority of those who come to a golf tournament, they do behave in a more civilized manner. McIlroy's comments are only going to infuriate those who already think of him as a pompous celebrity elitist, but the reactions of those who think of him badly will only be more magnified and more personal in the coming weeks.

Cue up the Masters theme, because "Baba Booey" guy and the "Get in the hole" guy are coming right along with it.

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