I'm going to gloat a little bit here. Generally speaking, I do pretty well in most NCAA Tournament brackets compared to a lot of my friends. The reasoning behind that is pretty simple -- I watch a lot of college basketball. I have a better idea of what makes an upset an upset, what makes an underseeded team and underseeded team, etc.
But I still truly know nothing. At the end of the day, my bracket, with all of its infallible predictions is still just a flimsy piece of paper that will be forced to get on its knees and beg for mercy in front of the madness that is the NCAA Tournament.
So, I figured, why not do a little experiment. Why not put it all completely to chance and see how well a completely randomized bracket would do in the real world. With that in mind, armed with a blank bracket, a pen and a quarter, I put the entire thing up to chance. This is the sad story of that result.
Here were the rules as I saw them. First: The No. 1 seed advanced against all No. 16 seeds because that upset has never happened. After that, it was all fair game. Second: Heads equaled the higher seeded team advancing, tails is the lower seeded team. I never got to the hypothetical third rule, which would probably involve equally seeded teams. This was it. It was truly a 50/50 chance to advance, and this is how it all broke down.
WELP! This pretty much went to shit immediately. I guess the risk was always that the top teams had an easy chance to lose, and interestingly enough, the first couple of rounds looked rather legitimate. But then the Buffalo Bulls pulled the upset of a century and knocked off Kentucky in the Sweet 16. The experiment is already off to a rough start.
Things got a bit frightening here. Arizona and Wisconsin advanced as the seeding suggests should happen. But Georgia State and Harvard pulled off a couple of huge upsets. None of that matters as Xavier comes out of nowhere to make the Final Four with consecutive victories over Arizona and Wisconsin. This bracket was in a rough start after one region and now it looks like it never made it out of the blocks by the second region.
This portion of the bracket has a slight resemblance to the brackets' filled out by sane human beings. UC Irvine is a popular upset pick over a supposedly overseeded Louisville team. Belmont over Virginia is a rather insane stretch, but Providence is a darkhorse that a lot of people had going into the Sweet 16. There is also a lot of talk about how weak Villanova is as a top seed, so them not making the Final Four puts this bracket a bit more in line. At the same time, I'm not sure anyone is picking N.C. State to be the team coming out of the east.
A few of the upset picks I liked came true. SF Austin over Utah and Eastern Washington over Georgetown are trendy picks. North Dakota State over Gonzaga isn't a trendy pick whatsoever. Apparently the coins are also clued into the storyline that Gonzaga can't win in the NCAA Tournament, and 2015 is just the cruelest year. Rather than make a run at the Final Four, Gonzaga doesn't even make it out of traffic in Seattle on Friday. In the process, North Dakota State, mobilized by the biggest upset in school history, keeps on winning and winning as it becomes the most unlikely team in the Final Four.
Final Four and Beyond
The coin has spoken, and it has spoken in a language that nobody actually understands. Your Final Four squads are as follows: No. 12 Buffalo Bulls, No. 6 Xavier Musketeers, No. 8 N.C. State WolfPack and No. 15 North Dakota State Bison. Each Final Four game is a complete nail biter, and your tournament title game becomes one for the ages.
Well that is just gross.
It seems weird to make a conclusion before the NCAA Tournament even gets going to see if the coin flip has any wisdom or not. But, and I'm going out on a limb here, I'm 100 percent confident your title game won't involve Xavier or North Dakota State. In fact, I'm 98 percent confident that neither of those four teams will make the Final Four. But who knows, March Madness is called March Madness for a reason.
Now, let's sit back and enjoy the ride. When this is all said and done, we can check back in and see how this bracket made of complete garbage actually held up.