Wednesday, March 18, 2015

NCAA Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds

DO YOU FEEL ALIVE I feel alive. FULL OF VIGOR AND EXCITEMENT AND DREAMS. That Kentucky loss still tastes real bad in my mouth like the time I ate an oyster. YUCK. But this is the year we cleanse our souls of that disappointment. This is the year we show the world that Bo Ryan is literally the best coach in the history of coachery. And before I go flying off the reservation with hyperbole and nonsense, I'm going to slow down a bit.

What a Big Ten Tournament that was, right? Kinda fun how all three games were so similar: not the strongest starts, opponent makes some moves early, some clowns start wondering R WE GUNNA LOSE TO MICHIGAN/PURDUE/MSU?? And then this team reminds you exactly why all the hyperbole in the world is somewhat acceptable. They're just that good.

Even down 11 with 8 minutes to go against a Tom Izzo-coached team in March, I wasn't ready to doubt them. Sure, it wasn't an ideal spot to be in... but these kids are too good to write off. So when people are tweeting 'game over', I'm sipping my beer and waiting for the next Koenig splash.

Do me a favor: don't give up on this team. Even when it looks like we're totally cooked and it's just not our night, don't give up on them. I refuse to believe that this team is destined for anything short of greatness. You should feel the same. When all else fails, believe in the #SpiritAnimals:

It all starts Friday night with a first round date with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

  • Official colors: teal, bronze, and black. TEAL? Teal is turquoise for slow people. Elitist idiots like Michigan use colors like maize instead of yellow to sound fancy. Coastal Carolina uses teal instead of turquoise for the exact opposite purpose. I honestly did not sit down here expecting to be so WILDLY offended by their official use of teal.
  • Coastal Carolina's campus has a Chick-fil-A. I didn't see this coming, but... Coastal Carolina 1, Wisconsin 0.
  • The school runs its OWN food truck named The Road Rooster. That is nifty! 'A Road Rooster' also sounds like something I'll find on Urban Dictionary in the related list of terms after searching for 'roadhead'.
  • Team mascot? Chauncey the Chanticleer. This is SMART. How sick are you of 'wildcat' team names out there? Coastal Carolina was having none of that when they chose the chanticleer, which I guess is some kind of witty rooster. Oh, and if you want to sound EDUCATED at the bar talking about them, you should probably know that it's pronounced SHON-ti-clear. Shonts for short. And I'm gonna go ahead and connect the dots and assume it's SHON-see for the mascot's name. This all feels very forced and anti-midwestern. COASTIE SHONTS
  • Not a lot to work with here. Let's step on through to the alums.

  • Stu Riddle, former Head Coach of the Kalamazoo Outrage. We're starting with Stu for three reasons: 1) to give you an idea of the alumni list I've got to choose from, 2) sweet name, bro, and 3) Outrage is a fantastic name for any team. Sure, they folded in the USL Premier Development League AKA the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, but with a name like OUTRAGE I think they'll keep on keepin' on.
  • Bailey Hanks, actress and winner of MTV's Legally Blonde - The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods. Let's preface this by saying: I watch an above average amount of MTV. Much more than the standard 29-year-old male. With that said, I have never heard of this musical/show/whatever it is. Apparently there's a Legally Blonde musical, and MTV was tasked the IMPORTANT job of holding a competition to find the replacement for the lead role. Bailey Hanks here won it and that was one of the biggest achievements by a Chant in recorded history.
  • Edwin McCain, singer-songwriter and musician. Now we're getting somewhere. Can't even remember the last time I got a haircut without hearing and I'LLLLLLLL BEEEEEEEE mid-shampoo. Check out the pic on his Wikipedia page:

Is there even a shred of doubt that he's mid I'LLLLLLLLLLL right there? I pulled up a live performance of him singing it and took a screen shot during the first I'LLLLLLLLLL:

That his hand isn't playing the same thing on the guitar doesn't matter. I just love that he gets ONE pic on his Wiki page, and it's the most appropriate possible pic any dorky Wikipedia contributor could've picked.

PS - Edwin McCain is 45 years old and I enjoyed his little tale of how he wrote that song. He makes an EXCELLENT point about how stupid it is when musicians bitch about playing the song that made them famous so many times.
  • Lorenzo Taliaferro and Mike Tolbert, NFL running backs. I picked up BOTH of these assholes in fantasy this year. Lesson learned: never trust a Shonty running back in fantasy football.
  • Dustin Johnson, 7 time PGA Tour winner, fiend. I saw Dustin Johnson on the list and was impressed - that guy's a pretty good golfer! Then my Spidey Sense started tingling... wasn't he the coked out one? LET'S INVESTIGATE:

Coolest golfer ever. Married Wayne Gritzky's daughter and went around raging drugs like he was a rockstar and not a golfer. Most amazing Shont you'll ever come across.

This school is most uninteresting.

CHICAGO BADGERS: See y'all Friday night at Will's. I'll be the non-sober one upstairs patiently waiting to win a scarf in the raffle and telling everyone to calm the F down when we're down 13-10 with 8 minutes left in the first half.





(1) Wisconsin
Opponents: Coastal Carolina, Oregon/Oklahoma State
Undefeated Chances: 85%
Frank continues to be the best at life: Whether it's this beautiful post-title selfie mid-chew:

...or giving the B1G Tournament Title trophy a good ball washin':

PS - Love the idea of the predetermined reaction, but coordination was a little sloppy there, and I have no idea what Bronson was doing. 7/10

(4) Maryland
Opponents: Valparaiso, West Virginia/Buffalo
Undefeated Chances: 54%
Pretzel M&M's by themselves are kinda pedestrian: Pretzel M&M's combined with Peanut Butter M&M's are amazing. I learned this at work today and regret NOTHING.

(7) Iowa
Opponents: Davidson, Gonzaga/North Dakota State
Undefeated Chances: 14%
Aaron White announced his girlfriend was pregnant on Twitter:

I have no flipping clue how a college student juggles being an athlete and a pregnant girlfriend. That's insane. Also, it appears that being a tall athlete is conducive to attracting good looking women. Interesting.

(7) Michigan State
Opponents: Georgia, Virginia/Belmont
Undefeated Chances: 23%
Tom Izzo called a timeout with 3 seconds left down 11: I guess he wanted his team to look around and take it all in and make sure they never feel this way again. You know what? I don't really have a problem with that. If you let shit like that bother you after an amazing win then you're just kind of a boner.

(9) Purdue
Opponents: Cincinnati, Kentucky/Yeah Right
Undefeated Chances: 2.5%

(10) Ohio State
Opponents: VCU, Arizona/Texas Southern
Undefeated Chances: 9%
OH MY GOD PLEASE BEAT ARIZONA: okay yeah probably not gonna happen. But maybe!

(10) Indiana
Opponents: Wichita State, Kansas/New Mexico State
Undefeated Chances: 1%
Finding a silver lining in IU making the Tournament: CREAN probably keeps his job for another year or two. That means more easy wins against IU for UW, more CREAN pics, and more growing frustration from Hoosier Nation. I'm okay with all of the above.


(3) Illinois
Opponents: Alabama, Miami/NC Central
Undefeated Chances: 0%
Because this:


Opponent: Institutes of Technology
Undefeated Chances: 0%
Seriously: we shall always remember this season as the year of the Michigan loss to the freaking New Jersey Institute of Technology

Opponent: Getting off the schneid
Undefeated Chances: 0%
BUT THEY'RE TURNING THE CORNER: at least that's everyone says. In my mind they will literally never make the NCAA Tournament. And that's pretty sweet.

Opponent: #teamwork
Undefeated Chances: 0%
Congratulations: you were the biggest disappointment in the entire conference! And perhaps the entire nation! That takes a special mix of overrated talent and selfish leadership. GOOD JOB

Opponent: Apathetic fans
Undefeated Chances: 0%
This has absolutely nothing to do with Rutgers: but I loved this text exchange been Brust and Bo Ryan that Brust posted after the MSU game:

I'm simply going to look the other way at Bo using "your" instead of "you're". The man has earned the freedom to make simple grammatical mistakes.

PS - Texting with Bo seems so cool. Mad jelly.

Opponent: Surviving in Wisconsin's shadow
Undefeated Chances: 0%
Poor Goldy: he'll never touch Bucky.

Penn State
Opponent: Getting people to care about hoops at a football school
Undefeated Chances: 0%
I have no idea how you win at this program: one might even say it's impossible.


Huge fan of AV Club. Huge fan of this series they do. Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks? Huge fan. This cover and Sharon Van Etten? I'm a huge fucking fan. If you don't like this than you don't like Ze Rock & Roll. (JQW)

I don't think this song has anything to do with college basketball, but it's called March Madness and has a decent beat, so let's go with it. (@DannyGoldin)

Oh yeah, T-6 days until I get to bask in Vérité's greatness in person. So excited to hear those pipes in action. #SWOONCITY


The first stop here at

The old One And Done City

First stop of many


These 'fat Mexican guy laughing while telling a story with different subtitles' videos are the new Hitler reaction videos and I am BOUT this development. The Hitler videos were great, but these ones are SPLENDID. I could listen to him laugh and laugh for years and never get sick of it. Love it so much.

Swedish sign language guy, straight killing it.

I WANT A WEASEL no I don't they're terrifying but LOOKIT THE LITTLE WEASEL.

So conflicted right now.


Shortly after the Wisconsin/Purdue game on Saturday I realized: I'm drunk and I better eat before I die! Drunk Brandon was thinking smart! So I finally gave Murphy's Red Hots on Belmont a shot. The results? NOT UNDELICIOUS. I'm not even sure exactly what I got - it was some kind of Ditka polish that the guy talked me into. But those fries. And that Merkts! OOO grill marks! This was drunk chew heaven at its finest. I think I forgot to eat the rest of the day and that's perfectly okay because this absurd meal held down the fort.

I mentally picture meals like this when I'm eating a boring salad on a Tuesday.


Man. It wasn't enough that Monday was the most beautiful day in Chicago since October. Sure enough, I take a look out the window later that night and realize the sky is on FIRE. Bam, first #skyporn of the summer even though it's technically still winter.

And I wasn't alone. Chicago's best photographer caught his wife with a little #INSTACEPTION:

Looks like the fire sky made it all the way up to Madison, too:

I actually have no idea how #skyporn works. If it's hot in Chicago, can you see the same thing in Milwaukee? In St. Louis? What does it depend on? Why do I feel really stupid asking this?


Monday night, word dropped that former Wisconsin linebacker/badass Chris Borland was retiring from the NFL after one productive and successful season. Borland's reasoning was that after consulting with medical professionals and his family, he decided he didn't want to deal with all the effects of years of banging his skull around playing football. Basically, he's trading the millions of dollars he'd make now for a better chance at being healthy and operational later in life.

It's a tradeoff that is scary to even think about. But I have no idea how you can possibly disagree with his reasoning. There's more to life than football, and with a Wisconsin degree and a network full of UW boosters, finding a good opportunity will be borderline easy. I have no doubt that whatever Borland pursues he'll be damn good at. We're talking about the guy who is literally good at EVERYTHING. He has options, and he can afford to walk away from football with his brain mostly in tact.

Selfishly, I'm upset I won't get to watch him play on Sundays ever again. Borland was EASILY one of my favorite Badgers ever. I ranked him as my #2 favorite hoops/football Badger of all-time in a previous mailbag, and this does nothing to change that. He was an absolute joy to watch, and I'm happy we had the opportunity to see him in the Cardinal and White.

I wish him the best of luck in whatever he does with his life. You'll always be a badass in my eyes, Borland.


LET'S go LET'S go LET'S go!





1 comment:

  1. First year in a long time where I only filled out 1 bracket. I usually do a "heart" bracket (UW all the way no matter their seed) and a "head" bracket (a guys gotta eat), but this year, they merged! So psyched! LET'S GO RED!