Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NCAA Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds

I was twelve years old the last time Wisconsin didn't make the NCAA Tournament. And I am OLD now! There's not a player on the current team that can even remember the last time Wisconsin missed the tournament. Recruits we're going after these days weren't even alive the last time we missed the dance. If you're a really old Wisconsin fan, I can only imagine how mind bottling this two decade run of consistent winning has been.

And yet, most of us have spent this year feeling completely and utterly frustrated with the way this team fell apart. A lot of that is justified - who the hell expected a team with 4 senior starters to blow a 1.5 game lead in February (too lazy to fact check) and limp into the tournament as an 8 seed?

But last I checked, this was still a team that finished 2nd in the B1G, runner-up in the B1G tourney, and went 25-9. This is still a dangerous team with a senior point guard and All-American big. And this is still a team with a bandwagon I simply cannot jump off. Expectations are low, but the opportunity to shock America's face off is prime. I dig that.

PS - If you ARE one of the people that's just kinda over this team, please keep your thoughts to yourself and don't be this guy:

Wait but actually this is his most fire take:

PPS - Hey Twitter, here's an idea for cutting down on the trolls: look at every new user's first tweet. If it @mentions someone with irrational idiocy, then you can safely blacklist them:

Bang, right there you know this guy is never going to contribute a single meaningful thing to the internet other than being blog fodder for weirdos like me. WAIT


What criteria are they ranked on? WHIM OF A MADMAN (me).

Last) Stephen Bannon (Class of 1976) – Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor in the Trump administration, Executive Chairman of Breitbart Media. HOW MUCH OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT. Thanks for EVERYTHING TERRIBLE, Virginia Tech. And somehow this fuckboy negotiated himself into owning a stake of Seinfeld? IS THERE NOTHING GOOD OR PURE LEFT IN THIS LIFE

11) Frank Sturgis, born Frank Angelo Fiorini (attended in the 1940s) – convicted for the Watergate burglaries that ultimately led to the resignation of US President Richard M. Nixon. Maybe - and I'm just thinking out loud here, but - maybe we shouldn't let anyone associated with Virginia Tech anywhere near Washington! Also, IDIOT. If you hid the listening devices in the microwave then Nixon would still be president. Look how topical I am! Did they even HAVE microwaves in 1972?

10) Michael Vick (Class of 2002) – quarterback for the New York Jets, first overall pick at the 2001 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons (did not graduate). Who's writing these Wikipedia career abstracts? How are they just conveniently ignoring that whole Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation Vick ran? I WILL SAY, however, that I find it oddly amusing when a silly name like 'Bad Newz Kennels' ends up in super official court documents. I bet that stenographer was ALL OVER that 'z'.

9) Roger Craig (Class of 1999) – winner of the 2011 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Oh cool, a Jeopardy! winner that's not Ken Jennings. How fascinating! 

8) Jim Buckmaster – CEO of craigslist is so amazing when you think about it. They have given ZERO fucks about making a cool looking website. Here's what craigslist looked like in 2000:

And here's what it looks like 17 years later:

Lesson learned: be a visual or UX designer at craigslist.

7) John H. Thompson (1973, B.S.; 1975 M.S.) – Director of the United States Census Bureau. I'm sure it's just me being strange but I'm always incredibly impressed at the concept of a census. How do we count and classify EVERYONE? There are literally MILLIONS of us! And John H. Thompson here is responsible for all of that. I'm speculating for pure pleasure when I tell you that the census is really important stuff. I bet it gets used for all sorts of impactful decisions like the Electoral College and resources for states and tax information and GDP per capita. Such pressure on those broad, nerdy Thompson shoulders.

6) Curtis Dvorak – Jacksonville Jaguars mascot, Jaxson de Ville. Let's be real: before I did any digging, I put Curtis on the list because I was highly entertained by the Jacksonville mascot being named Jaxson de Ville. CLEVER! But oh is there more to Curtis and his life as Jaxson de Ville:
One of the mascot's jobs is to entertain the fans before the game and during breaks in the action. There is a fine line between entertainment and harassment, and Dvorak enjoys coming close to crossing the line.

During a timeout during the 1998 home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jaxson carried a full-sized figure resembling Kordell Stewart onto the field near the Steelers' huddle and proceeded to trample and punch the effigy. Another timeout saw Jaxson run in front of the Steelers' bench, where he used a Terrible Towel to wipe various parts of his anatomy.
I wonder which parts!

Other visiting teams have taken exception to Jaxson's antics, too. There were so many complaints that "Mascot conduct" became an agenda item at the NFL Owners meeting in 2000. Dvorak explained, "Along with their discussions of revenue sharing and TV deals, one of the topics was how to stop the mascots (from being too disruptive). They showed a 10-minute video and nine and a half minutes were my highlights. It made my parents so proud."As a result, the National Football League added a new rule: "Team mascots must stay behind the 6-foot white border at all times during the game. And they are prohibited from engaging in any acts of taunting opposing players, coaches or game officials.
NFL owners are the WORST. #NoFunLeague

Dvorak became acquainted with Jacksonville Roar member Melanie McAlister during a 2001 NFL tour to entertain U.S. troops in the middle East. They began seeing each other, but team rules prohibit fraternization between cheerleaders and players, so Melanie left the squad and enrolled at St. Vincent's School of Medical Sciences in radiology. They were married at EverBank Field on March 12, 2005.
Well we'll ignore for a second that the mascot and a dancer hooking up doesn't really violate that rule, but that's a really cute little love story!
They were divorced in May 2014
Damnit Curtis.

PS - If writing your own Wikipedia page is cool, consider Curtis Miles Davis.

5) Ken Pomeroy – college basketball statistical specialist. BIG KenPom fan. Are we, as Wisconsin fans, biased in our unabashed worship at the KenPom alter? PERHAPS. But damnit efficiency is more important that the stupid rate stats that usually define how 'good' or 'bad' a team is. PPP > PPG, duh. And I attribute any and all awareness of this to Ken.

Ken, if you're reading this, PLEASE KILL THE RPI. Do we need to get you lobbyists in DC to make this happen? A Kickstarter? We all know that 8 seed is HOGWASH and you're our only hope in making sure it never happens again.

4) Homer Hickam (Class of 1964) – author of several works, including the New York Times best-selling memoir Rocket Boys, the basis for the film October Sky. October Sky is such an under the radar banger. Did you know 'October Sky' is an anagram of 'Rocket Boys'? QUE INTERESANTE. Anyway, Hickam thinks the movie is kind of bogus and that is almost as sad as the sweet teacher that believed in them dying of Hodgkin's disease.

PS - Food for thought: Homer's dad or Jack's dad on This Is Us... who was the worse dad? We learned in that finale (SPOILER ALERT FOR THIS IS US) that Jack had big time daddy issues. He comes home from Vietnam (stop being dreamier, Jack!) and all his dad can do is grind his ass to get a job? That's actually quite similar to Homer's dad being on his case to work the mines like a good coalman's son should. Unless we learn more about Jack's dad, I gotta give the edge to Mr. Hickam. I wonder if REAL LIFE Mr. Hickam was a dick, too?

PPS - The This Is Us finale was a universal letdown, right? How you gonna spend weeks hyping the finale and teasing Jack's death just to mess with us? Until the fight and Jack's speech, that episode was a complete dud. The whole plot around 1970s Jack losing it all in a shady mafia-esque poker game and then planning this idiotic robbery was the type of thing you usually get when there's a writer's strike.

I guess I liked the whole thing about them being set up on different blind dates and meeting by chance, but that was preceded by Rebecca actually saying, "This guy better show up, I could be at an open mic tonight". UGH.

So I'm still in on the show overall (the episode in Memphis was as gutwrenching as TV can possibly be while), but that finale really disappointed me.

3) Antonio Freeman (Class of 1995) – former wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers; played in Super Bowl XXXI, Super Bowl XXXII, and 1998 Pro Bowl. Hi Vikes:

2) Cindy Stowell – six-game Jeopardy! champion who died about 1 week before her shows aired and donated her winnings to cancer research. I take back what I said earlier about having non-Ken Jennings Jeopardy! champions on your list of important alumni. Cancer sucks.

1) Duff Holbrook – wildlife biologist and forester (United States Forest Service); reintroduced wild turkeys to much of South Carolina. Well when you specialize in bringing the wild turkey party and your name is actually DUFF HOLBROOK, then you have clearly established yourself as 100% USDA prime badass.

Oh my god, Duff Holbrook is DEAD and no one told me?! WHY DID I JUST TEAR UP AT MY DESK? Maybe it's because we're talking about a man nicknamed after his dad's World War ONE buddy. Maybe it's because Duff himself left school to man B-24 bombers during WWII. Or maybe it's because the only instructions given to Duff upon landing his first job after WWII were, "You want to keep this job, catch turkeys and deer". GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL, DUFF.

PS - You know how Duff caught all them wild turkeys? ROCKET NET:

Holy cow INDEED. Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but that seems like a SLIGHTLY unnecessary launching mechanism to throw a net over some turkeys. BUT I DIGRESS, because that was freaking amazing and I want to be a rocket net scientist.

PPS - I know I shouldn't but I kinda feel bad for the turkeys when the rocket goes off and you try to fly to safety and BANG net in your eye:



TV: CBS, suck it TruTv



(4) Purdue
Opponents: Vermont, Iowa State/Nevada
Undefeated Chances: 65%
Forget Purdue, let's check in on Dany: My new favorite thing is catching her mid-yawn with her eyes closed. I'm getting pretty good at it:

I didn't even Insta those, so that makes them BADGER PREVIEW EXCLUSIVES.

I read somewhere to take as many pictures as humanly possible while they're still puppies, and I took that advice straight to heart. I am the MOST annoying puppy dad ever.

PS - Can we talk about her new Targaryen sigil collar?

WINTER IS HERE and you can buy ANYTHING on Etsy.

(5) Minnesota
Opponents: Middle Tennessee State, Butler/Winthrop
Undefeated Chances: 47%
Congratulations, Minnesota: You are so miserably overseeded that you are actually an underdog against a 12 seed according to Vegas. Get fudged, lose by a million, and get fudged again.

(6) Maryland
Opponents: Xavier, Florida State/Florida Gulf Coast University
Undefeated Chances: 40%
Quick thoughts on The Bachelor: Nick is the WORST. This much is indisputable, indubitable, inscrutable. He's boring, he's the creepy old man at the bar hitting on girls 14 years younger than him, and goddamnit he's giving Wisconsin a bad name. He completely submarined my fantasy team by sending Danielle L. home early despite them showing some serious chemistry. Vanessa is a phony and he STILL doesn't deserve her. He spent the finale having the best time with Raven and being dramatic and crying with Vanessa and STILL got that decision wrong.

End result?

And they lived happily ever after for the bare minimum required number of months to maximize their earning potential before slipping back into the anonymity of reality TV 'stars'.

PS - Vanessa's brother still the highlight of the season:

(7) Michigan
Opponents: Oklahoma State, Louisville/Jacksonville State
Undefeated Chances: 35%
They gonna be so trendy in your brackets: And after watching the shots they hit against Wisconsin, I kind of get it. Plus you get the whole airplane crash angle, which adds some nice juice to their story. Everyone in your bracket is zigging, might as well zag with Oklahoma State. Disclaimer: I literally know nothing, even less than Jon Snow.

(8) Wisconsin
Opponents: Virginia Tech, Villanova/Mt. Saint Mary's
Undefeated Chances: 7.5%
Okay let's talk about that seeding atrocity really quickly: The NCAA hired some people to study previous tournaments and share their findings. Those people then went on reddit and took some questions. The top question was about how Wisconsin got an 8 seed while Minnesota got a 5 seed. Here's their response:

(8) Northwestern
Opponents: Vanderbilt, Gonzaga/South Dakota State
Undefeated Chances: 7.3%
I know I'm supposed to be happy for #NerdNation, but I'm not: I don't like them. I don't like their hoops program. I don't like that rat nest of a gym they play in and all the shenanigans that seem to happen when we go there.

(9) Michigan State
Opponents: Miami (Fla.), Kansas/NCCENT/UCD
Undefeated Chances: 7.2%
Is this the year everyone misses on Izzo: It's always 'take MSU at least one round further than you think they'll go'. And more often than not that works out quite well for people. But this team has consistently felt different than the previous iterations. Result? MSU NATIONAL CHAMPS. Book it!


(1) Iowa
Opponents: South Dakota, TCU/Fresno State
Undefeated Chances: 70%

(2) Illinois
Opponents: Valpo, Utah/Boise State
Undefeated Chances: 80%
My favorite rumor of the week: Crean gets fired and goes to Illinois! YOU CAN'T LEAVE US, TOMMY BOY

(3) Indiana
Opponents: Georgia Tech
Undefeated Chances: 0%
Let's check in on the IU hoops program in year 9 of CREAN: 

That's right: IU politely declined to host their NIT game because they didn't want to 'devalue' Assembly Hall. Instead, they'd rather go to Atlanta and lose to Georgia Tech in the first round of the NIT on the road, which is much less embarrassing than losing to Georgia Tech at home with 8,000 people booing Crean the entire game.

18/20 against IU. Please never leave Crean. You're the BEST.

PS - If you could sum up the typical IU fan's perception of their program these days, that quote from their AD is PERFECTION.


Total jam any way you slice it. Does he play every instrument in the band and have an unhealthy obsession with ice cream? Hard to say. But this song is catchy and you should listen to it several times and then blame me when it's stuck in your head. 


Criminal seeding

But that's why they play the games

And your bracket sucks


I love how dumb these people are. But at the same time... I would TOTALLY be snapping that train's arrival. Pain is temporary, snaps are forever (when saved to memories and then saved to your camera roll).

PS - Here it is at normal speed:


A gun safety instructor that really inspires confidence.

I'm aware that every single person reading this has already seen this video. But that damn baby coming in on the walker slays me every time and we should all just savor the hell out of this one before it gets old and gets lost to the catacombs of hot 'net vids.


I MADE those chicken tenders! Drizzled with some buffalo sauce and flanked by mac and cheese and vegetables because ADULT chicken tender party is balanced has varied color for presentation purposes. Did I learn the proper technique for placing the uncooked chicken in the scalding hot oil by watching 4,000 hours of DDD? I did!

PS - Saw this making the rounds today:

My first thought? There are a lot of chicken tenders out there that I need to eat. Also, does Wendy's even HAVE chicken tenders anymore?

I've had 3/4 of the Final Four and would probably take Cane's over Chick-fil-a... and boy would that be a tough championship match up. BW3 has a huge advantage with their arsenal of sauces. GOOD ARSENAL. I'd prob give them the nod, but I also haven't had Cane's in like 10 years.

PS - That Chick-fil-A bracket is LOADED. DQ's tenders on their own are good, but the DQ chicken tender basket is ELITE. Popeyes getting stuck in Chick-fil-A's bracket is basically Duke fucking with Villanova's run. I think that makes Wisconsin DQ! BUTTERED TOAST FOR EVERYONE.




Underseeded and overlooked. Just where we want to be. This team is stupidly due to hit shots, and nothing enables that more than having two bigs that draw attention in the post. Koenig/Showy/Vitto/Trice - just need two of them to catch fire in any given game. Next thing you know teams can't double Happ and BANG we are playing next weekend. DRINK IT IN. THE PICKS:







  1. another solid BP. i am also feeling the #HOKIEBAN on dc.

    ps. whats with the wordpress name Schwa

  2. BTW - I'm sure you saw right after posting, but your luck has run out. IU finally sent Crean packing.