Each year we think we’ve seen the best March Madness has to offer. It’s safe to say the first weekend of this year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament exceeded anything we could’ve expected. I mean by 10:45 pm CST on Thursday, Arizona was getting SWAC’d by Buffalo. “SWAC’d” is what happens when your favorite team loses by 21+ points. This term originated from games of Madden and other sports video games. It helps keep everyone in the room happy and it let’s us know who doesn’t need to touch “the sticks” ever again. As I was saying, Arizona got bounced the first night and along with them the hopes of many perfect brackets. The PAC-12 was a dismal 0-3 in the Tournament with 2 of the losses coming in the “Play In” Round. I can only imagine the embarrassment the great Bill Walton is feeling. Then again he’s probably somewhere enjoying life and oblivious to the ails of The Conference of Champions.
The title of today’s blog helps one understand how wild things got this weekend. I’ll start with Stringer Bell, yep the fictional character from The Wire. This is probably the best thing he’s ever been a part of. String’s smart-dumbass took some classes at University of Maryland Baltimore County. UMBC became the first 16-seed to defeat a 1-seed – in the Men’s Tournament – when they beat Virginia on Friday. This too was a SWAC, after the under 16 timeout in the 2nd half I called my dad to let him know that “Murphy’s Law” as he likes to call it was about to happen. Not only did UMBC beat UVA but they unlocked this achievement from Little Caesars.
I’m not saying I’ll be at Little Caesars on April 2nd but I’m also not saying I won’t be there at 11:30 for that combo. 16-seeds are now 1-135 versus 1-seeds with UMBC’s win. I think we’d all agree that the UMBC Athletics Twitter account was straight flames all weekend. They dropped plenty of gems, including – look away Detroit Lions fans – this one:
Now to the rest of the field. This is where the Red Wedding comes into play. I thought about posting the YouTube clip from the TV show Game of Thrones and decided against it. That scene is one of the most shocking TV experiences I’ve witnessed. Much like millions of March Madness Brackets going to pieces I knew what was coming. By the end of the scene I was still left with my mouth wide open. After the games ended Sunday Night, 9 of the top 16 teams from this year’s field were gone. We all knew the South Region would be a beast but not like this. The top 4 teams from this Region are out. If Kentucky somehow makes it through, look for everyone – the people that hate Kentucky basketball – to yell “you had an easy road to the Final 4”. In the West Region, the top 2 teams are gone. North Carolina was playing a “home game” in Charlotte, NC and still got SWAC’d! They were hoping for a little help from Lil B but the #BASEDGOD’s blessing wasn’t enough for them. Next time pray to Petey Pablo. For the teams that remain one thing is clear, it wasn’t a good year for teams with an even number seed. Only three teams with an even number seed remain. Two #1s; Two #2s; Two #3s; One #4; Three #5s; Two #7s; Two #9s; Two #11s. This Tournament and the remaining Sweet 16 field does seem to mirror the remaining characters on Game of Thrones. There are a few that everyone likes and a few that everyone hopes will fade away. It’s also a bit eerie that Coach K and The Night King have never been seen together.
Probably the best Photoshop I’ve done. Enjoy the rest of the Tournament and maybe we’ll find out who the Night King is before the show returns in 2019.