Inside the Mind of the Lady Who Will Win Your Bracket Pool

March Madness is upon us. You’ve printed out your bracket. You’ve been watching all season long. You’re researching all of the unknown teams, and calculating those upset picks so carefully. You know Kentucky’s line-up by heart and will spend several days over-analyzing Belmont’s games against RPI Top 50 teams. When you finally turn in that bracket with all of your picks, you’ll know more about the field of 68 than Dickie V himself. But you know what…you’re wasting your time. ‘Cause you don’t have a prayer of winning your office pool. You know it, and I know it.

It’s never the knowledgeable basketball fan who takes the March Madness pot.

It’s always that one lady in your office who knows absolutely nothing about college basketball and fills out her bracket in one two-minute sitting. It drives you crazy every year. You wonder how she possibly does it. Well, the mystery will be revealed today, as I (with the help of my friends) take you inside the mind of That Lady in Your Office Who Will Win the Pool. Sit back and marvel at the internal monologue of a true basketball savant.

The First Four

Mississippi Valley State vs. Western Kentucky
-       The Thought Process:  I heard Kentucky was really good this year.
-       The Pick:  Western Kentucky

BYU vs. Iona
-       The Thought Process:  I already made up my mind to vote for Mitt Romney.
-       The Pick:  BYU

Lamar vs. Vermont
-       The Thought Process:  All the billboards I drive past on my way to work are Lamar billboards. If that’s not a sign (ha!) I don’t know what is.
-       The Pick:  Lamar

California vs. South Florida
-       The Thought Process:  Real Housewives of Miami vs. Real Housewives of Orange County & Beverly Hills.  Not. Even. Close.
-       The Pick: California

South Region

Round 1 (or 2 or whatever they’re calling it now)

Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky
-       The Thought Process:  All of Kentucky has to be better than part of Kentucky, right?
-       The Pick:  Kentucky

Iowa State vs. UCONN
-       The Thought Process:  My heart goes out to anyone who has to wear the label of Huskie.
-       The Pick:  UCONN

Wichita State vs. Virginia Commonwealth
-       The Thought Process:  I don’t know either of these teams, but I do know that Wichita IS NOT a state, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s a liar.
-       The Pick:  Virginia Commonwealth

Indiana vs. New Mexico State
-       The Thought Process:  Indiana hasn’t choked since that old coach left.
-       The Pick:  Indiana

UNLV vs. Colorado
-       The Thought Process:  What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!  Hahahaha. I love that.
-       The Pick:  UNLV

Baylor vs. South Dakota State
-       The Thought Process:  Does R2D2 play basketball, too?
-       The Pick:  Baylor

Notre Dame vs. Xavier
-       The Thought Process:  Rudy. Rudy. Rudy.
-       The Pick:  Notre Dame

Duke vs. Lehigh
-       The Thought Process:  I’ve heard of Duke.
-       The Pick:  Duke

Round 2

Kentucky vs. UCONN
-       The Thought Process:  That one Kentucky guy’s unibrow is so unfortunate, bless his heart. Pity vote.
-       The Pick:  Kentucky

Virginia Commonwealth vs. Indiana
-       The Thought Process:  I love that movie they made about Indiana’s basketball team. People think I’m crazy, but Gene Hackman is still on my celebrity free-pass list.
-       The Pick:  Indiana

UNLV  vs. Baylor
-       The Thought Process:  Baylor’s where that cult was.
-       The Pick:  UNLV
-       The Rethought Process:  But they could probably use a break.
-       The Re-Pick:  Baylor

Notre Dame vs. Duke
-       The Thought Process:  Rudy. Rudy. Rudy.
-       The Pick:  Notre Dame

The Sweet Sixteen

Kentucky vs. Indiana
-       The Thought Process:  In US Weekly, I saw John Cougar Mellencamp at an Indiana game with Meg Ryan.  She has had WAY too much work done.
-       The Pick:  Kentucky

Baylor vs. Notre Dame
-       The Thought Process:  I’m Baptist.
-       The Pick:  Baylor

The Elite Eight

Kentucky vs. Baylor
-       The Thought Process:  I’m not really sure Baylor should be participating in a big dance.
-       The Pick:  Kentucky

South Region Champion: Kentucky

West Region

Round 1

Michigan State vs. LIU Brooklyn
-       The Thought Process:  Michigan State’s uniforms are green and Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day…no brainer.
-       The Pick:  Michigan State

Memphis vs. Saint Louis
-       The Thought Process:  Wonder if Memphis’ coach has a Christian Mingle profile.
-       The Pick:  Memphis

New Mexico vs. Long Beach State
-       The Thought Process:  Beach vs. Desert. Beach vs. Desert. Give me a break.
-       The Pick:  Long Beach State

Louisville vs. Davidson
-       The Thought Process:  I wouldn’t mind Rick Pitino taking me out for Italian, if you know what I mean.
-       The Pick:  Louisville

Murray State vs. Colorado State
-       The Thought Process:  Which of the Murrays is more timeless: Bill or Chad Michael?  Win/win.
-       The Pick:  Murray State

Marquette vs. BYU
-       The Thought Process:  My first boyfriend’s name was Marc.
-       The Pick:  Marquette

Florida vs. Virginia
-       The Thought Process:  Virginia is for lovers.  Florida is for old people (Shut your ears, Spring Break!).
-       The Pick:  Virginia

Missouri vs. Norfolk State
-       The Thought Process:  I have literally never heard of Norfolk State.
-       The Pick:  Missouri

Round 2

Michigan State vs. Memphis
-       The Thought Process:  I finally saw the ring Justin Timberlake gave his fiancé!!
-       The Pick:  Memphis

Long Beach State vs. Louisville
-       The Thought Process:  Did I remember to unplug my curling iron this morning?
-       The Pick:  Louisville

Murray State vs. Marquette
-       The Thought Process:  Marc dumped me for the dance team captain, Amber.
-       The Pick:  Murray State

Missouri vs. Virginia
-       The Thought Process:  Amber was from Richmond.
-       The Pick:  Missouri

The Sweet Sixteen

Memphis vs. Louisville
-       The Thought Process:  Kentucky Derby > Memphis in May
-       The Pick: Louisville

Murray State vs. Missouri
-       The Thought Process:  Wait, how did I end up here? Where the heck is Murray State? I better get off this train.
-       The Pick:  Missouri

The Elite Eight

Missouri vs. Louisville
-       The Thought Process:  Heads, Missouri. Tails, Louisville.
-       The Pick:  Heads

West Region Champion: Missouri

East Region

Round 1

Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville
-       The Thought Process:  Seriously, how many UNC schools are there? They can’t all be good at basketball.
-       The Pick:  Syracuse

Kansas State v. Southern Miss
-       The Thought Process:  I won Junior Miss.
-       The Pick:  Southern Miss.

Vanderbilt vs. Harvard
-       The Thought Process:  Nerd alert. Southern nerd > Northern nerd.
-       The Pick:  Vanderbilt

Wisconsin vs. Montana
-       The Thought Process:  CHEESE!
-       The Pick:  Wisconsin

Cincinnati vs. Texas
-       The Thought Process: This one’s for you, Nick Lachey.
-       The Pick:  Cincinnati

Florida State vs. St. Bonaventure
-       The Thought Process:  Like there’s actually a saint named Bonaventure.
-       The Pick:  Florida State

Gonzaga vs. West Virginia
-       The Thought Process:  John Denver  :)
-       The Pick:  West Virginia

Ohio State vs. Loyola MD
-       The Thought Process:  I’m pretty sure Loyola is in New Orleans, not Maryland.
-       The Pick:  Ohio State

Round 2

Syracuse vs. Southern Miss
-       The Thought Process:  I like orange men. Especially if their names are Pauly D, Mike, and Vinny. [Fist pump]
-       The Pick:  Syracuse

Vanderbilt vs. Wisconsin
-       The Thought Process:  Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt.
-       The Pick:  Vanderbilt.

Cincinnati vs. Florida State
-       The Thought Process:  Spring Break.  Destin.  1995.  Me.  Some FSU frat guys.  Zima.  The AJ’s dance floor.
-       The Pick:  Florida State

West Virginia vs. Ohio State
-       The Thought Process:  Mountain momma, take me home, country roads…
-       The Pick:  West Virginia
-       The Rethought Process:  That John Denver’s full of sh*t…
-       The Re-Pick:  Ohio State

The Sweet Sixteen

Syracuse vs. Vanderbilt
-       The Thought Process:  This morning I heard Ann Curry mention Syracuse basketball and Jerry Sandusky in one breath. That can’t be good.
-       The Pick: Vanderbilt

Florida State vs. Ohio State
-       The Thought Process:  You’re never too old to go back to AJ’s, right?
-       The Pick:  Florida State

The Elite Eight

Vanderbilt vs. Florida State
-       The Thought Process:  Still can’t believe I drank Zima when Mike’s Hard Lemonade was available.
-       The Pick:  Florida State

East Region Champion: Florida State

Midwest Region

Round 1

UNC vs. Lamar
-       The Thought Process:  There is a color named after UNC’s uniforms.
-       The Pick:  UNC

Creighton vs. Alabama
-       The Thought Process:  Anytime Alabama wins something, my trips to the Tuscaloosa Wal-Mart take so much longer. I know people want to see the trophy, but can’t they go during the day when most people are at work?
-       The Pick:  Creighton

Temple vs. California
-       The Thought Process:  Bill Cosby.
-       The Pick:  Temple

Michigan vs. Ohio
-       The Thought Process:  I saw that Sarah Palin picked Michigan. I don’t know what her connection is to their basketball program, but I totally trust her judgment.
-       The Pick:  Michigan

San Diego State vs. NC State
-       The Thought Process: The edge goes to San Diego, because that was one of my favorite Real World casts.  Did Cam and Brad end up together?
-       The Pick:  San Diego State

Georgetown vs. Belmont
-       The Thought Process:  The only musicians with any b-ball game are the Justins—Bieber and JT.
-       The Pick:  Georgetown

St. Mary’s v. Purdue
-       The Thought Process:  A boilermaker doesn’t sound like someone who would score a lot.
-       The Pick:  St. Mary’s

Kansas vs. Detroit
-       The Thought Process:  Kid Rock endorsed Romney.
-       The Pick:  Detroit
-       The Rethought Process:  But Kid Rock also endorsed Hep C.
-       The Re-Pick:  Kansas

Round 2

UNC vs. Creighton
-       The Thought Process:  Chapel Hill sounds like a church.  Creighton rhymes with Satan.
-       The Pick:  UNC

Temple vs. Michigan
-       The Thought Process:  Everything’s going great in Michigan. Eminem is sober and it turns out Clint Eastwood is narration’s next Morgan Freeman.
-       The Pick:  Michigan

San Diego State vs. Georgetown
-       The Thought Process:  George Clooney Town.
-       The Pick:  Georgetown

St. Mary’s vs. Kansas
-       The Thought Process:  St. Mary’s sounds like an all girls school. Better play it safe.
-       The Pick:  Kansas

The Sweet Sixteen

UNC vs. Michigan
-       The Thought Process:  The Michigan Wolverines made great strides in returning their program to relevancy this season, but their lack of depth will be exposed by the run and gun style of UNC and Kendall Marshall will have no problems at all exploiting the Wolverines full court trap zone. It’s true that Carolina has struggled with physical teams who shoot the ball well from outside this season, but in the end, there will just be too much Zeller, Henson and Barnes for Coach Beilein’s Wolverines to overcome in this match up.*
-       The Pick: UNC
*I asked my boyfriend what he thought about this game.

Kansas vs. Georgetown
-       The Thought Process:  I love a Cinderella story.
-       The Pick:  Kansas

The Elite Eight

UNC vs. Kansas
-       The Thought Process:  I actually saw a little bit of a UNC game last weekend. Thought ESPN was replaying a clip from a game in 1972.  That coach is one classy dresser.
-       The Pick:  UNC

Midwest Region Champion: UNC

Final Four

Kentucky vs. Missouri
-       The Thought Process:  I don’t like it when an institute of higher learning consistently misspells its state’s name.
-       The Pick:  Kentucky

Florida State vs. UNC
-       The Thought Process:  My favorite girl on The Bachelor was the Chapel Hill Ph.D. student.
-       The Pick:  UNC

Championship

Kentucky vs. UNC
-       The Thought Process:  Between the player with the hyphenated last name and the full support of Ashley Judd, Kentucky is the face of the modern feminist movement. And I am all for that…to a certain extent.
-       The Pick:  Kentucky