The Final Four is set. On one side you have two basketball powerhouses in Villanova and Kansas. On the other, a second-rate school with a shitty athletic program that somehow managed to luck their way into the Final Four, and the Loyola Ramblers. (And for those of you keeping score at home, my “Perfect Bracket” turned out to be not even close.) The Ramblers, and their #1 fan Sister Jean, are on an amazing run, becoming just the fourth 11 seed in NCAA tournament history to reach the Final Four. None of the other three managed to make it into the finals, so if Loyola can knock off michigan on Saturday they will be in unprecedented territory. And if that happens, we have a serious question to answer: Who is the bigger story of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Loyola or UMBC?
Welp, it finally happened. Something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime has finally been done. A 16-seed has defeated a 1-seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Retrievers from University of Maryland, Baltimore County did the unthinkable and defeated the Virginia Cavilers 74-54, despite their superior color scheme. Continue reading
It’s the most exciting college basketball weekend of the year, and the Nati Boys are here to talk you through our brackets and great match-ups of March. We give you our Final Four picks, and let you know what we’re looking forward to in the tournament. Enjoy the show!
Intro music provided by: http://www.bensound.com
UPDATE (3/20/2018): Many of you have been wondering just how perfect my “Perfect Bracket” turned out to be following the madness of the opening weekend of the tournament. Turns out the answer is “not very.” Now I know what you’re thinking: “Whitty, I trusted you to give me the perfect bracket, and you let me down.” You’re right. I’m sorry. I fell victim to some shitty officiating that I didn’t account for in my simulations. I also may have applied my analytics at the the wrong time (in retrospect, I probably should have aaced uniform color for the sweet 16). Again, I’m sorry. In the words of my good friend Jim Calhoun:
So just how bad was it? Well, I accurately predicted 3 of the teams in the Sweet 16, so really not too terrible. That’s almost 19%, which, in terms of batting average, would almost be good enough to hit leadoff for the Reds. And I still have 2 Elite Eight teams left! That means that even though I can’t achieve my goal of perfection, I’m sure I’m still in the running for top bracket in then ESPN bracket challenge. As long as none of the 15.9 million people ahead of me get any more picks right, I may still have a shot. If UMBC can shock the world, why not Whitty?
If you missed my original picks, be sure to check them out below:
It seems like every year we get a few upsets in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and everyone wonders “how didn’t we see that coming?”. Well, you have no excuse this season, because I’ve picked 5 upsets I think there is a good chance we’ll see. If you’re a fan of any of the teams I’ve picked to be upset, don’t worry… I’m almost guaranteed to be wrong considering I picked three 11-seeds to upset the 6-seed. Maybe I’ll get lucky and hit on at least one of the 6v11 match ups. I don’t see any of the teams I’ve picked to upset the higher seeds to turn into another Cinderella story, but they could wreak havoc on anyone who thinks a middle of the pack team from a major conference will make a run into the later rounds. I’m not one to bore you with a bunch of stats. These upset picks are derived from my gut feelings and misguided logic.
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We’re keeping things local this week as the Nati Boys kick off the show by talking about the regular season successes of the UC and Xavier men’s basketball teams. Both schools won regular season conference championships and took home a plethora of team and individual accolades. In the NFL, the Bengals decided not to use their franchise tag this year and we discuss whether or not the team’s first free agent signing will have a big impact on the upcoming season. In baseball, the Reds are struggling to find their bats as spring training gets into full swing but there have been a few bright spots with some of the teams young, up-and-coming stars. To wrap up the show we have a fantasy draft of athletes who went on to noteworthy second careers outside of sports.
Intro music provided by: http://www.bensound.com