Bracketology 2014: post-Sweet 16

Three teams — Florida, Michigan State, and Wisconsin — remain alive on my bracket.

Louisville’s loss last night to the resurgent Kentucky Wildcats really damaged my pool hopes, eliminating one of my Final Four teams and championship game contenders. It could have been worse, though. For a few minutes last night, I was afraid my whole bracket was on the verge of being busted. Virginia was leading Michigan State late and Kentucky was closing in on Louisville. After the Spartans regained the lead, I exhaled in relief; but the Cardinals eventually fell. Oh well. If all three of my surviving teams move on, I think I still have a shot at the pool title. The five-page long pool standings were released Tuesday and I am halfway down the first page.

Iowa State’s loss did not help, either, but I really did not care. Frankly, I wanted the Cyclones to lose. Yes, I’ll admit it: I’m not one of those Iowans who cheers for whichever Hawkeye State team is doing best, going deepest. I’ll cheer for Drake, I suppose, but Iowa State and UNI? Not really. I just can’t do it. “But they’re from Iowa,” my mom has told me. I understand that, but I cannot overcome my antipathy for the Cyclones and Panthers. That’s just the way I am. Perhaps I will change in the future, and perhaps a lot of it had to do with the agony of watching the Hawkeye men’s slow disintegration while the Cyclones became stronger. The Cyclones were a great basketball team this year — I will not argue otherwise — but I just couldn’t cheer for them. It seemed blasphemous.

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