Parker’s first NCAA Bracket

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By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

I think this week is my favorite week of the year so when it came time to think of a topic for this blog, it was an easy choice – March Madness is upon us.  With the temperatures in the 70’s and college hoops in the middle of the afternoon, who wouldn’t be featuring a sunny disposition this time of year.

One of the fun things about the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament is filling out a bracket, whether you’re doing it for fun or laying down $100 for the right to pick the team that will eventually lose in the first weekend (It should be noted that I do not condone gambling).

This year I decided to have some entirely new fun and let my 6-month old son Parker choose his own bracket.  It wasn’t all that scientific, but I’m excited to see how he does.  With Villanova sitting at home (the season was so bad they even decided not to play in the CBI), I need something to amuse myself.

After trying shapes, we settled on remotes as the method of choosing teams.

We started on the left side of the bracket with the South and West Regions and the choices were made based upon whether he reached for a triangle-shaped toy or a round one.  He didn’t always go for the same toy, but after finishing with the left side of the bracket I figured we needed to have like shapes so we made a switch.

After a little break, we decided to use remote controls.  He’s really starting to take an interest in them and I’ve got more than one that is exactly alike so I figured it would take another variable out of play.  About 15 minutes later, we had a completed bracket and here are the results:

In the South, Parker really likes top-seeded Kentucky and 15th-seeded Lehigh, having them meet in the regional final.  Despite a spirited run by the Mountain Hawks, he does have the Wildcats advancing to the Final Four in New Orleans.

I was really interested to see how things would go out West where Parker’s mom’s team earned the No. 1 seed and surely would be ousted by Parker’s intuition to select LIU-Brooklyn in a first-round match-up.  Interesting thing happened though, little Parks sided with the Spartans and picked them all the way to New Orleans.  Florida made a pretty good run in defeating Virginia, Missouri and Marquette, but in the end, Parker thought MSU had too much beef in the post for the Gators.

Now for the East and Midwest, which were both chosen by the remote method.  In the East, Parker took a shine to Harvard, advancing the Crimson all the way to the Sweet 16, but alas brains could not carry them past the team now known for allowing pot-smokers to play despite failed drug tests.  I’m referring to the traitors better known as the Syracuse Orange (no way they should be heading to the ACC).  On the bottom half of that bracket, Ohio State took down Texas for the right to play ‘da Cuse for a trip to New Orleans.  In the end, the Buckeyes prevailed.

Finally, we have the Midwest, where chaos rained supreme.  Forget top-seeded North Carolina, second-seeded Kansas, third-seeded Georgetown, fourth-seeded Michigan or fifth-seeded Temple.  None of them made it out of the first weekend.  A Sweet 16 of ninth-seeded Alabama, 13th-seeded Ohio University, sixth-seeded San Diego State and 15th-seeded Detroit emerged, with The Bobcats and Aztecs advancing to the regional final.  Though family allegiances held true with his propensity to pick Ohio U. (his uncle Stephen and Aunt Liz both went to school in Athens), Parker decided to go with SDSU in the matchup of mid-majors.

Parker's complete bracket. Click on the image to enlarge.

In New Orleans, Parker went with Kentucky over Michigan State and Ohio State over San Diego State, setting up a match-up that realistically could come true – Kentucky and Ohio State.  Confirming what most everyone already feels, on Monday, March 12, 2012, Parker Burke Laubscher selected the Kentucky Wildcats to cut down the nets.  Lord help us all if he ends up becoming a Kentucky fan.

And there you have it, Parker’s picks for the 2012 NCAA Division I Tournament.  Just remember, if you’re looking to pick upsets in the opening round, he likes the following:

South Region
#12 VCU over #5 Wichita State
#13 New Mexico State over #4 Indiana
#14 South Dakota State over #3 Baylor
#15 Lehigh over #2 Duke

West Region
#13 Davidson over #4 Louisville

East Region
#12 Harvard over #5 Vanderbilt
#11 Texas over #6 Cincinnati

Midwest Region
#13 Ohio U over #4 Michigan
#15 Detroit over #2 Kansas

Everyone have fun and enjoy the next few weeks because the weather is going to be fantastic and the hoops should be even better.

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