The Peoples Bracket

It’s March Madness time which means two things: non-stop basketball and busted brackets.

The past few years my bracket picks were horrible. In 2014 everything went wrong, but I don’t think that’s my fault. Who could have seen 7-seeded UConn beating 8-seeded Kentucky in the National Championship?

In 2015 and 2016, my brackets were busted day one, as 14-seed UAB knocked out my runner-up pick Iowa State in 2015, and my pick to win it all, Michigan State, got bounced in the first round by 15-seed Middle Tennessee State in 2016. Last year I struck out on all four of my Final Four picks- thanks Virginia, Kansas, Butler and Arizona.

This year, I’ve decided to take a new approach. I’m going to ask the people. Regardless of their knowledge of college basketball and the NCAA tournament, I am going to go with what the people choose. In order to do that, I went to McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland and asked 22 random people to pick games for me. Here’s how it went…

First Four- Audrey Stultz

Note: Unfortunately, I did this after St. Bonaventure beat UCLA and Radford beat LIU Brooklyn. So those two games weren’t picked.

  • NC Central defeats Texas Southern
  • Syracuse defeats Arizona State

“People I know went to Syracuse.”
Going with the personal ties route. Bold.

South region top half- Nick Santos

  • Virginia defeats UMBC
  • Kansas St defeats Creighton
  • Kentucky defeats Davidson
  • Buffalo defeats Arizona

“I know these are good picks [Virginia, Kansas State, Kentucky] but for Buffalo I kinda just guessed.”
Upsets are random, so guessing on them is probably smarter than actually thinking about one.

South region bottom half- Megan Guiltinan

  • Miami defeats Loyola-Chicago
  • Tennessee defeats Wright State
  • Texas defeats Nevada
  • Cincinnati defeats Georgia State

“I’ve never heard of Wright State and Loyola, so I assumed Tennessee and Miami would be better.”
Big names do usually dominate the tournament. Smart reasoning.

West region top half- Brandon Stoeckel

  • Xavier defeats NC Central
  • Florida State defeats Missouri
  • Ohio State defeats South Dakota State
  • UNC Greensboro defeats Gonzaga

“Xavier sounded cooler.”
Xavier is a pretty cool name, can’t argue with that.

West region bottom half- Daniel Kirchner

  • Houston defeats San Diego State
  • Michigan defeats Montana
  • Texas A&M defeats Providence
  • UNC defeats Lipscomb

“If the name sounded more familiar, I went with it.”
The familiarity route is becoming a popular one.

East region top half- Josh Binderman

  • Villanova defeats Radford
  • Alabama defeats Virginia Tech
  • West Virginia defeats Murray State
  • Marshall defeats Wichita State

“Always been a ‘Bama fan.”
When he said that I got Tua flashbacks. It wasn’t pretty.

East region bottom half- Mitchell Abes

  • Florida defeats St. Bonaventure
  • Texas Tech defeats Stephen F. Austin
  • Butler defeats Arkansas
  • Cal State Fullerton defeats Purdue

“I know a kid who goes to Purdue. I hate him.”
Can’t argue with that logic.

Midwest region top half- Collin Whick

  • Kansas defeats Penn
  • Seton Hall defeats NC State
  • Clemson defeats New Mexico State
  • Auburn defeats Charleston

“Kansas is Kansas.”
Once again, can’t argue with that logic.

Midwest region bottom half- Slade Parson

  • TCU defeats Syracuse
  • Michigan State defeats Bucknell
  • Oklahoma defeats Rhode Island
  • Duke defeats Iona

“Trae Young is good.”
Clearly he watches ESPN.

East region 2nd round- Frieda Greenthal

  • Kansas State defeats Virginia
  • Kentucky defeats Buffalo
  • Miami defeats Tennessee
  • Cincinnati defeats Texas

“I’ve looked at other peoples brackets.”
Using other people’s choices for their own bracket! Who would do that??? Oh right, me.

West region 2nd round- Clayton Cole

  • Xavier defeats Florida State
  • Ohio State defeats UNC Greensboro
  • Michigan defeats Houston
  • UNC defeats Texas A&M

“I haven’t followed college basketball this year, so I went with names I recognized as good programs.”
As I said earlier, big programs dominate the tourney. Smart reasoning.

East region 2nd round- Brandon Smith

  • Villanova defeats Alabama
  • West Virginia defeats Marshall
  • Florida defeats Texas Tech
  • Butler defeats Cal State Fullerton

“These teams are known to do well in crunch time.”
Villanova did hit a buzzer beater to win it all two years ago, so he’s not wrong.

Midwest region 2nd round- Steven Hall

  • Kansas defeats Seton Hall
  • Auburn defeats Clemson
  • Michigan State defeats TCU
  • Duke defeats Oklahoma

“Duke always wins.”
…unless they’re playing Lehigh or Mercer.

South region Sweet 16- Tori Queeney

  • Kentucky defeats Kansas State
  • Cincinnati defeats Miami

“I know Cincy is seeded high.”
The good old chalk method. Usually does well.

West region Sweet 16- Nick Appleton

  • Ohio State defeats Xavier
  • Michigan defeats UNC

“They sounded like state schools and would probably have better funding.”
Really weird way to say you want to see a Michigan Ohio State rivalry matchup.

East region Sweet 16- Jared Hester

  • Villanova defeats West Virginia
  • Butler defeats Texas Tech

“Butler, just for the upset.”
I like seeing low seeds go far, so I’ll take it

Midwest region Sweet 16- Jahi Madzimoyo

  • Kansas defeats Auburn
  • Michigan State defeats Duke

“I have no idea. I just picked them to be honest.”
Honestly, can’t hate. Very solid reasoning.

South and West regions Elite 8- Grace Jubert

  • Kentucky defeats Cincinnati
  • Michigan defeats Ohio State

“People from Ohio State are annoying.”

East and Midwest regions Elite 8- Cali Robertson

  • Butler defeats Villanova
  • Kansas defeats Michigan State

“I’m pretty sure they’ve both been really good in the past.”
I’m ignoring the reasoning… WE HAVE A 10 SEED IN THE FINAL FOUR!!!

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 5.17.40 PMScreen Shot 2018-03-14 at 5.17.50 PM

Final Four- Ali Vidal

  • Michigan defeats Kentucky
  • Kansas defeats Butler

“I randomly picked.”
And that’s how Butler’s 10 seed dream dies. Someone randomly picking.

National Championship- Alex Becker

  • Kansas defeats Michigan

“Better seed”
Fair reasoning, but kind of a lame way to decide the National Championship. In reality I know he meant to say, ‘Kansas gets its pay-back for Trey Burke channeling his inner Steph Curry in 2013.’ If this fictional title game is anything like that game was, I can’t wait.

Overall, this is not your typical bracket. We have a 2 seed losing in the first round, multiple 4 seeds losing in the first round, and a 10 seed making the Final Four. However, knowing how March Madness usually goes, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the 22 UMD students I interviewed were able to put together one of the best brackets of the year.

1 comment on “The Peoples Bracket

  1. warningtrack

    People from Ohio State are annoying?!?!? #Alternative Facts


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