Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – Your NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Primer – Going Dancing – Part I – The Women’s Tournament
Gather ye basketballs while ye may, the time is still a flying; And that same team that flies today; tomorrow will be dying.
Monday evening the ESPN will air the selection show for the NCAA Division I women’s tournament. Sixty-four teams will be selected to go to the dance. Let’s start with terminology.
Automatic bid – these are teams who win their conference or their conference tournament. It is like going to the dance with your long-time boy/girl friend.
At large invitation – these are teams who did not win their conference or their conference tourney, but will get to go to the dance. It like hoping you get asked to the big dance by somebody.
Bracket – a funny little chart showing which teams play against one another. More to come on brackets after Monday.
Bracket Virgins – your first time to complete a tournament bracket.
The Dance – the championship tournament is referred to as “the dance.” I do not know why.
Final Four – the last four teams left after everybody has played through their bracket. These teams play to be crowned 2016 Basketball National Champions.
Hardware/Bling – Hardware refers to the trophy; Bling refers to the BIG diamond rings you get if you win the tournament. The bling is the size of the nob on your dresser drawers.
Ticket punched – this is the term that a team received an automatic invitation and is loading the bus or plane to travel to a destination selected by people who actually get paid to watch, analyze and make up brackets for sporting events.
Let’s see who already has their tickets punched to the Dance and the conferences represented.
- George Washington – A-10 Conference
- Notre Dame – ACC
- Chattanooga – Southern
- South Carolina – SEC
- Maryland – Big 10
- Oregon State – Pac 12 – Go Beavers! It is not the usual champ – Stanford. Sorry Tara V. I hope you get an at-large bid.
- Iona – MAAC Conference. I must admit I was devastated when Iona upset Quinnipiac 57-41.
- Yale – Ivy League
- St. Johns – Big East Conference. It is St. Johns first trip to the Dance since 1988. Come on – you got to like St. Johns. Their band plays New York – New York – “Start spreading the news; I’m leaving today…”
- Baylor – Big 12 Conference
- UNC Wilmington – Colonial Conference
- University of San Francisco – WCC
- Florida Gulf Coast – Atlantic Sun
- UNC Ashville – Big South
- Northern Iowa – Missouri Valley
- Austin Peay – Ohio Valley
I have never heard of most these teams either and my TV automatically turns to ESPN so do not fret.
Still to come – tournament winners from the following alphabet soup of conferences: West Coast; Mountain West; American East, MAC, SWAC, Big Sky MEAC, WAC. No, I have no idea what the letters stand for either. You have Google on your computer, look them up.
I think I left out a team. Oh yes – UConn from the AAC. I refer to this team as Geno and his Giants. I shall yell for any team playing UConn.
The at-large bids will “round out” the field of 64 teams. This should include Texas A&M, THE University of Texas @ Austin, and other teams that are really good basketball teams.
Then play begins. There is no tomorrow. You win or you go home. The objective is to continue to play until there are only four teams left. This is called The Final Four. Notice: there are four teams I have bolded. These are my Final Four predictions. Notre Dame, South Carolina, Baylor and UConn.
Another prediction: Baylor will win the Championship Game against UConn.
But then again it is not called March Madness without reason. Yale or any other team could throw the ball toward the basket on a desperate shot and win on a buzzer beater. A buzzer beater is defined as: with the scored tied and only seconds left to play in the game, a desperation shot is attempted; the ball goes through the basket and the team wins. Shades of Louisville several years ago and all Baylor fans wanted to (or did) throw up.
As we wait for Selection Monday, let’s begin to cheer for teams we want to win somewhere in the tournament. Sic’ Em Bears. Gig ‘Em Aggies and yes, even Hook ‘Em Horns. Somebody bring that hardware and bling back to The Lone Star State from Connecticut! Geno and the Giants already have too much hardware and too much bling. It is someone else’s turn for hardware and bling.
GB (Gary Blair – Texas A&M women’s basketball coach) and me. Photo by the crazy women who shoved me out of the way to get her photo made with GB.