Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March (Literary) Madness -- NCAA 2012 Battle of the Authors

The annual NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments are nearly upon us. If you're not in a tournament pool, you know someone who is. Everyone's looking for a edge -- how to choose that Cinderella team, or the "sleeper" that shocks the so-called cognoscenti. Sure, you could go the tried-and-true way of the Vegas smart money, playing the best odds after eons of scrutinizing reams of arcane data and injury reports. But then there's always that person you've heard of who won a fat pile of pool money because he made his selections based on which mascots he liked, or the teams' colors, or which cheerleading squad is peppiest.

Gazalapalooza is an authors' and readers' site, and the folks in the back-office accordingly have devised an entirely new way to approach the tournament pool selection process. It's author-centric. The methodology is simple. Rather than comparing teams' stats or colors or mascots or cheerleaders, we advocate having a battle between each school's respective literary alumni to prognosticate the winner of each game.

Applying these metrics, let's explore how this year's men's tournament pool might look:

First Round, South Regional: Kentucky (Elizabeth Madox Roberts) takes on the winner of Mississippi Valley State (Jerry Rice -- the only published alumnus on MVSU's list of famous alumni) versus Western Kentucky (whose alumni list includes no book authors). You have to pick Kentucky. Iowa State (Robert E. Kowalski) versus Connecticut (Joel Rosenberg). I'm going Connecticut and Rosenberg. Wichita State (Omar Khalidi) plays Virginia Commonwealth (David Baldacci). Who bets against Baldacci?  Indiana (Meg Cabot) versus New Mexico State (faculty member David Boje) goes to Cabot. When UNLV (Guy Fieri) tips off against Colorado (Jean Stafford), I'm saying Fieri because he cooks so hot it burns. Baylor (Robert Fulghum) takes on South Dakota State (Tom Daschle) and Fulghum comes out on top. Nicholas Sparks is a Notre Dame guy, and Howard Hendrix is Xavier's gleaming literary light, but Sparks is the correct call. The last first-round South Regional Game is Duke (Peter Maas) against Lehigh (Richard Harding Davis). Got to pick Mass on that one.

Second Round, South Regional: Kentucky (Elizabeth Madox Roberts) will take on Connecticut (Joel Rosenberg), and you have to stick with Roberts. Virginia Commonwealth (David Baldacci) battles Indiana (Meg Cabot). Again, who bets against Baldacci? UNLV (Guy Fieri) plays Baylor (Robert Fulghum), but Fieri's skills at cooking begin to outweigh his literary prowess enough to make the call for Fulghum in this game. The last game in this regional round is Notre Dame (Nicholas Sparks) against Duke (Peter Maas), and regardless of what the pundits say, we all know they're not considering Nicholas Sparks when they make their predictions as we are. It's Notre Dame.

South Regional Semifinals: Now its Kentucky and Meg Cabot suiting up against Virginia Commonwealth and David Baldacci. The smartest money in the room's on Cabot. Have I mentioned it's foolish to bet against Baldacci? So leave the room, and go with VCU in this game. What about when Robert Fulghum's Baylor team challenges Notre Dame and Nicholas Sparks? Notre Dame is the sounder choice.

South Regional Final: Only one of our two remaining teams, Kentucky (Meg Cabot) or Notre Dame (Nicholas Sparks), will make it out of this game to advance to the glorious Final Four. Cabot or Sparks? With all and immense respect due Kentucky and Cabot, it will be Notre Dame and Sparks going to New Orleans.

The complete Official Gazalapalooza 2012 NCAA Men's Tournament Bracket "Battle of The Authors" Edition is pictured below. It turns out Hunter S. Thompson wins it all this year. Hey, stranger things have happened. 

(Right Click on Image to View/Enlarge in New Tab)
(Note: Pressing CONTROL and PLUS Keys Enlarges Image More)

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
~~Hunter S. Thompson~~

(Gazalapalooza thanks the inestimable "Dangerous" Dan Miller for his kind assistance above and beyond the call of any reasonable duty with the bracket imaging.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Great ideas that I have never thought of-thank you!