The Stinque Braquet 2018

You know what we could use right now? Kitties. Lots of kitties, running around and playing and discovering their new world and being totally adorable. We could use that, the innocence of kitties, their unbridled joy, the knowledge that not everything is an absolute shambles, the hope that there’s still a future out there when we all survive this mess.

But we don’t have any kitties available at the moment, so we’ll have to settle for basketball.

There’s an enthusiasm in college basketball you won’t find anywhere else, a hothouse of thousands of fans jammed into an arena, the pace of a game turning on a moment, then turning again the next. Find that in a behemoth football stadium.

Or really, find it where you can, because we can all use all the joy we can get in these dark times, and if you’re the kind of person who finds joy in taunting the decrepit prediction skills of friends, then you’ll find joy in the Stinque Braquet, hosted as ever by Braquet Dowager Mellbell.

Tradition demands that we Name & Shame the Daily Losers, however much that may add insult to the collective injury of our souls, and so we shall continue finding joy in that as well, a cruel joy for a cruel world, but a joy that holds out hope that one day we can again have mischievous fun without feeling guilty about it.


One way to bring me in from the cold…

Oklahoma loses. The very first game and I have a (moderately) broken bracket.

The Stinque Braquet Lineup

3 – Novas
3 – Virginia
1 – Arizona
1- Xavier
And I have the sole Big 10 Entry – Michigan State

@libertarian tool: My work pool is heavily skewed toward Virginia and Michigan because of where folks are from and/or went to school.

Gee, with 280 characters this year, that’s a lot of room to shame losers tonight!

I need to prepare for my fantasy baseball draft. I got killed last year by injuries. And if I wind up taking Altuve, I’ll get a mile of crap from Faith.

And Manchu’s perfect streak comes to an end. Thanks, Loyola Chicago! :)

12-5 Potential Upset Alert: Dakota St and Ohio St tied at 70 with under 2 minutes to play.

UPDATE: Nevermind.

@libertarian tool: I went a little upset-happy in the first round, so I was really pulling for South Dakota State there!

Come on, North Carolina State! You can do it!

How is the Canadian beating everyone else?! (I kid.)

@mellbell: I went with N. Mexico State over Clemson for my designated 12-5 upset. But it’s looking like Davidson might have been a better choice.

EDIT: Or not.

@mellbell: I correctly predicted Loyola-Chicago’s upset thanks to the Jesuit college theory of upsets that one of you shared years past, and now is my go-to guide to picking upsets in March Madness.

Ooh, Buffalo is putting the hurt on Arizona. Kudos to homofascist and me on that pick if they can pull it off!

@mellbell: Fucking Arizona! Why would I ever pick them for the Sweet 16? That state is poison rain, assuming it ever rained there.

ADD: Apologies to Stinquers who live in the 602 and 520, but come on.

@SanFranLefty: Same. I mean they were the only Pac-12 entry in the tournament proper. Even UCLA couldn’t get past the play-in in game. That should have told us everything we need to know about the entire conference and whether Arizona even deseved a berth. Instead I listen to that blowhard Barclay for two days talking about how Arizona was going to be in the final four. In another bracket I put them in the final four.

@libertarian tool: Okay, even I wasn’t drinking that level of Pac-12 Kool-Aid and/or spending that much time in the desert to put Arizona in the Final Four.

@mellbell: Payback for Trudeau being dissed.

@libertarian tool: Yep, I had those chokers in the Final Four also. Another $5 down the toilet.

I’m down to a Sweet 15 because of Wichita State losing. Hopefully my bum picks are mostly limited to being too upset-happy in the first round. Tomorrow Kentucky faces Buffalo, who, while they clowned Arizona, I’m still hoping will provide Kentucky an opportunity to rest up for (one assumes) Virginia next week.

So far so good, as I don’t yet have any 16 damage on this bracket. But I think I’ll refrain from feeling too comfortable until my champ pick makes it out of the first round.

My sentimental pick of Murray State (where I did a summer enrichment program in high school) over West Virginia did not end well.

MEGA UPSET ALERT: As the cognoscenti of this group is well aware, a number 16 seed has never upset a number 1 seed in the history of the NCAA.

In the second period, #16 UMBC is leading #1 Virginia 41 – 27.

[Scrambes to google to find out what a UMBC is…]

Go University of Maryland Baltimore County um… PuppyDogs -or – Whatever!

In both my pools (Stinque and work) I’m currently in last but have the highest possible points remaining. We’ll see who has the last laugh.

@mellbell: I’m happy for you. The University of Virginia is now part of history for as long as there is basketball until the end of time.

@libertarian tool: Well, there goes my brackets until 2019. My only hope is that enough other people picked UVA that it’ll end up okay.

@mellbell: I don’t understand how you’re in last place tonight but still could win it all. When can we do the second chance bracket?

@SanFranLefty: The good news (for some of us)… is that those of us who had Az going deep in the South no longer have anything to worry about, since almost everyone else had UVa.

The South is Upset Central with 11, 13, and 16 seeds all advancing. Everyone’s South Bracket is a dumpster fire.

@SanFranLefty: @mellbell: My son applied to UVA, despite hating the tour we went on. That, and the SI cover led me to picking them to go all.the.way.

If he ends up going to Macallister (sp?) in St. Paul, where there is no Sport, it’ll be with the knowledge that Bob Mould is an alum.

So neither of my Championship Game entries made it past the Round of 32.

At this point, all I want out of life is a Loyola Chicago vs. University of Maryland Baltimore County match-up in the Elite Eight.

@libertarian tool: True for the men’s finals. On the women’s side, it happened in 1998 when Harvard beat The Farm. Apparently Lefty did not suit up that day.

@Dodgerblue: You could even say that Stanford bought the Farm. (I’ll show myself out.)

@mellbell: It’s possible that the UCLA women could play the Tree in the women’s NCAA finals. I look forward to the trash talk.

@Dodgerblue: BRING.IT.ON. I am so in to the Women’s March Madness Now. I guess you and I can agree in our dislike for UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, and Tennessee. #Pac12

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