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The Only Guide You'll Need for March Madness 2018

by Brian Curran
by Brian Curran

I feel like I may have said this a couple times before, but this really is my favorite time of the year. The four day stretch from Thursday at 12:15 pm to Sunday at like midnight has to be the primary reason why this planet was created. To become one with the couch, to lose track of where you end and the pizza begins, to watch so much basketball it actually deep-fries your brain. It's what humans were put on Earth to do, and it's my natural element. I thrive on March Madness. I'm energized by it. The endless loop of the same five commercials becomes my lifeblood. I don't think it's a stretch to say that I'm my true self during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Now, March Madness presents a number of new social obligations, as well. Regardless if you're at school, in the office, or just with your family, it's required that you discuss the tournament ad nauseam. Mostly, that means listening to everyone you know's bracket picks. Hey, did you know a 12 seed always beats a 5 seed? No, Scott from Accounts Payable, I didn't. Thanks for enlightening me! An important part of these discussions is establishing dominance. That can happen one of two ways. The first is by spewing out as many tired facts and arguments (how many brackets are you allowed to have? etc.) as possible and wearing down the casual fans around you. The second is by spitting out cold, hard facts that silence the poseurs and show the world who the real expert is. Any reader of mine surely fits in to the second category, but perhaps you need a little help getting to true savant status. You can go anywhere and find all the numbers and in-depth analysis you want, but I'm going to save you a little time. Here's every single tournament team in one sentence. You can thank me after you win your bracket pool. I only ask for 10% of the winnings (Venmo me @Brian-Curran-4)

East Region

  1. Villanova- If Big East games weren't stuck on FS1 I bet more people would respect Nova.
  2. Purdue- Imagine thinking Purdue was going to do anything in the tournament?
  3. Texas Tech- They're my annual “All-In on a random team” team, which means they're out in the first round.
  4. Wichita State- In 2018 PC culture, the fact that Wichita State is able to remain the Shockers is absolutely astounding.
  5. West Virginia- Huggins is making the Final Four this year, I can feel it in my bones.
  6. Florida- Honestly don't think I watched one second of Florida hoops this season.
  7. Arkansas- Honestly don't think I watched one second of Arkansas hoops this season.
  8. Virginia Tech- It's divine March Madness law that Virginia Tech play in the 8-9 game every year.
  9. Alabama- This bracket is a little too SEC heavy for my taste.
  10. Butler- People forget Gordon Hayward almost hit that half-court shot that one time.
  11. St. Bonaventure/UCLA- Not enough colleges have brown jerseys.
  12. Murray State- I still remember being in a random Applebee's in New York City that time they won on a buzzer beater in the first round.
  13. Marshall- If McConaughey's there, look out.
  14. Stephen F. Austin- Hey, kind of like Stone Cold Steve Austin, right? Get it?
  15. Cal State Fullerton- How many state universities does California have, 10,000?
  16. LIU Brooklyn/Radford- There are four play-in games. Two of them are in this bracket. This annoys me.

Midwest Bracket (I don't care if you have it in the same podunk midwest arena, for the love of God call it the North region)

  1. Kansas- Think I could suit up for Kansas and they'd still win the Big 12.
  2. Duke- *sigh* Duke's probably winning the title this year.
  3. Michigan State- Might have two future NBA All Stars and might lose first round.
  4. Auburn- Auburn stiiiiiiiinks.
  5. Clemson- Trying to figure out the reasoning behind Clemson and Kentucky being the same seed.
  6. TCU- Such a nondescript team.
  7. Rhode Island- Everyone saying Dan Hurley is the next UConn head coach so I'm rooting for whatever result will prevent that from happening.
  8. Seton Hall- Love me some pirate mascots and also Sam Dalembert.
  9. N.C. State- They won the title in '83, so you know they've got the mental makeup to go deep.
  10. Oklahoma- Quite possibly the most fixed selection of all time.
  11. Arizona State/Syracuse- I already know Syracuse will somehow win a couple games purely because they have absolutely no business being in the field whatsoever.
  12. New Mexico State- A popular upset pick, which means they'll lose by 25.
  13. Charleston- I'm just gonna come out and say it- there's too much maroon in the bottom of this bracket.
  14. Bucknell- Bison are one of the great American animals, they need more mascot representation.
  15. Iona- I don't know why, but I always picture Iona's campus as a big cathedral but they worship Satan instead of God.
  16. Penn- I'm just glad Harvard didn't make it.

South Region

  1. Virginia- So, so, so boring, but also good.
  2. Cincinnati- If you win the American Conference tournament but no one watches, did it really happen?
  3. Tennessee- I can't be the only one surprised that they were randomly good this year.
  4. Arizona- Haven't seen anything this under-seeded since the first time I tried playing Farming Simulator. Bada-bing!
  5. Kentucky- “I know I only recruit highly touted one-and-done guys so we're young by design, but you can't blame me, we're a young team!“- John Calipari after they lose.
  6. Miami- If The Rock has eligibility left, they might make a run.
  7. Nevada- As Greg Gumbel would say, you gotta watch out for all the Wolfpacks out there.
  8. Creighton- Just assume they have a white senior with 2,000 career points.
  9. Kansas State- Starting to feel like I didn't watch enough college basketball this year because I have literally no opinion on so many teams.
  10. Texas- If they make a run, is Texas Officially Back?
  11. Loyola-Chicago- My sources tell me they play stifling D, which is the first step towards a Cinderella run.
  12. Davidson- Wish college Steph was still around.
  13. Buffalo- Western New York needs something good to happen, just once.
  14. Wright State- Hey, uhh, more like Wrong State, amirite?
  15. Georgia State- Ludacris went to Georgia State.
  16. UMBC- I'm salty they beat UVM, but they also have a fellow Curran on the roster, so I think I'm on-board.

West Region

  1. Xavier- The least-confident one seed in recent memory, which means they'll win the title.
  2. North Carolina- Kind of forgot they won last year.
  3. Michigan- B1G playing in NYC a week early is the worst thing to ever happen to college basketball.
  4. Gonzaga- The Official Brian's Den 2018 Champion Pick.
  5. Ohio State- It'd be funny if they played Michigan in the Elite 8. Because they're rivals, you see.
  6. Houston- Is Houston Street (the New York street, not the closer) being pronounced differently than the city of Houston the most needlessly New York thing of all time?
  7. Texas A&M- Ampersands need to make a comeback.
  8. Missouri- If Mike Porter, Jr. is really all that, Xavier's getting screwed 2nd round.
  9. Florida State- Always underwhelming in the tournament.
  10. Providence- SMH, the FBI's investigating the NCAA and aren't indicting the headquarters of the- BRIAN'S LAWYER HAS ADVISED HIS CLIENT TO REFRAIN FROM MAKING ANY INFLAMMATORY REMARKS FOR HIS OWN SAFETY.
  11. San Diego State- Is San Diego State guilty of appropriating Aztec culture?
  12. South Dakota State- I, for one, am tired of the stranglehold the Dakotas have over American athletics.
  13. UNC-Greensboro- They've got a pretty cool logo.
  14. Montana- Have to imagine Montana is a fertile basketball recruiting ground.
  15. Lipscomb- Apparently Lipscomb is in Nashville? Who knew?
  16. NC Central/Texas Southern- Calling it right now- Texas Southern's making the Final Four.
This article was originally published on @jarringtiger