Sunday, March 15, 2009

My picks in March mean madness

What a relief -- March justifies madness.

And my personal brackets usually define the worst of March Madness. As college hoops near the Final Four, I pick my teams every year with my heart, not with my sports department's wisdom. In fact, education reporter Sylvia Lim and I typically compete for last place -- with glee. She usually nudges me out, but she tries to lose by playing the odds.

Me, I favor the teams in the state where I live, or where my best friends hail from (Texas, Wisconsin, California).

And I always pick my Tigers.

Ah, look out, No. 1! This could be the year of upsets, if yesterday's games were a harbinger. Mizzou trounced Baylor to win their first postseason conference title in 16 years! My years at Mizzou were dominated by Norm Stewart, the legendary coach who led the Tigers to all 11 of their previous conference titles, according to our story this morning. So I can imagine the celebrations on campus this weekend as the dry spell ends.

What about those Florida teams? I'd love to keep them in my brackets right up to the end against Mizzou. Florida State stole a nail-biter from North Carolina on Saturday for the Seminoles' first Atlantic Coast Conference (I had to look that up, trust me) final in school history.

So get your lineup online here sometime after the bewitching hour of 6 p.m. today, and the paper copy in Monday's Bradenton Herald sports section.

Go, Tigers!

-- Joan

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