I’ve come to learn over the years that women have very interesting methods of picking an NCAA Tournament bracket. Some flex their knowledge, choosing to select off of what they know and who they know.
I’ve had girlfriends of March past select an entire bracket based solely on color scheme; another based on mascot name; and perhaps my favorite, where the school was geographically located (a lot of Final Four’s for the state of California).
But while my current girlfriend knows more about the sport than her almost all of her female friends, her knowledge of the NCAA tournament field isn’t the kind you want to throw down more than $5 in the office pool on.
We had to improvise.
So, we picked her bracket a little different this year, though that’s just a nice way of saying we used our ears instead of our eyes.
I started by breaking down every roster for all 68 teams in the field and chose the one player on every roster that I thought had the coolest name. Coolest can be anything from a neat cultural origin, how well it rolls off the tongue, or in some cases, how downright funny of a name it is (my given birth last name is Stenke, I’m not making fun of anyone).
I then, without her prior knowledge of any player or what team he plays for, read off the matchups and she had to choose which one sounded the ‘coolest.’
The winner moved on until the we crowned a National Champion. As you read through the braked (image below), I bet you say some of these names out loud, they are geniunely entertaining.
Here are the results of the 2016 NCAA Tournament bracket breakdown of the best names in the field, shout out Meg.
-In terms of actual teams, this is a respectable Final Four: 5-seeded Maryland, 7-seeded Oregon State, 8-seeded USC, and 2-seeded Michigan State. It also goes to show that the Pac-12 and Big Ten recruit the dudes with the coolest names.
-The first 16-1 upset in the history of the NCAA Tournament happened in this bracket, as 16-seed Shawn Prudhomme of Southern U upset 1-seed Roman Sorkin of Oregon. I believe this is because Meg wasn’t a fan of The Social Network. On top of that, there are two 15-2 upsets as Kiko Stavrev of Weber St pulled the upset because his last name sounds like “starving.”
-I can’t be sure, but Devontae Cacok of UNC Wilmington made the most improbable run to the Elite 8, but may have done it on false pretenses. See, I think Meg believed his last name was pronounced ‘Ca-Cock’ and her gutter mind took over from there. Either way, nothing is better than beating Grayson Allen at something.
In the Elite 8 matchup between Devontae Cacok and Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, her exact words when choosing a winner were, “I think he’s going to Tinkle all over the Cacok.” True story.
-However, while the Final Four is loaded with great names of great players, the bracket layout this year gave us a true heavyweight National Championship caliber matchup in the Elite 8 of the bottom right region — Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn Jr. vs. Basil Smotherman.
Remember what I was saying about the Big Ten names? I’m telling you the Big Ten has to have the top name strength of schedule in the country. I wish I could have stopped the fight there and crowned both the champion.
-A few names that Meg thought were so funny that she didn’t even want me to finished reading the matchup: Scoochie Smith (Dayton), Prince Ibeh (Texas), Rex Pflueger (Notre Dame), and Schadrac Casimir (Iona).
I have to tell you if the latter was pronounced “Cashmere” and not “Kaz-I-Meer” I guarantee he would have cut down the nets. Meg loves her some cashmere. And diamonds.
-So, it’s absolutely no surprise that Diamond Stone ended up in the National Championship. I mean, I had a woman fill this bracket out. Gents, you should have seen her ears perk up the second I said the Maryland freshman’s name.
“Diamond Stone.” “HIM!” I think I’m screwed, boys.