My NCAA Bracket, Ted Striker, and Gators

When I think about the teams that have screwed me over by losing and who I’m still relying on to win the NCAA Tournament, this classic movie scene comes to mind (pay closest attention from the beginning of the clip until the 22-second mark).


The 1980 comedy Airplane! starred Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Lloyd Bridges among others. In this clip, passenger Ted Striker (Robert Hays), an ex-Navy pilot, is called on to land a plane during a thunderstorm after the pilots are incapacitated from a bout of food poisoning. He knows he is the last hope for the passengers on the plane. In my NCAA bracket, the part of Ted Striker will be played by the University of Florida Gators.

After the second round of games I was doing pretty well. Aside from losses by the #3 seed New Mexico and the #5 seed Wisconsin, both of whom I had going to the Sweet 16, my Elite 8 and Final Four were in tact. Here’s a breakdown of my wins and losses in this round:

      • In my 21 wins:
          • the higher seed won 19 games
          • the lower seed won 2 games
      • In my 11 losses:
        • three games where I picked the lower seed to win, the higher seed won
        • eight games where I picked the higher seed to win, the lower seed won
  • I picked the higher seed to win 27 games and the lower seed to win 5 games
  • The higher seed only won 22 games and the lower seed won 10 games
Click the image to see all of my picks in this year's NCAA Tournament

Click the image to see all of my picks in this year’s NCAA Tournament

By the conclusion of Round 3, though, the West Region of my bracket was marked up more than a poorly-written high school English paper. In addition to the aforementioned New Mexico and Wisconsin losses, #1 seed Gonzaga and #4 seed Kansas State took early exits as well. Unfortunately for me, I had Gonzaga going to the championship game.

While my West Region was by far the worst of all the regions, the Midwest and South Regions didn’t do me any favors either. Not only did I have Creighton upsetting Duke in the third round, but I also had them beating the winner of Memphis/Michigan State and making it into the Elite 8. In the South Region, I was disappointed that, with all the hype over Shaka Smart’s VCU Rams, they couldn’t make it out of the third round. I also had them making it into the Elite 8.

Much like Otto the inflatable autopilot provided hope for a safe landing and the passengers’ survival, there is hope for my bracket’s survival. Thirty-three of the 37 brackets (89%) have either Louisville, Indiana, Kansas or Miami winning it all. If any of these teams don’t make it to the championship game in Atlanta and the Florida Gators win the whole enchilada, well let’s just say I’ll start picking Powerball numbers.

What do you think? Do I have a chance to win the tourney with Florida? Is your bracket busted or are you still alive in your group? Who do you have winning it all? Leave a comment below.

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