It’s March! It’s Madness! The sportiest of Brown students might know that yesterday was Selection Sunday, when the 68-team field was set for the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Yeah, yeah—YAWN. The real bracket came out hours before. That was the mothafuzzin’ COLLEGEINSIDER.COM TOURNAMENT bracket, featuring your very own Brown University Bears!
There’s actually a pretty decent chance you’ve heard about this game, because the athletic department has been bombarding the student body with emails about it as if there were a Beyoncé concert taking place on the Main Green, when in fact it’s actually a first-round game of the fourth-most important postseason college basketball tournament. Nonetheless, it happened, and Brown is in it. And because we know you’re already at Pizzitola for the free food from Spats and Paragon (!) and exciting basketball (…) and want to know how Brown stacks up, here is a breakdown of the entire 32-team CIT field. Note: CIT is what tournament insiders call the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, not a popular workspace for Computer Science concentrators.
BROWN: Popularly known as the “kill squad” in college basketball circles, some experts forecasted a 28-0 season from the Bears before a few tight games tripped them up on their way to a solid 15-13 finish. Widely acknowledged as the overwhelming CIT favorites.
HOLY CROSS: Brown’s first-round opponents, Holy Cross are nicknamed the Crusaders and finished 19-13. They played a game against UNH in November that was broadcast on the Live Well Network, which is kind of funny.
VIRGINIA MILITARY: VMI’s nickname is the Keydets, which I can only assume happened when a 2-year-old tried to pronounce “cadets” and failed and everyone thought it was cute. They played a team called Bluefield State earlier this season.
CANISIUS: Canisius would be a great thing to name your dog if you time-traveled and became a Roman emperor. BlogDH predicts they will lose to VMI by four points. Take it to the bank.
WRIGHT STATE: Wright State was six points away from going to the actual NCAA tournament. Isn’t that sad? What will their motivation be now? I hope Spats and Paragon also provide free finger food at their game at least.
EAST CAROLINA: East Carolina is not a state but I bet they had you fooled for a second there. Here is a nice website where you can learn all about their basketball team and the nice young men who play on it.
NORFOLK STATE: Two years ago, Norfolk State was a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament and humiliated Missouri, a 2 seed. That was their moment of glory. Fun internal connection: they lost to East Carolina earlier this season by two points. Who wants a rematch?! It could happen! CIT drama!
EASTERN MICHIGAN: Not to be confused with those assholes from Western Michigan, who made the real NCAA tournament, Eastern Michigan had a breakout season that earned their coach $40,000 in contract incentives. He made $40,000 extra for reaching this tournament!!! I want to be a coach.
CHATTANOOGA: I was late to a party last weekend because I was watching Chattanooga get eliminated from their conference tournament on a crappy online stream of a game. Feel free to judge. Their nickname is the Mocs, I was hooked. Go Mocs! I’d love to see them play Brown in the finals.
COLUMBIA: A core curriculum-based school in New York, Columbia has slowly made the transition from commuter school to traditional four-year university. While its athletic program has historically been lacking, it actually played Bruno twice this year in basketball and won once. The CIT appearance is considered a watershed moment in program history.
VALPARAISO: If your parents are sports fans and you ask them about Valparaiso their eyes will light up and they will talk about someone named Bryce Drew and you can quietly take your phone out and make big emoji pictures out of little emojis while their story goes on for another 45 minutes.
ALABAMA STATE: At some point this year Alabama State played a tune-up game against “Thomas University,” which makes me wonder if it’s just cool to start a school called [your name here] University and start having them play basketball games. Seriously, where are these places?
SAM HOUSTON STATE: Sam Houston State is located—wait for it—70 miles north of Houston. What??? Why would it not be in Houston? That doesn’t make sense at all. “We’ll name a school after you, and a city after you—but if you come back as a ghost, you have to walk 70 miles from one to the other, bitch.”
PORTLAND STATE: Instead of writing something about Portland State or its basketball team why don’t I link to some Portlandia sketches?
SAN DIEGO: My aunt works at USD and it is a very pretty school on a hill kind of not near the rest of San Diego as far as I can tell. Also Jim Harbaugh used to coach their football team. Is the basketball team any good? I don’t know, are they in the NCAA tournament? No? Okay then. Let’s move on.
QUINNIPIAC: Quinnipiac is very good at hockey. I know this because they routinely smoke Brown. Actually, they routinely play Brown as the number 2 or 3 team in the country and then lose, which makes me wonder why they are the number 2 or 3 team in the country. They are not as good at basketball. BlogDH says: first-round loss.
YALE: Tucked away in sunny New Haven, Yale is a happy little liberal arts college with a focus on the three ‘F’s: fun, friends, and faith. This philosophy carries over to the basketball team, where the team is constantly discovering itself through prayer during timeouts. This intense experiential bonding should serve it well during its first-round trouncing of Quinnipiac.
TOWSON: This is weird, because I always want to call Towson “Towson State,” but Wikipedia says they dropped the “State” in 1997, and I am pretty sure I wasn’t watching a lot of obscure college sports when I was three. Towson is in Maryland and their nickname is the Tigers.
USC UPSTATE: For all you west-coasters, this is not the Bay Area version of that awful college-like thing in LA, but rather a University of South Carolina extension. They lost in double overtime in the semifinals of their conference tournament. Poor guys.
CLEVELAND STATE: Hey! Cleveland State actually used to be kind of good at basketball! What happened? This isn’t too cool. Let’s take a look. Wow! They beat Notre Dame… of Ohio. Darn. Alright, well they were never really that good. Still, (CIT) Final Four potential right here. You heard it on BlogDH first.
OHIO: Don’t you always feel like Ohio should be a bigger school? Why is Ohio State the big one? The coolest thing that ever happened to Ohio was when their mascot tried to fight the Ohio State mascot. Let’s watch that.
AKRON: I’m trying to be nice, because since LeBron left the Cavs, this city really has needed something good to happen. I’m pulling for Akron to make a deep CIT run. I hope that cheers the city up. Probably wouldn’t, but hey. Better than nothing.
IPFW: Another fun abbreviation, this one of course standing in for Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, because obviously the Indiana public university system is like “Um yeah Indiana and Purdue are both separate systems but also kind of together in Fort Wayne and maybe some other places too.” I already wrote a pretty detailed and well-researched explanation right there about Indiana university systems so I’m not sure there’s room for basketball analysis.
MURRAY STATE: Okay, everything I wrote about Cleveland State applies twice over to Murray State. Very, very recently, Murray State was very, very respectable at basketball. Don’t believe me? Boom. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS MURRAY STATE.
MISSOURI STATE: The well is running very dry on things to say about teams named [State name] State. Missouri State comes from a very respectable conference, the Missouri Valley. They will probably be very competitive in this tournament.
NORTH DAKOTA: Not to be confused with North Dakota State, a 12-seed and popular upset pick in the NCAA Tournament, which must be driving the people at UND absolutely nuts. This team was also in the news a couple years ago because of its nickname–the Fighting Sioux–and the NCAA’s ban on Native America-related mascots.
NEBRASKA-OMAHA: Fun fact: the University of Nebraska has a second campus in Omaha! I just found that out, too! Their nickname is the Mavericks. Discussion question: if the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks and the Dallas Mavericks played a 40-minute basketball game, would the Nebraska-Omaha team score more than 0 points?
TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI: Corpus Christi sounds more like a place with a lot of cemeteries than colleges. Its slogan is “the Island University,” with the ‘the’ intentionally not capitalized. Sounds like a pretty gnarly place to play basketball and maybe also surf.
NORTHERN COLORADO: These boys have been hardened at altitude in the Rocky Mountains themselves (also home to the one and only ice cold Coors Light). I smell a dark horse contender. The chill bros from A&M Corpus Christi are going to be eaten alive in the first round.
PACIFIC: U of Pacific is fairly close to where I live. It’s in Stockton, lovingly known as the foreclosure capital of the universe. The connotation of the ‘pacific’ is breezy and sand and beaches and I think it gets lost in the shuffle a little. Just some fun information! I know nothing about the basketball team.
GRAND CANYON: This is the last school on the list and I am so over it. I bet it’s in Arizona. They are 15-14 and did not earn anyone looking up any additional information about their season. Pacific will beat them.
The CIT re-seeds after the first round, so only one round can be predicted at a time. Entirely for fun and based on absolutely nothing, here are Blog’s 16 first-round winners: BROWN, VMI, WRIGHT STATE, CHATTANOOGA, COLUMBIA, ALABAMA STATE, SAN DIEGO, YALE, TOWSON, CLEVELAND STATE, AKRON, MISSOURI STATE, NEBRASKA-OMAHA, NORTHERN COLORADO, PACIFIC. Check back in a couple of days to see how we did and for a round two preview (only if Brown wins tonight, otherwise we don’t care and will never write about this again). Until then, so long.
UPDATE: We lost a heartbreaker 68-65. Brown made a valiant comeback in the final minutes but couldn’t get a last shot to fall.