2017 NCAA Tournament: A retrospective

Well, as expected, the NCAA tournament came to an abrupt end yesterday afternoon when the South Dakota State Jackrabbits were defeated by Gonzaga 66-46 in the only game of any interest to me.

South Dakota State, who entered the game after winning the Summit League tournament by sweeping conference rivals Nebraska-Omaha, the St. Aloysius Parish Children’s Choir, and the Swanson Family Reunion, accidentally led for the first 17 minutes of the game before remembering that they were a #16 seed. The coach attributed the oversight to lack of sleep due to the uncomfortable seats on the bus. Fortunately, the Jackrabbits were able to bounce back in the second half in order to avert having to stay and play a second game, as the team did not pack additional socks and underwear for the trip.

With the NCAA tournament effectively over, the other 63 teams are apparently going to fritter away the next few weeks playing basketball in God-forsaken places like Utah. Meanwhile, the Jackrabbits will be enjoying the buffet at Golden Corral before the prices change, and then heading back to wherever they came from.

Interesting side note: The South Dakota state university system has about 32,000 students, which comprises about 4% of the state’s population. (The corresponding numbers for North Carolina and Pennsylvania are 1.8% and 0.77%, respectively.)

Disclaimer: The interestingness of the previous side note was calculated relative to my interest in any remaining NCAA tournament games. The results were a landslide.

And for the record, my bracket prediction remains on track. Go two #1s, a #2, and a #4 or #6!

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2017 NCAA Tournament Preview

As the NCAA tournament begins, my Final 4 prediction is that it will be two #1 seeds, a #2 seed, and one team seeded either #4 or #6. I don’t care which teams or who wins.

My interest in this year’s tournament begins and ends with South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits (18-16) play in the Summit League, which is apparently a Division 1 shirts-vs.-skins pickup conference that includes such legendary basketball programs as North Dakota State, Oral Roberts University, the indecisively named Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (which calls itself IUPUI, apparently on purpose), and the Bismark Kiwanis Club.

South Dakota State finished 6th in the Summit League regular season before accidentally winning their conference tournament and earning themselves an overnight bus trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to be crushed by Gonzaga (31-1), followed by an overnight bus ride back to South Dakota.

The Penn State Nittany Lions have been named this year’s designated survivor for the NCAA tournament, and will sit in the bowling alley under the student basketball arena until the tournament is over.

Go Jackrabbits. (An exclamation point seems excessive here.)