Basketball Tourney Preview

Yesterday Peter wasn’t feeling well, so he stayed home from school. I worked from home in the morning, and he slept. We went into my office after lunch for some meetings and Peter came up with a very interesting way to keep himself amused.

Peter is huge sports fan, and his favorite sport is college basketball. I was sitting at my desk and he was sitting at the second desk in my office on the computer. This was after I made him hook up the monitor. (Here’s a monitor cable and a power cable. Hook it up. How, he asked me. Figure it out, was my response. He did.). I looked over and saw lots of post-it notes covering the desk. And there were colleges written on them. I had no idea what he was doing. It turns out he was on ESPN.com and picking the 64 teams, and how they would be seeded, that would be playing in the NCAA College Basketball tournament. I can only assume he was seeding the teams by pre-season rankings, last year’s records, and other bits of sports statistic arcana that I cannot even begin to understand.

And since this is Peter, he had to take it one step further. He had to play out all the games and determine the winner of the tournament. His predicted winner is always Carolina. While that is not who I would pick, it is not a bad pick this year. And since he is just a kid, rather than pick each game based on stats, he picked them by mascot. He used Google Image Search (his favorite internet tool) to find pictures of school mascots to make his determinations. Who’s tougher, a tiger or a bulldog? He even got into the subtle distinctions of who was tougher between a purple and yellow tiger and an orange and white tiger. This method did not bode well for any school whose mascot is a kid in a big-headed humanoid suit. A wild animal will defeat those mascots every time.

This selection methods caused the unlikely 15th-seeded Drexel to make it to the Elite 8 because their mascot is a dragon. A dragon can beat almost everything. Well, except they met Carolina in that game in the round of eight and the ram must have some secret weapon to beat dragons. We’ll have to see how his predictions work out once March Madness is upon us.

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