Last year, my two-year-old picked the NCAA tournament. She did correctly pick Duke to win the national championship, but her shocking upset of Texas Southern making a deep run didn’t pan out.
This year, she was at it again. Or kind of “at it.” If “at it” includes constant distraction and my continually having to say “Focus. Focus.”
That was probably the closest I’ll ever get to coaching a team during March Madness—complete with tears and a “One Shining Moments” montage featuring Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First.
We started in the South Region, going match-up to match-up asking her to choose between the mascots. Her two biggest upsets were picking Buffalo over Miami and South Dakota State over Maryland. Her Sweet Sixteen teams there were Kansas, Cal, Buffalo, and Villanova. In the end, she favored Nova’s Wildcats over Cal.
In the West, she believes chaos will reign. VCU, Northern Iowa, Yale, and CSU Bakersfield all pull major upsets. Duke and Oregon face off on one side, Texas A&M and CSUB in the other. Apparently, she enjoyed saying “Roadrunners” because she had Bakersfield becoming the first 15 seed to make the Final Four.
The East Region goes even more off the wall. Both the 16 seed Florida Gulf Coast and 15 seed Weber State make historic upsets. In the Sweet Sixteen, Kentucky topped Providence and West Virginia took out Weber State. The Mountaineers knocked off Kentucky to move on.
In the Midwest, another 16 seed and 15 seed move on. Hampton knocked off Virginia. (She was a fan of “Pirates.”) Middle Tennessee topped Michigan State. Fresno State and Iona kept the upsets going knocking off 3 seed Utah and 4 seed Iowa State. Texas Tech, Purdue, Seton Hall and Dayton reached the Sweet Sixteen. Purdue fended off Dayton to become Final Four bound. “Boilermaker” was her favorite word.
In the Final Four, Villanova ended the wildest Cinderella run of Cal State Bakersfield. Purdue moved past West Virginia, then Nova to win the national championship.
Picking the games took almost as long as a basketball game—not because she spent a significant amount of time thinking through each selection, but because she kept running off to yell the mascot names her baby sister’s face (who by the way had no desire to pick between anything other than milk and a nap).
I seriously doubt we will see this many crazy upsets, but after this year in college basketball … who knows. There are lots of ways to fill out your bracket. Why not just let a preschooler do it for you?