maaach maaadness
brad - 3/20/17 - 5:11 am

Last couple years, I picked my brackets 5 minutes before the first game started. This year, I picked my bracket 5 minutes before going to bed the night before. Let's see if that made a difference:

Incorrect picks:
---------------[Day 1]---------------
(5) Minnesota over (12) Middle Tennessee - I had my Big Ten goggles on and didn't realize that I forgot to pick any #12 seed to upset a #5 seed. There's always one.

(10) VCU over (7) St. Mary's - VCU is usually a lock to win their first game, they advanced to the second round each of the last six years. This is all Todd's fault.

(9) Virginia Tech over (8) Wisconsin - the Hokies were so close the entire 2nd half but could never grab a lead. Three point shooting was off when they needed it most. Missed a few late free throws as well. Tough loss.

Day 1 correct upset picks:
(11) Xavier over (6) Maryland - never bet against the X-Men.

---------------[Day 2]---------------
(9) Seton Hall over (8) Arkansas - I tend to think the Big East is stronger than the SEC, and most of the time it's true; not so today.

(6) SMU over (11) USC - early on I thought SMU was going to roll, but USC clearly went on a run. I didn't see this coming.

(6) Creighton over (11) Rhode Island - well, looks like the #11's have done me in.

(10) Marquette over (7) South Carolina - something about the Big East being stronger than the SEC, and it not being the case, I might have mentioned this before.

Day 2 correct upset picks:
(10) Wichita St. over (7) Dayton - this #10 seed didn't let me down
(9) Sparty over (8) Miami - never pick against Izzo in the first round

Day 1: 13-3; Day 2: 12-7
1st Round: 25-7
Upset picks: 3-4 (Wins: Xavier, Wichita St, Sparty; Losses: VCU, VT, SHU, Marquette)
Total Upsets: 3/6
Sweet 16 picks out: none (woo!)

Incorrect picks:
---------------[Day 3]---------------
(1) Villanova over (9) Virginia Tech - once again, Wisconsin proves itself to be the team that every person hates aside from students and alum. Just lose when you are supposed to and stop acting like you have a chance of winning a championship.

(3) Florida State over (11) Xavier - good for the X-Men, and showing me that I should take my own advice from the last round and apply it to the 2nd round as well. I didn't believe!

(5) Iowa State over (4) Purdue - I took my Big Ten goggles off for this one, and it backfired. ISU made it interesting late, but couldn't get the upset.

Day 3 correct upset picks:

---------------[Day 4]---------------
(2) Louisville over (7) Michigan - I don't even care about my pick, GO BLUE!!!

(2) Duke over (10) Marquette - I don't know where this South Carolina team came from, but knocking out Duke is always welcome even if I had Duke advancing.

Day 4 correct upset picks:

Day 3: 5-3; Day 4: 6-2
2nd Round: 11-5
Upset picks: 0-1 (Wins: None; Losses: ISU)
Total Upsets: 0/4
Elite 8 picks out: Villanova, Louisville, Duke
Final 4 picks out: Villanova

Overall: 36-12
Max possible: 47-16
Min possible: 36-27

Year R64 R32 S16 E8 F4 Ch Total
2017 25-7 11-5 x-3 x-1 x-0 x-0 36-12
2016 25-7 8-8 3-5 0-4 0-2 0-1 36-27
2015 26-6 11-5 6-2 2-2 0-2 0-1 45-18
2014 25-7 9-7 3-5 1-3 0-2 0-1 38-25
2013 23-9 13-3 3-5 1-3 1-1 1-0 42-21
2012 22-10 10-6 3-5 1-3 0-2 0-1 36-27
2011 23-9 9-7 4-4 1-3 0-2 0-1 37-26
2010 22-10 9-7 2-6 1-3 0-2 0-1 34-29
2009 26-6 13-3 6-2 3-1 1-1 1-0 50-13
2008 20-12 10-6 6-2 3-1 0-2 0-1 39-24
2007 24-8 11-5 8-0 2-2 0-2 0-1 45-18
2006 21-11 8-8 4-4 0-4 0-2 0-1 33-30
2005 25-7 10-6 5-3 2-2 1-1 0-1 43-20
2004 23-9 7-9 4-4 2-2 0-2 0-1 36-27
2003 27-5 9-7 4-4 1-3 0-2 0-1 41-22
1999 24-8 8-8 5-3 1-3 0-2 0-1 38-25
Total 381-131 156-100 66-54 21-39 3-27 2-13 629-364
% .744 .609 .550 .350 .100 .133 .633

Initial note: I found my bracket I did my senior year of high school (1999) and added those stats to the bottom of the table. On top of that bracket (filled out on paper) was a 1998 bracket, but all I did was fill in the winners as I went along, so I don't know if I actually did pick the games that year. I haven't found any other brackets hiding in my files that I know of. We didn't do brackets in 2000 in the WAJ, I didn't do a bracket when I was visiting during spring break in 2001, and I was quitting my job at Kroger in 2002, haha. I was hoping that maybe I did but forgot, but I think the table above is now completely accurate.

First round: no difference. 25-7 for the second year in the row, but a lot less Sweet 16 damage.
Second round: 3 better than last year, but my East bracket is already finished.
My two-round record of 36-12 is tied for 3rd best of all my brackets, with 2003 and 2013.

I wasn't feeling political last week. I kind of wasn't this week, but then the planned government budget changes dropped. The links piled up at an enormous rate this week, so I must open the floodgates:

Hate Map
Know where all the hate groups are. These people are hurting our country.

The Resistance Calendar
Know what events are happening in your town and around the world. Resist.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Want Men to Approve All Abortions
No update on this from February, but men creating laws regulating women's bodies is unjust in every way possible.

FCC blocks rules that stop internet providers from secretly selling your data
Yup, the FCC wants it to be easier for your ISP to sell your browsing habits and data. Thanks, Trump appointed head of the FCC! Affiliation check: Republican, no surprise there.

Iceland Plans To Become World's First Country To Require Equal Pay For Women
In the country we live in, all men are created equal, but women aren't. Iceland figured out how to end the disparity, how long until our country takes note? (Spoiler: not in the next four years.)

5 'Big Bang Theory' actors agree to a pay cut so their female co-stars can earn more
I don't even watch the show, but good on them. Still, they are all millionaires, and they pale in comparison to the millions of "thousandaire" women that aren't being paid fairly.

Pat McCrory, who signed North Carolina's HB2 bill, can't find work because people think he's a "bigot"
Yeah, if you spend time discriminating against the transgendered community, you deserve what's coming to you. Pat is the definition of a piece of garbage. Affiliation check: Republican, another shocker.

Trump Draws
A little poking fun at the so-called "president". The entry for "microwave" was well done.

A break in the links, to say that it's too easy to roll Conway and Spicer under the bus. They are talking puppets that try to repeat what the administration is doing, and yet find a way to screw it up every time. While the media won't relent from trotting out story after story about them, they should. Those two are harmless. They are the equivalent of clickbait. I know, it's impossible to not write a story about a microwave being a spy camera, but that's easy ad revenue and I understand why they do it. We live in an advertising driven economy.

A Timeline of Ford Motor Co. Debunking Trump On Sending Jobs To Mexico
He takes credit for things he had no involvement with. I thought it was important to point out other lies Sponge-don has been touting about, in light of the recent false wire tapping claim that no one has any proof of.

Shep Smith wants to put an end to Trump's wiretapping nonsense
Even Fox News says there is no evidence of the wire tapping. FOX NEWS. One of Trump's few non-"fake news" outlets. And yet he continues on. Just like his unsubstantiated claim of 3 million fraudulent votes, also unproven.
(Full Shep Smith clip)

Listen, it's been proven that Trump-pants watches only "Faux News" and reads "Breitfart", then tweets out the garbage information they report as proof that incidents happened. Neither of them are reliable sources. This is where the wire tapping claim came from in the first place.

After Trump tweets embarrassingly inaccurate info, former NATO ambassador publicly educates Trump
Trump doesn't know how NATO works, file that under duh.

Official resistance: Nine states and DC intervene in lawsuit over enhanced fuel efficiency standards
I did not see this coming, and it's fantastic. GOP wants to get rid of fuel economy standards, and states want to keep them. Again, the GOP hates clean air and fuel efficiency, and wants to bow to car companies that say "it's too hard and costs too much" to make cleaner, more efficient cars. I'm not buying that.

Trump's budget director: Coal miners' kids need bombs, not Sesame Street
The budget came out, and things that matter are being cut, like PBS, which an overwhelming amount of people want. Our government would rather spend more on wanting to kill people halfway around the world. I'm sorry, that's not a good use of our money at all. They want to cut programs that help people, and shift $54 billion to a military budget that's already well over a half a TRILLION dollars.

9 Reasons to love PBS
$1.35 per citizen per year? That costs a *ton* less than having Trump-o's wife live in their gold tower.

Watch Trump's budget director explain proposed cuts for after-school programs that feed children
Also Meals on Wheels. MEALS ON WHEELS. The GOP doesn't want to feed the elderly that need this kind of help. That's disgusting. "There's no evidence these programs are working", douchebag Mick Mulvaney says. Feeding the needy and elderly actually provide instant results. Are they not hungry after eating? Well look at that, these programs do work, amazing. Affiliation: Republican that doesn't want to help people.

Fact Check: Budget Director's Claims That Programs Don't Work
False, exaggerated, and misleading: the Republican Party Triad.

Republicans Aren't Making America Great. They're Being Cruel.
Quote: "President Donald Trump's proposed budget is a shocking affront to a basic American - and human - value: caring for others." That's how I sum up the GOP on a daily basis.

Planned Parenthood's brilliant new ad features an unexpected supporter: Donald Trump
Oh yeah, remember when Trumpy backed PP? We have evidence, and they are going to make a commercial out of it.

A Kansas Politician Compared Planned Parenthood to a Nazi Death Camp
Whoa there, pump the brakes there, Fitzy. Let's check his affiliation: Republican? Ding ding ding, and as a bonus, he's a lunatic.

Steve King Says Civilization Can't Be Restored With 'Somebody Else's Babies'
Steve King (Republican), but the R should stand for racist, is afraid of white culture not being mainstream anymore, as he alluded to in one of his tweets. This is the kind of person that shouldn't be in any position of power.

Trump talking about there being no time for vacations at the White House
How many times has DT flown to his Florida getaway so far? 7 weekends in a row now? Wow, amazing how he's already fixed everything and can take off for Florida each of the past 7 weekends. What a leader.

It's a WASTE of money to have to pay for his security detail when he goes to Florida every weekend. It's a WASTE of money to have his wife in NYC and have to pay for her security. They both should be at the White House and not frivolously wasting tax payer money. All the programs Trump and the GOP want to cut from the budget could easily be paid for by having his wife live in the White House and not NYC, and not jet setting to Florida after a week of "work", which I have seen no evidence of either of them doing.

The GOP doesn't care about the climate, as they want to cut funding to the EPA, NASA, or any agency that does any sort of scientific study of our climate. Our so-called "EPA chief" Scott Pruitt (Republican) doesn't think CO2 contributes to global warming, despite all the science that proves it. So, why aren't we funding more research on it? You can't say it's hard to determine if it has an effect and then cut funding on the agencies that research it.

The GOP doesn't care about the health of women, the poor, or the elderly, as they want to cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, kill Planned Parenthood, and pass Trumpcare, which will be detrimental to millions of people. Paul Ryan says he fantasized about cutting health care for the poor at his college keggers. That dude (Republican) gets off on kicking poor people off of health care coverage. You can't say that you care about people and tell the less fortunate that "the greatest country in the world" can't help them out.

What the GOP cares about is fighting wars, drilling for oil, and kicking out immigrants, legal or illegal. They aren't going to lower anyone's taxes in this country, except for the super rich. They are going to cut funding to programs that millions of people rely on, and those programs will then either suffer, be less effective, or be shut down all together. In return, that money will be put towards building a border "wall", keeping people that aren't white out of the country, filling the coffers of companies in the business of making war machines, and supporting dying and antiquated energy sources in the oil and coal industries.

This is what a death panel looks like.

For the 24 million Americans set to lose health care, this is what a death panel actually looks like.

November 6, 2018. Vote the GOP out.



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