If your bracket is doing pretty well right now, you're either lying, or you used your dog to make your picks. There is no in-between. Amongst the brackets of my four housemates, crossed-out names in the Elite Eight and Final Four are beginning to pile up.
Let's see how our four competitors reacted to a wild Second Round.
A Rough Round 2
As Loyola Chicago stormed the court to celebrate their upset win over 1-seeded Illinois, two housemates were also willing to join in on the festivities. In a stroke of pure bracketology genius, Julia and Grace decided to pick the Ramblers to advance. Grace has doubled down on Loyola, with her bracket having them finish their season in the Elite Eight. As mentioned last week, Julia had Loyola winning this matchup against the Drexel Dragons but was still happy to see her Sweet 16 pick turn outright.
"I really just went out on a limb," Julia said. "Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. You have to go big or go home."
When asked about what draws her to this Loyola team, Julia explained that the Rambler's success had meteorological origins.
"I just imagine that if you live in Chicago, you have to be really tough with all the wind, you know?" Julia said. "I’m sure that really pays off in a competition like March Madness."
Illinois' loss was just the beginning of a devastating streak for Big Ten teams in this tournament. Considered the best conference in college basketball before the tournament, just one of the Big Ten's nine bids made it to the Sweet 16. For a Minnesotan who leaned heavily into the Big 10 like Bailey, the Second Round was an absolute nightmare. When asked about her bracket, Bailey seemed to have fallen into a pit of nihilism.
"It's inconsequential," Bailey uttered coldly, pondering the insignificance of basketball being played on a tiny rock floating around the universe. "I'm now rooting for Grace because she said she'd be getting pear pizza for everyone."
Bailey's mood further soured when I told her that Grace had ordered the pear pizza several days ago and said it was disgusting.
When asked about what draws her to this Loyola team, Julia explained that the Rambler's success had meteorological origins. Julia was able to take sole possession of the first place. With no more games, until the Sweet 16 begins on Saturday, Julia admitted that the rest of the week will be a bit agonizing.
"Our lives have been so wrapped up in this competition," Julia said. "What are we going to talk about when you’re not giving us updates every half hour?"
While I sensed some sarcasm in that question, I couldn't fathom the idea of my roommates possibly being annoyed by my constant score updates during dinnertime.
Standings After Round 2
Julia (8/16 Rd. 2 Picks) (37 Pts.)
Grace (7/16 Rd. 2 Picks) (34 Pts.)
Erin (4/16 Rd. 2 Picks) (29 Pts.)
Bailey (2/16 Rd. 2 Picks) (22 Pts.)
-2 out of 4 Final Fours remain intact (Julia and Grace)
-Bailey has no teams left in her National Championship Game
-Erin has no teams left in the Midwest Region
-Erin was the only person to have Creighton in her Sweet 16