Like last year, this year we are back trying to use some Jewish connection/logic/numbers and random hope and prayers to figure out the NCAA tournament. Yes, like last year, this is crazy and makes no real sense, but last year it won my bracket. So why not try it again. So here we go again. Good luck to everyone on their brackets.
EAST - ROUND 1
1) Ohio State vs. 16) UT-SA – Like last year all 1s win because 1 is for God.
8) George Mason vs. 9) Villanova – Nova’s got Assistant coach Jason Donnelly. A Jew.
5) West Virginia vs. 12) Clemson – Been to the synagogue in Wheeling West Virginia. Sweet Jewish library.
4) Kentucky vs. 13) Princeton – Calipari once spoke at a Kentucky Jewish fundraiser (found it on Google…I needed something).
6) Xavier vs. 11) Marquette – 15 undergraduate Jews on Xavier campus. I smell upset.
3) Syracuse vs. 14) Indiana St. – Reserve guard Brandon Reese gets Cuse through.
7) Washington vs. 10) Georgia – Booth have the same amount of undergrads on campus. Washington has more grads and a first round W.
2) North Carolina vs. 15) Long Island – Lots of Jews in Long Island but UNC has a new Hillel director who is a good friend of mine. That helps them through.
WEST - ROUND 1
1) Duke vs. 16) Hampton – Monotheism.
8) Michigan vs. 9) Tennessee – Tennessee’s Steven Pearl helps the Vols get ahead.
5) Arizona vs. 12) Memphis – Coach Pastner is headed to the 2nd round.
4) Texas vs. 13) Oakland – Hook’em Shofars.
6) Cincinnati vs. 11) Missouri – Home of the Reform Movement. Cincy Winsy.
3) Connecticut vs. 14) Bucknell - Bryan Cohen and Co. pull off the upset.
7) Temple vs. 10) Penn St. – Penn State was voted one of the nation’s top Hillels for public universities. That carries them for the upset.
2) San Diego St. vs. 15) No. Colorado – According to the Hillel website Northern Colorado has 0 Jews. Which means 0 chance in this bracket.
SOUTHWEST - ROUND 1
1) Kansas vs. 16) Boston U. – I think God might hate Bill Self, I certainly can’t stand him. But true to tradition #1s always rep God and move on.
8) UNLV vs. 9) Illinois – Shalom Beit.
5) Vanderbilt vs. 12) Richmond – Vanderbilt has a growing Jewish studies program.
4) Louisville vs. 13) Morehead St. – Not sure where the Jewish connection is going to come from, but I know Jews from Louisville. So for Sasha, Rachel, Colter, Julian, and Ellie the Cards move on.
6) Georgetown vs. 11) VCU - Nate Lubick helps Georgetown move on.
3) Purdue vs. 14) St. Peter’s – Peter caused the Jews some trouble. Purdue wins.
7) Texas A&M vs. 10) Florida St. – Texas vs. Florida Jews. Florida’s got the experience.
2) Notre Dame vs. 15) Akron – Akron’s coach Dambrot is Jewish but I just hate Lebron.
SOUTHEAST - ROUND 1
1) Pittsburgh vs. 16) NC-Asheville – Led services at Pitt 2 years ago.
8) Butler vs. 9) Old Dominion – If you go to the OD website they are having a recycling tournament. Tikkun Olam speaks to me.
5) Kansas St. vs.12) Utah St. – Kansas State only has a few Jews on campus, Utah State has no Hillel. So way, close, but Kansas State rolls.
4) Wisconsin vs. 13) Belmont – I have slept in a shul in Madison. Badgers move on.
6) St. John’s vs. 11) Gonzaga – St. Johns. NYC. Jews.
3) BYU vs. 14) Wofford – More interfaith love. And Jimmer of course.
7) UCLA vs. 10) Michigan St. – Coach Scott Garson helps State fall early.
2) Florida vs. 15) UC Santa Barb. – Coach Larry Shyatt over player Jordan Weiner.
EAST - ROUND 2
1) Ohio State vs. 8) Villanova - Schottenstein center helps them pull through.
5) West Virginia vs. 13) Kentucky – My Jewish sister and brother in law help pray for the Mountainers.
11) Marquette vs.3) Syracuse – TGRer Rabbi Erez Sherman bleeds Orange.
7) Washington vs. 2) North Carolina – The new JCC in NC has something to celebrate.
WEST - ROUND 2
1) Duke vs. 9) Tennessee –Bruce Pearl’s scandals holds them back.
12) Memphis vs. 4) Texas - Pastner takes the Tigers to the Sweet 16.
6) Cincinnati vs. 14) Bucknell - Cincy has a Rab school, which is cool.
10) Penn St. vs. 2) San Diego St. - This victory is for soon to be Abba (the future Rabbi) Efrem Reis.
SOUTHWEST - ROUND 2
1) Kansas vs. 9) Illinois – I pray hard and Illinois pulls off the upset.
5) Vanderbilt vs. 4) Louisville – Vandy has a better Jewish studies program.
6) Georgetown vs. 3) Purdue - Lubick still the man.
10) Florida St. vs. 2) Notre Dame – Interfaith love. Notre Dame moves on.
SOUTHEAST- ROUND 2
1) Pittsburgh vs. 9) Old Dominion – Fellow Jewish sports blogger Ravid Tilles helps them through
5) Kansas St. vs. 4) Wisconsin – Wisconsin has the Jewish summer camps that the Kansas-ites go to.
6) St. John’s vs. 3) BYU – JTS and St. Johns have one thing in common. NYC!
7) UCLA vs. 2) Florida – China Bistro. Best Kosher Restaurant out there. Go Florida.
EAST - SWEET SIXTEEN
1) Ohio State vs. 5) West Virginia - OSU is booming Jewish campus.
3) Syracuse vs. 2) North Carolina – Coach Bernie Fine is a Cuse mainstay.
WEST - SWEET SIXTEEN
1) Duke vs. 12) Memphis - Jon Scheyer’s legacy lives on.
6) Cincinnati vs. 10) Penn St. - Sticking with the Reform Jews.
SOUTHWEST - SWEET SIXTEEN
9) Illinois vs. 5) Georgetown - My prayers stop being answered. Georgetown wins.
3) Purdue - vs. 2) Notre Dame – Notre Dame keeps the religious-ness of this tourney going.
SOUTHEAST - SWEET SIXTEEN
1) Pittsburgh vs. 4) Wisconsin - Both places have a strong Hillel. Pittsburgh has Squirrel Hill. Winner.
6) St. John’s vs. 2) Florida - NYC Jews over Florida Jews.
EAST - ELITE EIGHT
1) Ohio State vs. 3) Syracuse - Schottenstein Center
WEST - ELITE EIGHT
1) Duke vs. 6) Cincinnati - Scheyer’s Support
SOUTHWEST - ELITE EIGHT
5) Georgetown vs. 2) Notre Dame - Interfaith love
SOUTHEAST - ELITE EIGHT
1) Pittsburgh vs. 6) St. John’s - NYC
Ohio State vs Duke
Notre Dame vs. St. Johns
OSU vs. Notre Dame - This sets up a finals with a very Jewish campus vs. a very non-Jewish campus.
The Ohio State Buckeyes
If you want better and make educated help check out the NCAA picks. Also, check out the TGR “celebrity” picks.
And Let Us Say…Amen.