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Clayton Picks the Entire NCAA Tournament Correctly: 2019 Edition

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The Miss Cleo of College Football’s fourth annual foray into the bracket.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Cincinnati Bearcats vs Nevada Wolf Pack Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Down the Drive has asked me to put my powers of clairvoyance to use on the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Admittedly, my preparations for this consist largely of watching American Athletic Conference basketball and AAF football this winter. Conveniently, they are both featured on CBS Sports Network on Sunday afternoons and that happens to be the channel my TV’s stuck on. The batteries on my remote control went dead while I was watching a Saturday morning infomercial on said network for the Showtime Rotisserie.

That being said, let’s get to the picks.

The First Four

No. 16 Prairie View vs. No. 16 FDU

Didn’t bother to look up what FDU stands for. I hope they lose so I don’t have to learn.

Final Score: Prairie View 38 FDU 32

No. 16 North Carolina Central vs. No. 16 North Dakota State

Both schools are I-AA football powers. I think NC Central was in this game last year too. That gives them the edge in experience. Also, Carson Wentz seems pretty brittle. I don’t think he can make it all four quarters.

Final Score: NC Central 80 NDSU 70

No. 11 Temple vs. No. 11 Belmont

Did you know that Belmont is the only campus in America that both appeared in Police Academy III (the graduation scene at the beginning) and has a fully-operational Ann Taylor Loft on campus? This weekend only, Ann Taylor Loft-Xavier is offering 30 percent off all Carson Tassel Suede Pumps. These fanciful, sensationally strappy silhouetted pumps are regularly priced at $179. If you head over to our convenient location on Victory Parkway, you can get them for just $148! With spring approaching, it is just about time for all you ladies out there to show off those freshly waxed feet of yours in this undeniably sophisticated and simultaneously comfortable pair of three inch heels.

Final Score: Temple 65 Belmont 60

No. 11 St. John’s vs. No. 11 Arizona State

One summer I got really into eating passenger pigeons. I cooked them in my Showtime Rotisserie as I stood atop Devil’s Tower. I collected basketball cards of former Red Stormer Ron Artest and I collected Trader Joe’s bags until I had enough of each to make a parachute that served as my salvation one chilly August evening.

Final Score: St. John’s 81 Arizona State 78

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

East Region

Round of 64

No. 1 Duke vs. One of the play-in teams

#Duke beating #UNLV in the 1991 National Semi-Finals, the year after losing to the same team by 30 in the national title game, was the most culturally significant upset in the tournament until #UMBC tonight. At the time, it was compared to Douglas beating Tyson.” - Me, on Twitter, about a year ago. I stand by it.

Final Score: Duke 71 Them 52

No. 8 VCU vs. No. 9 UCF

UCF is either going to let 7’6 center Tacko Fall carry them to the promised land, blocking 20 shots every game, or they are going to lose in the first round. Go with the smart money, kid.

Final Score: VCU 56 UCF 50

No. 5 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Liberty

Mississippi State football coach Joe Moorhead is one of the 14 handsomest in the SEC. His decision to grow a beard added great virility to his visage.

Final Score: Mississippi State 80 Liberty 63

No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 13 St. Louis

My mom’s favorite basketball player of all-time is former Kentucky point guard and current St. Louis coach Travis Ford. That’s plenty of reason for me to pick the Billikens.

Final Score: St. Louis 81 Virginia Tech 70

No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Temple:

“Eyes goanup del-uh-weer ahyv wit jawn looking ferde roah hoahme offus ant in Fishtown on YeasBerks. Her spiggit broahk and deres wooder alls oahver daflower. She’s hungry too so we sayster jeet? We sayster less get a hoahgie downitde Wawa on Aramingoah, throw back a few yingees, engo downyshore err uptapoahcanoahs.” – Fran Dunphy, March 1, 2019, when asked about the Owls’ chances in the NCAA Tournament.

Final Score: Temple 63 Maryland 60

No. 3 LSU vs. No. 14 Yale

Pete Maravich could have single-handedly defeated the five best Yale basketball players of all-time.

Final Score: LSU 150 Yale 9

No. 7 Louisville vs. No. 10 Minnesota

Goldy would have preferred a trip to the NIT. She is much more of a New York girl than a Minneapolis girl.

Final Score: Minnesota 81 Louisville 80

No. 2 Michigan State vs. 15. Bradley

I assume this game will resemble the video for “Waiting for a Star to Fall.”

Final Score: Michigan State 85 Bradley 60

East Region: Round of 32

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 8 VCU: Duke 74 VCU 65

No. 5 Miss State vs. No. 13 St. Louis: Miss State 71 St. Louis 63

No. 3 LSU vs. No. 11 Temple: LSU 76 Temple 56

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Minnesota: Michigan State 75 Minnesota 65

Sweet 16

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 5 Miss State: Duke 83 Miss State 70

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 LSU: Michigan State 100 LSU 69

Elite 8

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Duke: Michigan State 87 Duke 80

NCAA Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs Pepperdine Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

West Region

Round of 64

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Prairie View

The Zig-Zags are petitioning the NCAA to move the Final Four from Minneapolis to Denver. Gonzaga coach Mark Few has no comment on the ongoing suit other than to say that 5-5-7-5-4 4-5-0-8-5 on his phone is the melody to “Funkytown.”

Final Score: Gonzaga 67 Prairie View 56

No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 Baylor

This is what I thought adulthood was like when I was a little kid.

Final Score: Baylor 78 Syracuse 70

No. 5 Marquette vs. No. 12 Murray State

I still think of Dwayne Wade as a junior at Marquette. He has had a Hall of Fame worthy NBA career but I still think of him in college. That just shows the hold of the college game relative to the NBA, at least for me.

Final Score: Marquette 74 Murray State 45

No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 Vermont

Vermont’s Anthony Lamb is the best player in this tournament that you’ve never heard of. His name will long be remembered both in Burlington and in Tallahassee after this one.

Final Score: Vermont 82 Florida State 70

No. 6 Buffalo vs. No. 11 St. John’s

St. John’s has won the NIT about 40 times. They will not win it this year. But they will win two NCAA Tournament games.

Final Score: St. John’s 75 Buffalo 68

No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Northern Kentucky

I hope all my fellow Bearcats are cheering for our little brothers at Northern Kentucky in this one.

Final Score: Texas Tech 84 Northern Kentucky 58

No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 10 Florida

I bet both teams are excited about playing in Des Moines.

Final Score: Nevada 83 Florida 80

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Montana

Did Mark Cohn single-handedly invent Adult Contemporary radio? Or was it Steve Winwood on “Back in the High Life”? Either way, thank you Lord for Mark Cohn and Steve Winwood.

Final Score: Michigan 65 Montana 60

Round of 32

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Baylor: Gonzaga 83 Baylor 80

No. 5 Marquette vs. No. 13 Vermont: Vermont 73 Marquette 70

No. 11 St. John’s vs. No. 3 Texas Tech: Texas Tech 72 St. John’s 59

No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 2 Michigan: Michigan 87 Nevada 83

Sweet 16

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 Vermont: Gonzaga 56 Vermont 50

No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 2 Michigan: Texas Tech 83 Michigan 78

Elite 8

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 3 Texas Tech: Gonzaga 83 Texas Tech 80

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

South Region

Round of 64

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Gardner-Webb

Forget about last year. The Virginia Cavaliers are made for March. They play exceptional defense. They are disciplined. They are well coached. Their bench is deep. They have been here before.

Final Score: Virginia 83 Gardner-Webb 57

No. 8 Mississippi vs. No. 9 Oklahoma:

What is a Quint Kessenich and where is his home planet?

Final Score: Oklahoma 5 Mississippi 4

No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Oregon

Oregon will likely turn down its NCAA bid this year for a shot at the NIT. These kids have never been to New York, son. They have never seen Keith Hernandez smoke a cigarette on no subway. They didn’t get to go to Ray Knight and Nancy Grace’s wedding. They never ate big sandwiches with Wally Backman or cried themselves to sleep on the Staten Island Ferry in Darryl Strawberry’s arms. These kids don’t know the mysteries of Jesse Orosoco. They have never called Ron Darling ‘darling.’ They’ve never gone roller skating with David Cone. They don’t know what it’s like to go sunbathing with Howard Johnson on Rockaway Beach or to give Roger MacDowell a belly raspberry after he falls during ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Everyone should get the chance to ride on a horse drawn carriage through Central Park, driven by none other than Ron Gardenhire. Everyone should get a chance to bend over backwards to kiss the statue of Continental League founder William Shea.

Final Score: Wisconsin 76 Oregon 57

No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 13 UC Irvine

This one time I was talking with a guy from Kansas who went to UC Irvine and he told me that Bill Snyder was the Belinda Carlisle of the Big 12. I am not sure what that means, but I assume it’s a good thing.

Final Score: Kansas State 74 UC Irvine 47

No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 11 St. Mary’s

I know he never coached at Villanova, but one time Shaka Smart told me that he learned more from three minute records than he ever did in school. That is some heady and profound stuff, in a Meatloaf/Springsteen/Benatar/Seger/Mellencamp/Seven Mary Three kind of way. If Villanova wins this game, I’m going to make a strawberry sheet cake with vanilla frosting and I’m going to write ”Love is a Battlefield” on it in cursive.

Final Score: Villanova 81 St. Mary’s 68

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Old Dominion

Old Dominion freshman sensation David Banks is among the best student-athletes in the country. Unfortunately, most of his success has come on the “student” side of the equation. The economics major’s 3.87 GPA is tops in the department and he has an internship offer from Johnson & Johnson for this summer. Campus insiders report that he may leave school early to pursue economics professionally. His attempt to join the men’s basketball team as a walk-on proved less successful.

Final Score: Purdue 83 Old Dominion 65

No. 7 Cincinnati vs. No. 10 Iowa

Forget about last year. This team of ours is made for March. They can play defense. They are tough. And they can score. This March, the Bearcats will have a memorable run. And it starts by running over the Hawkeyes.

Final Score: Cincinnati 67 Iowa 50

No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 15 Colgate

I agree. Sitting in a cold car in an airport parking lot is a great way to finish your writing assignments.

Final Score: Tennessee 67 Colgate 60

Round of 32

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 9 Oklahoma: Virginia 67 Oklahoma 60

No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Kansas State: Wisconsin 81 Kansas State 60

No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 3 Purdue: Villanova 68 Purdue 62

No. 7 Cincinnati vs. No. 2 Tennessee: Cincinnati 78 Tennessee 70

Sweet 16

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 5 Wisconsin: Virginia 82 Wisconsin 68

No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 7 Cincinnati: Cincinnati 67 Villanova 66

Elite 8

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 7 Cincinnati: Virginia 61 Cincinnati 58

NCAA Basketball: Central Florida at Houston Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Midwest Region

No. 1 UNC vs. No. 16 Iona

Ah, North Carolina, says the dad on the Brak Show. Dean Koontz’s old stomping grounds have been a frequent home for Lord Stanley’s cup, ever since Magic Johnson guided them to the 1983 NCAA title. It’s a shame that they haven’t made it back to the finals since then. They looked great against Florida A&M, Rutgers and NJIT earlier this year. I think they will make it to the second round.

Final Score: UNC 80 Iona 76

No. 8 Utah State vs. No. 9 Washington

Washington’s football uniforms are vastly superior.

Final Score: Washington 72 Utah State 70

No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 12 New Mexico State

Auburn, Alabama is located 108 miles west of Atlanta. Athens, Georgia is located 72 miles west of Atlanta. You can often get to Atlanta from Auburn faster because the traffic isn’t as bad west of the city. Does that make Auburn more Atlanta than Georgia? I guarantee you that nobody at New Mexico State has ever worried about this.

Final Score: Auburn 67 New Mexico State 60

No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Northeastern

The most boring 30 for 30 is kind of about Kansas basketball. It’s about some guy named Reggie who buys the rules to basketball and brings them to Tornado Alley and they sing “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” at the end. As the Young Indiana Jones said, “The Cup of Coronado belongs in a Museum!”

Final Score: Kansas 76 Northeastern 70

No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Ohio State

I am really good at filling out DMV forms. I am very good at this once every four years.

Final Score: Ohio State 100 Iowa State 74

No. 3 Houston vs. No. 14 Georgia State

The committee is going to wish they hadn’t snubbed Houston with a No. 3 seed. This is one of the best teams in the tournament.

Final Score: Houston 83 Georgia State 60

No. 7 Wofford vs. No. 10 Seton Hall

Seton Hall is my almost alma-mater. I almost went there. But the scholarship offer they sent me got lost in the mail. I had signed on to UVM by the time their letter arrived. I haven’t seen Wofford but I’ve seen Seton Hall and they are coming on strong as of late.

Final Score: Seton Hall 57 Wofford 50

No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Abeline Christian

I saw a man resembling Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops eat an entire loaf of frozen Ezekiel Bread on the bus the other day.

Final Score: Kentucky 56 Abilene Christian 47

Round of 32

No. 1 UNC vs. No. 9 Washington: UNC 81 Washington 63

No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 4 Kansas: Auburn 62 Kansas 60

No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Houston: Houston 81 Ohio State 68

No. 10 Seton Hall vs. No 2 Kentucky: Kentucky 67 Seton Hall 63

Round of 16

No. 1 UNC vs. No. 5 Auburn: UNC 67 Auburn 62

No. 3 Houston vs. No. 2 Kentucky: Houston 69 Kentucky 62

Elite 8

No. 1 UNC vs. No. 3 Houston: Houston 83 UNC 67

Final Four

Michigan State 76 Gonzaga 65

Virginia 62 Houston 61

National Championship Game

Virginia 78 Michigan 73

This is a work of parody and not intended to be taken seriously.

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