Busted Brackets

Can it get worse before it gets better? Yes, it can. Heading into tomorrow’s men’s basketball Final Four (for those of you unversed in semi-pro college athletics, we refer to the 2011 NCAA Tournament), millions of people are holding worthless brackets in their hands, their dreams of snagging the office-pool booty long turned into ash. Butler, Virginia Commonwealth University, Kentucky, and Connecticut were on just about nobody’s list as the teams to make the semi-finals.

Before the Sweet Sixteen match-ups were played, some authors were queried on the state of their picks, and asked to describe them in ten words or fewer. They were also asked which team they had down as winning it all. Rick Moody and Daniel Alarcon, as you’ll quickly read, are unaffected. But for others, whatever optimism they held back then is most likely long gone.

But this happy note: Susan Straight suggests in her response that no matter what happens in the game between Butler and VCU on Saturday, it’s good to be the Rams’ head coach, Shaka Smart.

Paul Beatty:
Bracket looks like the stopped up toilet from the “Jersey Shore” house.
To win – the Muslim Brotherhood in an upset over secularism.

David Orr:
Medium shambles. And as a Clemson fan: Fuck play-ins.
Ohio State

Tom Barbash:
Sadly, no bracket.
But I’m now picking Arizona to win it all.

Stephen Elliott:
It’s dismal, a tragedy. Sadder than Hamlet.
Ohio State

Rick Moody:
I don’t even really know how basketball is played. It’s five on a side, right?

Daniel Alarcon:
Only soccer for me …

Susan Straight:
No bracket, but rooting for Butler.

And this note:
All over New Orleans last week [for the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival], during the NCAA games featuring VCU, I ran into black women who worked at restaurants and bars and diners and in hotels, and we all talked about Shaka Smart – how cool he seemed, level-headed, and so intellectual, and very, very fine. We kept glimpsing him on TV, and I even saw a few women transfixed, their faces turned up, smiling, when they saw him.

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