Ethan: Let's jump right into this: I'll bet on Mount St. Mary's, but you'd better be giving me points. Four and a half, at the very least.
Amir: Are you talking about yesterdays play-in game? Because I don't bet on day old basketball games anymore.
Ethan: Nope, against Carolina. What's jumping out at you from the East bracket?
Ethan: Like clowns. Only not scary.
Amir: They're like the Suns of the NCAA. You think Phoenix will agree to trade Shaq for Wayne Chism?
Ethan: Bruce Pearl would have to sign Chism to some sort of forty-year, three-billion dollar contract to make the cap numbers work. Can George Mason be this year's George Mason? I see Notre Dame destroying them. As a side question, if Kyle Mcalarney is six feet tall, how does he look like a gnome?
Amir: In the land of giants every six footer is a dwarf.
Ethan: Thank you for that deep thought.
Amir: Sorry, I've been reading lots of fortune cookies recently and they like Tennessee not making the Sweet 16! You've heard it here first.
Ethan: Who's beating them? Butler? I don't think Tennessee plays D well enough to make the Final Four, but unless Chris Lofton turns to stone after he looks at A.J. Graves, I think they're in the clear. Although maybe I shouldn't bet against a leprechaun so close to St. Patrick's day. See any other upsets in the first two rounds?
Amir: I don't like Washington State to do any damage, so if I were feeling frisky I would pick them as my 13 over 4 upset special. There's four every year! Right?
Ethan: Some years five. I think Washington State's too good to go down to Winthrop but will fall to Notre Dame. Somewhere, Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf will shed a tear for their alma mater. Kansas is winning the Midwest, right?
Amir: I think Kansas should be more scared of USC and Clemson than Georgetown or Wisconsin. Major upset potential there.
Ethan: Not buying it with USC. Kansas State is really underseeded, they'll upset the Trojans. Then Michael Beasley will be able to put off envisioning himself in a Timberwolves jersey for a few more days.
Amir: The wolves are one piece away from being a .400 team and you know it.
Ethan: I like Clemson, too, though. I respect K.C. Rivers for being such a baller; with that name, you'd really almost have to become a hobo. Gonzaga-Davidson? Why are all the fun mid-majors playing each other?
Amir: All part of the agenda to push at least some of them to the second round.
Ethan: Who are you, Billy Packer?
Amir: Where is there more talent: The Western Conference in the NBA or the Western Region?
Ethan: The Western Conference, but only when Bynum's healthy again. Am I the only one who thinks Arizona's too good for a 10 seed? They could get frisky with Duke in the second round.
Amir: Arizona is 1-5 against UCLA, USC and Stanford, I think Duke will be fine. UCLA has the hardest road to the final four, but they are 9-0 in the last two years in tournament games against teams that aren't Florida. How can you pick against them going all the way?
Amir: No Love-Love loss there, folks!
Ethan: What's not to like? If Duke can get past Arizona in the second round, it's Duke or Xavier out of this bracket. I'll let you consider taking Drake now.
Amir: As much as I'd like to see Drake take on Duke in the battle of words from 16th century England I'd be shocked if they could upset UConn.
Ethan: That's not even that much of an upset. You know they've got Kyle Korver's brother, right? Every year some white kid goes nuts in the tournament. It's the Cracker Principle.
Amir: And those are all three brackets! Moving on to NBA?
Ethan: We haven't even talked about how Marquette's going to destroy Kentucky yet! Well, now I guess we have.
Amir: Oh, there's a South bracket! I always forget. Why does nobody think Memphis can make it to the final four? Haven't they only lost once since last years tourney?
Ethan: People still think they're overrated and played a cake schedule since they were last year. I don't think Pitt can beat them in the Sweet 16. They're both teams in the Suns' score-a-lot-of-points mold, but Memphis is better at it. Stanford's coming out here, and Taj Finger is going to claim his place in the list of greatest sports names of all time.
Amir: UCLA fans would be elated if your prediction came true. Not too often you can play a team you're already 3-0 against in the Final Four. Then again if you're prediction came true, Xavier would be playing Stanford. In a tournament where anything can happen it's hard to make picks that definitely will not. I congratulate you.
Ethan: Didn't you pick four one seeds? If I wanted picks like that, I could talk to my grandmother. First I'd have to explain the lower numbers were better, but after that, she'd probably come up with the same thing.
Amir: Well then it sounds like I'm already one step ahead, aren't I?
Ethan: Damn, you win again. You probably know that St. Mary's and Mount St. Mary's are two different schools, too. I foresee that being a problem with Grandma. Got an interesting fact?
Amir: This one comes from the wacky world of mathematics! If you randomly pick each game like it's a coin flip, the odds of getting a perfect bracket are 9 quintillion to one. Which is actually higher odds than trying to predict every game which has NEVER yielded a perfect bracket. Tails never fails!
Ethan: Yeah, but I've got a system. So I could probably get it down to like five quintillion to one.
Amir: Money in the bank.
Ethan: Until next week, get excited for the College Basketball Invitational! Whatever that