Adam Jensen: Bracket busted by Lake Tahoe’s own
Let me guess, your bracket is busted? No? Be honest. Well, lucky for you if it isn’t, yet.
It only took a couple hours for my 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket to get completely annihilated this year. Given the volatility of the tournament, it’s not like I didn’t expect my bracket to fall apart at some point, it’s just that I didn’t expect it to happen so efficiently.
I was born in Iowa and have some sentimental loyalty to the state, and watching Iowa State make some impressive come-from-behind victories in the Big 12 tournament convinced me the Cyclones had the momentum to make a deep run through the grueling 68-team tournament. I had them reaching the championship against powerhouse Kentucky. Cue facepalm.
My biggest mistake among many was not accounting for Jerod Haase, the former South Tahoe High School basketball player and current coach of the University of Alabama at Birmingham men’s basketball coach. His team was pitted against the Cyclones in the first round of the tournament and notched a one-point victory, shocking pundits and making a large swath of my tournament selections look downright foolish.
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“You’re a product of your thoughts,” Haase told the Associated Press following the win. “There’s been more talk right now about 14 seed or upsets than we’ve said the entire year. Our thoughts have been, when we play well, we think we can compete with anybody, and those thoughts have been expressed to our team, and our team has made the choice to believe in that. I think that’s what you saw today.”
The quotation made me chuckle for unintended reasons. My disheveled bracket is definitely a product of my, apparently incorrect, thoughts on basketball. While UAB got offed by a previously maligned UCLA team in the second round, congratulations are still in order to Haase and his team, who played well and beat expectations.
My bracket was only a just-for-fun-thing, and, if you’re going to get busted, it might as well be by the local guy, I guess. I suspect we’ll be seeing Haase in the tournament again. According to several Wednesday reports, Haase has signed on for six more years at UAB. I won’t be betting against him in years to come.
The NCAA Tournament continues Thursday through Sunday, with plenty of enticing games set to match or exceed the excitement of an already memorable tournament. I know I’ll be watching.
Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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