What a difference a week makes

Last week, my NCAA bracket was in first after correctly picking Cleveland State’s upset of Wake Forest and preserving all of my Elite 8 and Final Four through two rounds. My reign at the top was shortlived however as the Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8 were brutal to me.  One of my Final Four teams, Memphis was knocked out by Missouri while Michigan State upset Louisville and Villanova trounced both Duke and Pitt. That leaves me with only one team standing going into the Final Four and even if UNC wins, I had them losing in the finals to Louisville.  Sadly it appears as if my hopes of winning are gone so I might as well root for who I really want now: Let’s Go Tar Heels!

Just for fun though here are my predictions: Michigan State and UNC in the Finals.

final-four2

P.S. If you’ve been following my Facebook you know that I have been gushing about the Google Ventures announcement.  Expect a full post once more info becomes available.

Rockin’ the Suburbs

 

Ben Folds

Ben Folds

Yep, the one and only Ben Folds was at BC this Friday, and boy did he put on a show.  Ben played for about an hour and hit almost all my favorites including You Don’t Know Me, Brick, Rockin’ the Suburbs, Annie Waits, Landed, Zak and Sara, Not the Same, and a finale of Bitches Ain’t Shit. The only song I wanted to hear that was not played was The Luckiest, but I guess a slow song like that would have killed a lot of the energy. The man’s piano and performance skills are absolutely amazing. I wish I was half the piano player he was…or even a quarter. One really cool trick he did was put Altoid tins on the piano strings to get the synthesizer-like sound for Free Coffee. I really want to try that on my own now, although I don’t think it’s too healthy for the piano. Maybe I’ll try it on one of the pianos in Lyons.

The other headliner Friday night, Lupe Fiasco, was not as impressive. I wasn’t too familiar with Lupe going in–I only know one of his songs, Superstar–so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. If Lupe was hoping to win me over with Friday night, he failed miserably. First of all, it took more than an hour to reset the stage for Lupe which completely killed any energy after Ben Folds. When Lupe finally came on the stage, he was loud but that was about it. The man belted out all his songs with no dynamics at all and instead of the “Cool Lu” voice the entire set sounded more like Linkin Park’s unrestrained yelling. Lupe also pranced around the stage with no logical choreography like a little kid at a BounceU. At times he appeared out of breath and other times drunk. Worst of all his entire set played out like a bizarre cross between an episode of Behind the Music and an infomertial. Honestly you do not need to take 5 minutes in the middle of your show to tell everybody to go out and buy you and your friends’ albums. Heck Jukebox the Ghost was less desperate than that.

Speaking of which, the opening act for the show was pretty interesting. Their subject matter was certainly strange (the Antichrist and the Apocalypse) but I liked their sound (hooray keyboard!). It was kind of a cross between Death Cab for Cutie and Jack Penate perhaps? Anyway, I would be interested in following them in the future. Lupe? Not so much.

March Madness: Round of 32

Coming into the Round of 32, I had a possible 14/16 teams that could still potentially advance to the Sweet 16, and boy did I make each one of them count.  I correctly picked 14 of the 16 games, with my only misses being Arizona-Cleveland State and USC-Michigan State.  However, since the team I picked from each of those matchups was already knocked out in the first round, I essentially lost nothing and moved up to first in my pool.  The only close calls were Purdue-Washington and Gonzaga’s last minute basket against Western Kentucky.

Looking ahead to the Sweet 16, I have Louisville continuing their strong play against Arizona and Kansas edging out Michigan State.  UConn should get mkore of a challenge from Purdue, but they should advance.  Missouri and Memphis looks to be an interesting matchup, and this has the potential to screw up my bracket, but I think Memphis, who’s in my Final Four, will squeak by.  In the East, Pitt’s been looking good with Blair inside and they should be able to beat Xavier.  Villanova and Duke looks to be another close one.  However given Duke’s strong play as of late I think Villanova will be sent home packing.  UNC will get a tougher test from Gonzaga, but I just think they have too much depth.  Finally Syracuse and Oklahoma will pitch the Orange against Blake Griffin.  While Griffin has been a force in the Tournament, I just don’t think Oklahoma has enough depth to beat Syracuse.  And if this game goes to overtime, it’s Syracuse all the way.

Can’t wait for the games to start again!

round-2

March Madness: Round 1

Well, the first round is over.  The bracket took some hits, especially on Day 2.  First off, the BC loss was a tough one considering we were up by 4 at halftime without Sanders but looked completely lifeless the second half.  Although we could’ve taken it to the hole more instead of chucking up threes and there were lots of bad calls and no-calls, in retrospect it was a predictable loss.  USC is big and athletic and we have trouble with big and athletic teams (see Wake Forest).

In other games around the tournament, I inexplicably picked Butler over LSU like most of the world and got burned by OT losses by Ohio State and FSU, two teams that can’t win when you want them to.   Missed the other two 8-9 gam

es as well with BYU and Tennessee as my picks.  Like a lot of people, I was also shocked by Dayton over WVU and Western Kentucky over Illinois.

On the bright side, I did pick Maryland over Cal and Michigan over Clemson.  A few teams like Villanova, Marquette, and Gonzaga managed to avoid upsets.  But best of all, I picked Cleveland State over Wake Forest!  Almost makes up for the Ohio State and FSU losses.

I’m tied for 6th in my pool right now, but going forward I’m in pretty good shape.  My round of 32 is a little beat of right now, but all but 2 of my Sweet 16 are still alive and all my Elite Eight and Final Four are still in.  Let the madness continue!

round-1

Verizon Wireless commercials are deceptive

You know those creepy Verizon Wireless commercials where it looks like the customers are walking onto a horror movie until the Verizon guy and his crew show up?  I thought they were really clever and kind of funny.  Unfortunately though, I am now a Verizon Wireless customer and my horror story is real.  I am in a dead zone, aka 66 Comm Ave.  My calls get dropped.  It’s like I don’t even exist.  Seriously people, 5/5 calls dropped today.  Now that I think of it, anyone want to make a spoof Verizon commercial in 66?

At least I can still get texts, which means I can Twitter.  Sadly I’m not famous/powerful enough (read Sarah Lacy) to get a major telecom company’s attention via Twitter and fix my problem.  Instead I entertain my TechTrek friends and a couple of creepy random followers with mundane events in my life.  Add that to my list of life goals:

  • Fly first class without financial concern
  • Write and publish a book
  • Start a family
  • Be a season ticketholder for my local basketball team
  • Establish my own scholarship fund
  • Travel to every continent (minus Antarctica)
  • Have the power to influence real life events with my Facebook or Twitter