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Darrell vs Darrell’s Wife: 2016 Women’s NCAA Tournament Edition

Initially, I thought that our picking the women’s tournament would be a great way to demonstrate some gender equality. I then realized how little women’s basketball I watched this year, because it seems like women’s basketball usually airs on the weekends, and that’s when most soccer matches air. In our household, soccer – being played by players of either gender – always gets priority over basketball – again, regardless of the gender of the athletes involved.

We didn’t watch much men’s basketball, either, so there is a bit of gender equity in these picks – but there’s also an effort to entertain you, the all-important reader of this article. Let’s start with my wife’s picks.

Darrell’s Wife’s Picks

Bridgeport Region

First Round: Robert Morris, Duquesne, Mississippi State, Michigan State, South Florida, UCLA, BYU, Texas

Second Round: Duquesne, Michigan State, UCLA, Texas

Regional Semifinals: Michigan State, UCLA

Regional Final: Michigan State

I usually inquire as to why my wife picks a team, but rarely do I encourage her to reconsider. I made an exception here.

Me: You picked Robert Morris?

Wife: Yup.

Me: UConn will destroy them.

Wife: You know I like picking the underdog.

Me: UConn have won, like, 69 straight games, all by double-digit margins.

Wife: That’s why I’m picking the underdog. Surely, you understand how that appeals to my Bernie Sanders-supporting sensibilities.

I have nothing else to add about her picks for this region. In fact, I’m tempted to just end the article here, because it’s not going to get any better than this. Nonetheless, I will carry on.

Also, in case anyone noticed that I said, “UConn have won….” I will own the fact that I shamelessly follow British convention on sports teams, treating them as plural. There’s a grammar nerd in this sports fan.

Dallas Region

First Round: Idaho, St. John’s, Middle Tennessee, Texas, DePaul, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Oregon State

Second Round: St. John’s, Middle Tennessee, DePaul, Oregon State

Regional Semifinals: St. John’s, Oregon State

Regional Final: Oregon State

My wife suspects that this entire half of her bracket might be in a bad way. Nonetheless, she’s sticking to her principles. She’s picking Idaho to beat Baylor because of Baylor’s stance on same-sex marriage; of course, that worked for her in the men’s tourney, so maybe I should keep my yap shut. She picked DePaul as a tip of the cap to her time in the DePaul Community Chorus.

Sioux Falls Region

First Round: South Carolina, George Washington, Florida, Army, West Virginia, Buffalo, Tennessee, Arizona State

Second Round: South Carolina, Army, West Virginia, Arizona State

Regional Semifinals: South Carolina, West Virginia

Regional Final: South Carolina

My wife didn’t know that Army has a women’s basketball team, and she thinks it’s very cool that they do. (Generally, service academy sports programs get lots of love in this house.)

Lexington Region

First Round: Notre Dame, Indiana, South Dakota State, Stanford, Oklahoma, UNC-Asheville, Washington, Maryland

Second Round: Notre Dame, Stanford, Oklahoma, Washington

Regional Semifinals: Stanford, Washington

Regional Final: Washington

Me: Washington? Why Washington?

Wife: Hippies!

Me:

[laughter]

Wife: What? I picked Oregon [State], too; I like the Pacific Northwest.

Final Four

National Semifinals: Michigan State, Washington

National Championship: Michigan State

My wife picked Michigan State to win both tournaments, but for completely different reasons. She has a lot of friends who hold season tickets for MSU women’s basketball. She wanted to show solidarity with them, so she went all in on the Spartans.

That was fun! Next up, we’ll cover my picks.

Geno Auriemma UConn

Geno Auriemma (and UConn) like to cut nets down at the Women’s NCAA Tournament

Darrell’s Picks

Bridgeport Region

First Round: Connecticut, Duquesne, Chattanooga, Michigan State, Colorado State, UCLA, BYU, Texas

Second Round: Connecticut, Chattanooga, Colorado State, Texas

Regional Semifinals: Connecticut, Texas

Regional Final: Connecticut

Ummm … I can’t fathom the amount of alcohol it would take to convince me to not pick UConn, especially since the NCAA hasn’t really embraced the “neutral site” concept for late rounds of the women’s basketball tournament. I managed to not pick a 12 seed in my men’s bracket – that’s helped turn my bracket into a dumpster fire, by the way –  so I’m going with a couple here. C’mon, Chattanooga!

Dallas Region

First Round: Baylor, Auburn, Middle Tennessee, Texas A&M, James Madison, Louisville, St. Bonaventure, Oregon State

Second Round: Baylor, Texas A&M, Louisville, Oregon State

Regional Semifinals: Baylor, Louisville

Regional Final: Baylor

It’s another region with another team getting to play close to home. I think this region comes down to the Baylor – Texas A&M matchup, and I think Baylor is too strong. My gut tells me that Louisville is poised to make a deep run.

Sioux Falls Region

First Round: South Carolina, Kansas State, Florida, Army, West Virginia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Arizona State

Second Round: South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, Arizona State

Regional Semifinals: South Carolina, West Virginia

Regional Final: South Carolina

The NCAA didn’t send the lone South Dakota representative to this region; that’s too bad, really. Regardless, I don’t see anyone stopping South Carolina. The real question for me is whether Tennessee can find a way to pull an upset and get to the Sweet 16; this team doesn’t seem to have the fight that some of the other teams have had, and … yeah, I’ll be shocked if this Tennessee team makes it to Sioux Falls.

Lexington Region

First Round: Notre Dame, Georgia, Miami, Stanford, Purdue, Kentucky, Penn, Maryland

Second Round: Notre Dame, Stanford, Kentucky, Maryland

Regional Semifinals: Notre Dame, Kentucky

Regional Final: Kentucky

Oh, look – the NCAA set up a team to get a home game in a regional semifinal and final. I’d like to say I expect better from the NCAA, but LOL. Notre Dame – Kentucky would be a heck of a regional final, and I’d give the nod to Kentucky because they’re playing at home. Either Maryland or Notre Dame are capable of winning this region, and neither would surprise me – but either may well have to win a road game to do it.

Final Four

National Semifinals: Connecticut, South Carolina

National Championship: Connecticut

Honestly, to call Connecticut a juggernaut would be disrespectful, because the Huskies are better than that. Alabama football has won four national titles in the last seven years (Roll Tide!), but managed only one unbeaten season in that run. What UConn has done is amazing, and I think that amazing run will continue in Indianapolis.

Darrell Harden is a Guest Author at TWHS and a good friend.  You’ll frequently find him on Twitter (@Darrell_Harden) talking sports, fretting about Alabama football or helping Kevin Paul (@kevinspaul) realize that there really is more than one WIFE that hates sports.

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By | 2017-08-25T17:28:59+00:00 March 18th, 2016|Guest Authors, NCAA BB, Writers|1 Comment

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  1. […] may have missed it, my wife and I are squaring off against each other in picking the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I basketball tournaments. There are fabulous prizes (snooty coffee drinks) on the […]

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