By JIMMY D / Jimmy the Jackal's March Madnes Picks | Jimmy's archive
Paul the Psychic Octopus (seven straight 2010 World Cup predictions), Heidi the Cross-Eyed Opossum (picked Natalie Portman to win the Oscar for best actress), South Carolina’s Baby Bob the Orangutan (took the Packers to beat the Steelers) and Shubenacadie Sam (jury still out on the whole early spring thing).
All varmints from the animal kingdom relied upon by office poolies, sports handicappers and other contestants for making picks. [ List of Bracket Contests ]
Maybe it’s time you were introduced to Jimmy the Jackal, who laughs all the way to the bank each March.
Yes, Jimmy has won three consecutive college basketball bracket contests, finishing in the top one per cent of contestants in the Yahoo pool two years ago when he picked all four Final Four schools.
And unlike Gabby the Super Bowl-Picking Sea Turtle from Myrtle Beach, S.C., who suffered shame by picking the Steelers in February, the Jackal is no turtle when it comes to picking winners.
No. 5 seeds have been bracket busters in recent years, going just 2-6 the past two seasons against the dirty No. 12s. Last year, Cornell hopped into the magic pumpkin and turned Cinderella, finally losing in the Final Four.
Jimmy has earned early bracket leads by picking No. 12 seeds and he’s picking all four of them this year (even though one still has to play its way into the tournament).
So watch for either UAB or Clemson to upset West Virginia in the East, Memphis to take out Arizona in the West, Utah State in a mild upset over erratic Kansas State in the Southeast and Atlantic 10 champion Richmond over Vanderbilt.
The Spiders of Richmond are the only school in NCAA history to win games as the No. 12, 13, 14 and 15 seeds, and Jimmy likes the upset of the Commodores here in the Southwest.
If that sounds like madness, realize that only once in 12 years (2007) have all four No. 5 seeds advanced. Every other year, at least one and many times two or more failed against the Dirty Dozens.
You may have heard much about Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson, two Canadian kids leading the charge for the Longhorns of Texas. But you won’t be reading about them after the first round if the Jackal is right.
Jimmy has little Oakland, of Lansing, Mich., upsetting Texas — a 13 seed over a 4 seed. In fact, Jimmy has the Golden Grizzlies going to the Round of 16.
It’s the biggest upset Jimmy has on the radar this year, but you might want to heed Hampton. The Pirates are 24-8, winners of the MEAC, and were the last team to win as a No. 15 seed 10 years ago. They face Duke, which means a loss, but Jimmy has them covering the spread.
East — No big upsets. Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky all survive as the top seeds.
West — Texas and Connecticut die. The Longhorns go out in the first round while UConn’s impressive run through the Big East tournament gets exposed as it loses to Cincinnati. Duke, San Diego State, Cincy and Oakland are in the Sweet 16.
Southwest — Arachnophobia strikes! The Spiders make the Round of 16 as the 12 seed, while the other top seeds — Kansas, Notre Dame, Purdue — all survive the first weekend.
Southeast — No aid for Gators. Florida is a bogus No. 2 seed in Jimmy’s opinion and will lose to No. 7 UCLA in the second round. Top seed Pitt, BYU (with player of the year candidate Jimmer Fredette running the show) and Wisconsin (the only team to beat Ohio State this season) round out the Round of 16.