It’s that time of year again. It’s time to pull our collective hair out attempting to decide between two mid-major schools we’ve never watched play go at it in the first round(the real first round, not this “play-in” stuff), figure out why on earth Duke is losing to Iona(yes, that’s a school), and understand why we care so much about a championship format that has little to no reflection on the league’s regular season.
Brackets are really hard to get right. Sometimes it’s good to try something new. Why not have one Atlanta United-inspired bracket? Here are Dirty South Soccer’s official picks.
*We take into consideration school colors, the schools that Atlanta United players, front office personnel, and former players attended, home states of players or former players, and how many matching letters a school name and “Atlanta United” have in common.
This is the most upset-filled quadrant of the bracket that we have. Only one single digit-seeded team made it out of the first round and all four of the Sweet 16 programs are at least a #11 seed.
For the first time ever, a #16 seed will knock off a #1 seed. That’s some exciting stuff. We can thank the red, black, and gold of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County for that one.
The four Georgia grown players(George Bello, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin, Alec Kann) and the one AU alumnus(Mark Bloom) were able to get Georgia State to their first Final Four appearance.
Down goes another #1 seed! San Diego State and its five California natives(Carlos Bocanegra, Jeff Larentowicz, Brandon Vaquez, Sal Zizzo, and former player Kyle Reynish) toppled cinderella story Texas Southern in the Elite 8, who are led by Texans Mikey Ambrose, Greg Garza, and former player and current god Bobby Boswell. This Texas brigade is also responsible for eliminating Julian Gressel’s Providence in their opening game.
Alright, I cheated a little bit and double-dipped. If a college happened to be in California, it did pretty well. Darren Eales’ West Virginia Mountaineers couldn’t conquer the black and gold of Wichita State in the second round. UCLA, behind alumnus’ Bocanegra and Zizzo, were able to knock off fellow California team CSU-Fullerton on their way to shocking the...uh...Shockers of Wichita State.
You heard it here first. Not a single #1 seed will make it out of the first round.
Oliver Shannon put Clemson on his back to get them to the Elite 8, but the Tigers couldn’t conquer the long, red name of North Carolina State University(if you’re too lazy to go through it yourself, they have 17 letters in common with Atlanta United). The Texas trio once again brought the pain early in the tournament, defeating Miles Robinson’s Syracuse Orange. TCU rode that wave of momentum all the way to a Final Four bid.
Atlanta United’s California connection reigned supreme during this tournament, defeating the strong Georgia and Texas contingent for a SDSU/UCLA Championship game. The Aztecs’ school colors made the difference, with the red and black slightly edging the Bruins’ blue and gold to become the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions. What a tournament it was.
If you’re looking to win the office pool, absolutely do not utilize this bracket as a reputable source. However, if you’re someone who is just here to have fun, we like you and you should definitely make your picks with this bracket in mind.
Have fun, Atlanta. Best of luck and Go Basketball!