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(16) Albany over (16) Mt. St. Mary's
This is an easy one. Alphabetically speaking, "Albany" is far before "Mount."
(12) NC State over (12) Xavier
This is an easy one. "N" is around the middle of the alphabet, but "X" is so far back, it's one of the very last letters.
(11) Iowa over (11) Tennessee
This is an easy one. With its name starting with the ninth letter of the alphabet, Iowa takes the win.
(16) Cal Poly over (16) Texas Southern
This is an easy one. Not only is "C" the third letter of the alphabet, "A" is the very first, which ought to give Cal Poly an advantage in a tiebreaker scenario -- which would happen if it met another team in the tournament that began with a "C."
(16) Albany over (1) Florida
This is an easy one. Having a letter in the first six just isn't enough to avoid an early exit in this tournament.
(8) Colorado over (9) Pittsburgh
This is an easy one. Colorado is far ahead of Pittsburgh in the alphabet ... "C" what I mean?
(12) Stephen F. Austin over (5) VCU
This is an easy one. Two also-rans near the bottom of the alphabet, but someone has to win.
(13) Tulsa over (4) UCLA
This is an easy one. "T" is right next to "U" in the alphabet, making it especially easy to demonstrate the sequence of these two letters.
(11) Dayton over (6) Ohio State
This is an easy one. Along with "A," "B," and "C," "D" is in what I like to call the "top four club" -- in other words, the first four letters of the alphabet. These four letters are especially formidable in this scenario.
(3) Syracuse over (14) Western Michigan
This is an easy one. What a stinker. No matter which team won here, the winner's bound to lose in the next round.
(7) New Mexico over (10) Stanford
This is an easy one. This is a rough tournament for teams that start with "S," and given the logic by which I'm determining the winners, it's not hard to see why!
(15) Eastern Kentucky over (2) Kansas
This is an easy one. Having been born in one of these states, and graduated high school in the other one, I think I know a thing or two about this matchup. "I don't think we're in the tournament anymore, Toto!" That's a (slightly-changed) quote from The Wizard of Oz.
(16) Coastal Carolina over (1) Virginia
This is an easy one. Normally, it would be shocking to see a 16-seed beat a top-seeded team. Since I'm determining the winners by alphabetical order, though, the seeding doesn't matter at all.
(9) George Washington over (8) Memphis
This is an easy one. Ever hear of the TV show "Eight is Enough"? Well, it wasn't enough here.
(5) Cincinnati over (12) Harvard
This is an easy one. Cincinnati, a member of the "top four club" I talked about earlier, takes the cake here.
(13) Delaware over (4) Michigan State
This is an easy one. This is just a side note, but Delaware was the first state admitted to the Union. It's also the first -- and only -- winner in this matchup.
(6) North Carolina over (11) Providence
This is an easy one. While it's a relatively close call -- the two teams are separated by only two spots in the alphabet -- it's still quite easy to see which ranks higher.
(3) Iowa State over (14) NC Central
This is an easy one. It looks like a "North Carolina battle" won't happen in the next round.
(10) St. Joe's over (7) UConn
This is an easy one. At first, I listed UConn as the winner, which was obviously in error. I guess I just got mixed up for a second, but no big deal.
(15) Milwaukee over (2) Villanova
This is an easy one. In this 15-2 tilt, it's the "Men from Milwaukee" who come out on top.
(1) Arizona over (16) Weber State
This is an easy one. The seeding turned out to be completely appropriate here. Happy trails, Weber State.
(8) Gonzaga over (9) Oklahoma State
This is an easy one. Ranking alphabetically at 7th of 26, a team that starts with "G" stands a pretty good shot at winning early in the tournament, but Gonzaga will need a lot of friendly matchups if it wants to go too much further in the bracket.
(12) North Dakota State over (5) Oklahoma
This is an easy one ... but relatively speaking, it was a close one!
(13) New Mexico State over (4) San Diego State
This is an easy one. It looks like New Mexico State is on a collision course with another "N"-team in the next round, however. Soon enough, we will find out who will win.
(6) Baylor over (11) Nebraska
This is an easy one. Chalk a one-sided win up for the "Baylor boys" here.
(3) Creighton over (14) Louisiana
This is an easy one. I think an eventual matchup between Louisiana and Louisville, the 4-seed in the Midwest, would have been interesting. But since "L" is right in the middle of the alphabet, such a tilt must be left to the imagination.
(10) BYU over (7) Oregon
This is an easy one. BYU needs to be careful, though. If it finds itself in a "B"-to-"B" matchup, its chances of winning via tiebreaker are virtually zero.
(15) American over (2) Wisconsin
This is an easy one. It wouldn't be appropriate to call this an "upset," really, since a) the committee that assigned the seeding of this tournament abided by a set of criteria completely unlike mine, and b) it's rather easy, from the outset, to take a glance at a matchup and immediately determine which ranks higher alphabetically.
(16) Cal Poly over (1) Wichita State
This is an easy one. Wichita State couldn't even beat a Wichita Poly, much less a Cal Poly.
(9) Kansas State over (8) Kentucky
This is an easy one, but it's notable for being the first "same-letter battle" of the tournament. Whenever we run into these, we'll of course move on to the next letter of the alphabet as a tiebreaker of sorts. In this case, Kansas State is truly the champion of this second-round matchup.
(12) NC State over (5) Saint Louis
This is an easy one. Saint Louis' option to enter the bracket as "Saint Louis" rather than the more common "St. Louis" was a shrewd one in case it found itself matched up with another "S" team, but such a minor adjustment simply isn't enough to leapfrog many teams in the alphabet.
(4) Louisville over (13) Manhattan
This is an easy one. As a Louisville fan, I am DELIGHTED to see the Cards win this second-round tilt!
(11) Iowa over (6) UMass
This is an easy one. Under the system of logic I've employed here, any team that front-loads its name with "University" is going to go down ... and go down hard.
(3) Duke over (14) Mercer
This is an easy one. Different rules, same story: Duke wins a second-round matchup. Surprise, surprise ...
(10) Arizona State over (7) Texas
This is an easy one. Arizona State, one of the very first teams in the alphabet, figures to go quite far in this tournament. Are we in store for an eventual Arizona/Arizona State matchup in the Final Four? If we are, buckle your seatbelts.
(2) Michigan over (15) Wofford
This is an easy one, obviously.
(16) Albany over (8) Pittsburgh
This is an easy one. Even though it's early in the tournament, Albany is establishing itself as the team to beat in the South.
(12) Stephen F. Austin over (13) Tulsa
This is an easy one. It's a minor miracle that an "S" team can advance this far in the tournament. Keep in mind, though, that Stephen F. Austin is slated to go up against Albany in the Sweet Sixteen. That matchup is nothing but trouble for this 12-seed.
(11) Dayton over (3) Syracuse
This is an easy one. Yet another member of the "top four club" is finding success in this tournament. As you can imagine, it won't be the last.
(15) Eastern Kentucky over (7) New Mexico
This is an easy one. Batten down the hatches, because the last four teams of the South region are now etched in stone.
(16) Coastal Carolina over (9) George Washington
This is an easy one. Remember, Cincinnati is lurking in the East region. We may be in for a "battle of the 'C's."
(5) Cincinnati over (13) Delaware
This is an easy one, but it's a rough matchup for Delaware, a "top four club" team that's making its exit far too soon.
(3) Iowa State over (6) North Carolina
This is an easy one. I'd just say this to anyone unhappy with this result: have you read an alphabet lately?
(15) Milwaukee over (10) St. Joe's
This is an easy one. The "Men from Milwaukee" strike again!
(1) Arizona over (8) Gonzaga
This is an easy one. My motto for Arizona: "Crush all foes in the West!"
(13) New Mexico State over (12) North Dakota State
This is an easy one. North Dakota comes up just short in this "battle of the 'N's" ... but based on trends we've seen so far in this tournament, its celebration may be short-lived.
(6) Baylor over (3) Creighton
This is an easy one. The "Baylor Boys" knock off a fellow member of the "top four club" here, and appear poised to make a serious run in this tournament.
(15) American over (10) BYU
This is an easy one. Tough sledding for BYU, the highest-round team to exit the tournament so far.
(16) Cal Poly over (9) Kansas State
This is an easy one. "C" and "K" can sound similar phonetically, depending on how the "C" is used. That's surely of no solace for Kansas State, who falls here -- and falls hard.
(4) Louisville over (12) NC State
This is an easy one. GO CARDS!
(3) Duke over (11) Iowa
This is an easy one. Looks like Duke has found its way into the Sweet Sixteen. File this one under, "NOT a surprise."
(10) Arizona State over (2) Michigan
This is an easy one.
They might be a 10, and you might be a 2
But Arizona State's gonna walk all over you!
(16) Albany over (12) Stephen F. Austin
This is an easy one. Stephen F. Austin made a run, but if you're in the bottom third of the alphabet, you just can't expect for your winning ways to last in this tournament.
(11) Dayton over (15) Eastern Kentucky
This is an easy one. By following up an "E" with an "A," Eastern Kentucky is just about as good as a team can get without being in the "top four club." But in this tournament, as with many different types of tournaments, "almost" just isn't good enough.
(5) Cincinnati over (16) Coastal Carolina
This is an easy one, although it does head to a rather close tiebreaker. In American English, any word that begins with a "C" is almost certain to follow up that "C" with a vowel. So in that respect, this "I" vs. "O" tiebreaker is just about as close as it can be. After seeing so many teams move on in the tournament despite ranking far lower alphabetically, those of you rooting for Coastal Carolina are probably wondering what could have been.
(3) Iowa State over (15) Milwaukee
This is an easy one. The "Men from Milwaukee" had a fun run, but this tournament has 68 teams, and 67 of them had to lose sometime.
(1) Arizona over (13) New Mexico State
This is an easy one. The two teams may be neighbors geographically, but they're worlds apart alphabetically. Arizona in a laugher.
(15) American over (6) Baylor
This is an easy one. With the letters "A" and "B" not only right next to each other, but at the very top at the alphabet, "B"'s position below "A" sticks out like a sore thumb. Adios.
(16) Cal Poly over (4) Louisville
This is an easy one. Dang it, it's so tough to see Louisville lose! I was rooting for them, but it was still fun to see them advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
(10) Arizona State over (3) Duke
This is an easy one. We've reached a state of the tournament in which being a member of the "top four club" simply isn't enough. This is "A-lister" territory.
(16) Albany over (11) Dayton
This is an easy one. It's fairly self-explanatory: "A" comes before "D" in the alphabet.
(5) Cincinnati over (3) Iowa State
This is an easy one. It's almost a miracle that Iowa State was able to get this far. If we had seeded this tournament according to our alphabetical aims, Iowa State probably would have been a 7-seed or so, and would have made its exit long ago.
(15) American over (1) Arizona
This is an easy one. But it's not an easy pill for Arizona fans to swallow -- especially because we fell just short of a classic Arizona-Arizona State tilt. Arizona would have won that one, but it would have been a close and relatively interesting matchup.
(10) Arizona State over (16) Cal Poly
This is an easy one. With this result, it looks like three members of the Final Four begin with "A." That's a mark of a fair tournament: the best teams get to the end.
(16) Albany over (5) Cincinnati
This is an easy one. But let's give a tip of the cap to Cincy, who became the only sub-"A" team to navigate its way this far in the bracket.
(15) American over (10) Arizona State
This is an easy one. It's basically been incredibly, incredibly easy to pick the winners for all of these games.
(16) Albany over (15) American
This is an easy one. But it was so close! I suppose we should expect nothing else of a tournament that starts with 68 contenders, and at the very end, only two remain. Congratulations to Albany, the winner of the "alphabetical order" tournament.*
*THIS FAKE TOURNAMENT WAS JUST FOR FUN!