What a Pool Believes


Slate's Bruce Reed notices that Maverick John McCain's NCAA picks—laid out for the world to see on his Riefenstahlian interweb hub—are incredibly conservative.

It would be hard to come up with more conservative picks. McCain has all four number-one seeds going to the Final Four. That's never happened in NCAA history, and it's a classic frontrunner strategy sure to lose the office pool. His longest shot in the Elite Eight is a third seed, Washington State; the rest are first or second seeds. The Arizona senator doesn't even choose his home state Wildcats to knock off top-seeded Florida. Straight talk, or a savvy play for Florida's Super Tuesday primary? You make the call.

Worth pointing out that "taking so few risks that he hurts his chances of winning" is a pretty good summation of McCain's Last Stand (a.k.a. the 2008 campaign).

Take advantage of an old man's folly and sign up for the pool. Quick: Before McCain changes his mind and decides to ban them again!

"Who cares?" you shout. "I want to read or re-read Matt Welch's blockbuster McCain cover story!" Well, here you go.

NEXT: Democrats for DJ Drama

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Dave Weigel, don’t tell me you have to give McCain your info to see his bracket.

    Also, how many tons of obnoxious campaign literature do you reason authors get buried under?

  2. Also, Georgetown is going to take it all.

  3. Picking all Jesuit schools for the final four would be a conservative strategy.

  4. Fools! Florida shall destroy all comers.

  5. No, Virginia is going to win the South and then lose to Georgetown.

  6. PL,

    Ohio State gets their revenge over Florida in the Finals.

  7. “Abdul | March 15, 2007, 2:32pm | #
    Picking all Jesuit schools for the final four would be a conservative strategy.”

    Georgetown. Is BC? Oral Roberts? ha. No. That was a joke.

    Holy Cross?

    Which ones are Jesuit?

    FFF: we have G’town beating Kansas. (Which is one of my least favorite combos. Just throw in an ACC team, and it’s pure Madness hell for this citizen) 🙂

    BC just beat Texas Tech. MD beat Davidson. L’ville is housing Stanford. And “Moral Orel” Roberts vs “Fight Fight Fight for Washington State” is just beginning.

    All conservative final four:
    Oral Roberts
    Hillsdale (D III honorary appointee)

  8. Jesuits are usually basically Communists who believe in God.

  9. John Carroll was a communist???

    srsly: which schools there are Jesuit? and what, um, flavor are the others? (not catholic. didn’t grow up in a catholic area, so dunno this stuff)

  10. I just can’t get into this. Just opened my bonus check and YOU PEOPLE got over 1/3 of it.

    Need to buy some ethanol and dihydrogen monoxide at the local dispenser.

  11. “Need to buy some ethanol and dihydrogen monoxide at the local dispenser.”


    Warren! You’re on! start pouring!

    Booker’s? (salivate salivate)

  12. Jesuit Schools in the Tourney

    South: Xavier
    Midwest: None
    West: Gonzaga
    East: Marquette, BC, and Georgetown.

    Villanova is Augustinian and Notre Dame is whatever it is.

  13. I have it on good authority that U-Albany will take it all. Then the world will end.

  14. Paulist, I think.

  15. Jackson State will beat Florida.

  16. McCain has all four number-one seeds going to the Final Four. That’s never happened in NCAA history

    But it’s not at all uncommon for more than one #1 seed to make the finals, and since McCain has no way of knowing which one(s) are likely to make it, picking them all is pretty reasonable.

  17. Booker’s? (salivate salivate)

    I have to stick with what’s on special, unless others are buying of course 😉

  18. All-Jesuit Final Four would be:
    Notre Dame out of the Midwest
    Georgetown out of the East
    Holy Cross out of the West
    Xavier out of the South

    Perhaps more impressive:
    add Gonzaga out of the West
    Marquette out of the East
    and somehow magically move Boston College and Holy Cross from the East to the South and Midwest and you’ve got a very pope-friendly Elite Eight

    Say what you will about that hat, but those Catholic Cats can ball…

  19. Aw, come on Weigel, you couldn’t have just taken a screenshot of his brackets and posted it here for us? I’m not filling out that form….

  20. Notre Dame isn’t Jesuit. It’s Congregation of the Holy Cross.

  21. FinFangFoom,

    I’ll default to you, my wife attended ND for a year before transferring to Georgetown, and I thought they were both Jesuit, but I could very easily be mistaken.

  22. jf,

    The same Ohio State that UF ruptured earlier this season in basketball? I think not. Prepare for further humiliations and more comments about speed and athleticism crushing the spirit of Semi-Poisonous Nuts everywhere 🙂

    Given how hard it is to get through the field unscathed, I’ll be surprised if UF actually repeats, but I do think they remain the team to beat and have a good chance of making it to the Final.

  23. VM, why do you keep switching monikers?

  24. Reason, why nothing on the switch of the date of the California primary?

  25. FFF:

    I do VikingMoose or VM. Unless I’m doing something strange, then I have something else, but the web site (merkinworld.com or happytreefriends.com) is common.

    I guess it depends if I get distracted by something shiny…

    /kicks pebble.

  26. I have the Oregon Ducks winning it all.

    UO v. Georgetown – Final Score: 67-58

  27. Reason, why nothing on the switch of the date of the California primary?

    And New Mexico “shall issue” concealed carry? Can’t smoke tobacco or fight chickens, but you are now free to defend yourself.

  28. I have Oregon and Vandy in the final, with Vandy winning. Final 82-67. I’m ahead in my pool so far…which is weird because I basically just picked randomly.

  29. His “longshot”, Washington State, is going to lose in the first round.

  30. Timothy –

    You’ve picked up on the first rule of armchair athletes: random picking works just as well 🙂

    Or you forgot to check your BLUS residuals!

    Waq: Wash st leading 55:47 with 7:40 left. You could be on to something here!

    Butler is close.

  31. So who does McCain have winning it all?

  32. Timothy,

    It is improper to refer to The Vanderbilt School of Beauty by its short name.

  33. I’ve got Oregon beating Wash. St. in the final?.go PAC 10????now minus Stanford?.

  34. Waquoit,
    The Cougars beat Oral Roberts 70 – 54.

    It seems that everytime ORU went to the basket, the opening in the hoop healed over.

  35. David,

    UofA isn’t going to make it out of the first round. The mighty Boilers are going to put a thrashing on them. Then I predict a close loss to Florida.


  36. Jesuit schools are 7 out of the 64 teams in the tournament.

    Holy Cross
    Boston College

  37. I’ve got Purdue taking out Florida next round

    and Wisconsin beating Georgetown FTW

    risky enough?

  38. Pro Libertate | March 15, 2007, 2:37pm | #

    Fools! Florida shall destroy all comers.

    I agree,
    Florida will devour all comers.

  39. Hey, we already have a confusing number of Chris’s (Chris’, Chrises?), so knock it off, Feldhaus.

  40. And one more thing: Wahoo Wa!

  41. This is an ungodly display of hypocrisy on the level of David Duke hosting Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald downloads on his website, or the PLO posting Passover Seder recipes on theirs.

    McCain no doubt meant to put some sort of provision in his bill to ban wagering on college sports that would allow incumbents to do it…assuming that this omission was an oversight, I guess this special treatment for incumbents is consistent with his ideological beliefs.

    Georgetown v. Oregon in the finals with the Hoyas winning it all…

  42. Isn’t Niagara a Jesuit school also?

    Back on topic, I don’t see McCain’s full-throttle support for the Surge as a very conservative move given the current mood of voters. As he himself said, “It’s not double-down, it’s all-in.”

  43. Never mind, according to Wikipedia, Niagara is Vincentian…

  44. If you ever wonder if a school is Jesuit or not, check here.

    Jesuit: Marquette, Boston College, Georgetown, Xavier, Creighton, Gonzaga, Holy Cross, and 21 others.

    Villanova is Augustinian. Notre Dame was founded by the Holy Cross Fathers (C.S.C.)

    Niagara University is Vincentian. They beat FAMU in the “play-in.”

    I’ve already e-mailed Mr. Reed that the Ron Paul bracket should feature only private schools.

    Now, I shall continue the misery of seeing my Marquette Warriors attempt to claw themselves out of the 14 point hole they clanked themselves into from tip-off against Spartie.


  45. War Eagle,

    Does Auburn have a basketball team? Or for that matter, a football team? 🙂

    It’s good to be the king.

  46. Just to note, Georgetown is no longer technically Jesuit. It is a “Catholic University.” This restricts some of its actions (as far as I could tell, this meant that it had to bring legal actions against Georgetown PRIDE and H*yas for Choice. Guess which of the two the University won.) There are still a bunch of Jesuits as faculty, and up until the current president, all had been Jesuits. Mostly it means that Georgetown doesn’t take its marching orders from the Jesuits.

  47. Georgetown is the fad pick to win it all, of course they are a good team. However,

    Rock…..chalk… Jay-Hawk

    KU is going to whip some ass, of course I am a bit bias since I go to school in Lawrence.

  48. Is GU’s arrangement something like Marquette’s? MU has a Board of Trustees with a majority of lay members. A Jesuit always gets named University president, though that is not required by the school’s by-laws.

    kcj, have they found a cure for abbreviational dyslexia at the University of Kansas yet? 🙂

    (Hurtin’ from the Michigan State beat-down.)

  49. Woohoo! A perfect first day with a bracket made of hate. Thank you, VCU.

  50. risky enough?

    Not bad. I’ve got WVU in my Final Four.

  51. So, do both schools that Al Gore flunked out of play each other?

  52. I see he only did a men’s bracket and not a women’s. I guess that tells us where he stands on Title IX.

  53. The ACC Terrapins sleigh the giant Gators. Paving the way for the JayHawks to soar over all.

  54. pilight,

    For the women’s I just sellect UTK to win the whole thing and then bitch all year about how they were robbed if it does not come out that way.

  55. “pilight | March 16, 2007, 8:48am | #
    I see he only did a men’s bracket and not a women’s. I guess that tells us where he stands on Title IX.”

    nah – he promised the missus he’d stay away from the college chix when he started on the viagra.

    (dammit, Marquette. Dammit ‘Zags.)

  56. So, do both schools that Al Gore flunked out of play each other?

    Yes, bad form to answer one’s self.

    Looks like one more round of wins for them both on Saturday is needed before the AGW game will be played.

    Too bad the headline can not be: The Vanderbilt School of Beauty plays Georgetown on Saturday, during freezing noreaster(sp?)!

    If there is a G_d in Heaven, the snots from DC will beat the fairy snots from Nashville if they meet.

  57. Guy, if there’s a god, the Hoyas beat the Commodores. If there ain’t, secular Vandy has a chance against Jesuit Georgetown.

    Why any libertarian would root for the University of Some Government or Another continues to elude me.

    (MI State defeats my Marquette Warriors: evidence against this god person.)

  58. I don’t bet the games, but with my school out of it, I’ll have to resort to Robinson’s Rules for Rooting and pick out replacements to back. My Dad played for `Nova. Maybe they can knock off that insufferable Government of Kentucky school.


  59. Kevrob – great rules!

    Root, root, root for the Big ten. Except for Purdue.

    That thread you post to is hilarious.

    Still think the Mike&Mike theory holds. 🙂

  60. M??se:

    The Insufficient Dozen? Only Northwestern meets my standards, and they suck at hoops.


  61. “Insufficient Dozen”. Awesome!

  62. Guy, if there’s a god, the Hoyas beat the Commodores. If there ain’t, secular Vandy has a chance against Jesuit Georgetown.

    It might not be as “secular” as you think. Gore flunked out of the Vanderbilt School of Divinity before he flunked out of Georgetown Law.

  63. The flunker game is tomorrow!

    VSB vs. GT!

  64. I’ve gotta go with the Hoyas. I’ve nothing against the Commodores, though they did inflict Lionel Ritchie on the world. They started out as a religious school (Methodist) but broke with that denomination, eventually. While they have a divinity school, they are non-denominational, the same as Harvard. VU doesn’t require undergrads to take Theology or Religion courses to fulfill degree requirements, does it?

    GU are the Big East champs, so they are carrying the banner for my school’s conference. If I had gotten a better financial aid package, I might have enrolled there. I spent three weeks there one summer at their high school debate seminar, and the Washington location was pretty impressive to a nascent policy wonk about to turn 16. (Imagine Alex P. Keaton let loose on M Street.)


    Wisconsin lost to the University of Black Jack. hee-hee!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.