February Madness – Penn Basketball’s NCAA Tourney Chances (Or, Oh God, I Hope They Give Us Washington State And Not Memphis)

Penn is in control of its own destiny after a Yale loss last week to Cornell and a victory last night over Cornell. Five games left – at Harvard and Dartmouth, home to Brown and Yale, and at Princeton. In all likelihood the title will come down to Penn vs. Yale at the Palestra. A win there means we can lose any other game and still have 2 losses against Yale and Cornell’s 3. A loss likely spells a playoff against Yale for the Ivy League title.

I will be rooting for every single possible upset over the next few weeks besides my dear old Penn. I hope Winthrop goes down in its conference tourney, I hope Appalachian State loses, I hope Nevada, Gonzaga, and Holy Cross, lose, I hope Boston U wins the CAA tourney and Iona wins the MAAC tournament. The more upsets in the one-bid conferences, the more at-larges get eaten up and the more teams get seeded below Penn, giving us a better shot at winning against our first round opponent. In Penn’s range, here are teams I’d love to play and teams I’d hate:

Memphis: I have better chances of getting action on a Monday than Penn has of beating Memphis. The same can be said for Kansas, who beat a not-terrible Nebraska by 53.

Texas A&M: Big, strong, athletic, we’re screwed.

Butler: Butler is a very good team that for the large part will beat inferior opposition. Even if they did lose to Illinois-Chicago, who we beat.

Clemson: I would not be that happy about playing Clemson. A very athletic quick team that will expose our lack of defense and frontcourt. However they have struggled lately.

Washington State: A team that plays grinding defense and runs the clock 35 seconds a possession. Sounds familiar, except these guys can win every now and then. We can beat Wazzu, especially if it is a low scoring game.

Air Force: I am dancing inside if we land Air Force. They will underperform in the NCAA Tournament.

Duke: Duke sucks, plus they rejected my application last April. I am also dancing inside if we get to play Duke. Ibby Jaaber will rip Greg Paulus for 10 steals. Paulus will never be able to show his face again.

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