Marken Madness: The War is Almost Over

Last week, I tried to foresee the fate of 32 teams; every single team on the left side of the bracket. 

In the process, I made a royal fool of myself as a college hoops writer and almost got Total Frat Move banned from the Internet for promoting such moronic ideas. Yes, I put in writing that Texas will win the National Championship. 

It’s a miracle I wasn’t kneecapped last week, let alone fired. 

I was given a second chance, however, as there was enough integrity in my original premonition of the tournament’s results. But I am not a prophet. As Thanos once said: “I’m a survivor.”

Although I did see a red dot appear on my chest this morning when I walked out of my house. It vanished quickly after. Perhaps I’m on borrowed time.

But now, rather than 32, only 8 teams remain under my jurisdiction. A much more manageable mouthful. 

It is time for us to say hello… to the end.

Gonzaga vs. Creighton:

As I stated throughout the tournament’s entirety, the only thing that can stop Gonzaga is… Gonzaga. Going to the Final Four is their destiny as this is their tournament to lose. Do not bet against Gonzaga until they reach the Final Four, where we will reevaluate them in comparison to those that remain. 

USC vs. Oregon:

Oh, how the universe toys with us all. Here we are, at the end of time, standing on the ashes and cinders of fallen teams… all so that we can watch a PAC-12 matchup in the Sweet 16. This was a scenario I predicted for the BIG-10. What a joke my conference turned out to be.

USC and Oregon, however, are nothing of humorous matters, as both of them absolutely demoralized the teams they played this past weekend. When predicting this outcome, the first thing one might do is look to the annals of recent history, as these two faced off twice this year. Interestingly enough, they split their games, each winning one game a piece. USC did crush Oregon in one matchup, but I think that game acts as a red herring. In fact, the whole world just saw USC decimate Kansas… but that was because they shot 61% from behind the arc.

I think I’m going against the grain and I’m going to ride with Oregon. They just kind of survive in March year in and year out and I don’t think they plan on losing until they face Gonzaga in the Elite Eight. 

Michigan vs. Florida State:

While I love this Florida State team, I was very wrong about Michigan. Even without Isaiah Livers, Michigan is a well-oiled machine on every front. Now they did show signs of vulnerability against LSU, but that was expected. Remember I predicted them to lose that game. The fact that they are still alive is an accomplishment in itself, outlasting the likes of fellow No. 1 seed Illinois, as well as any other Big-10 team. I like Michigan this game and I wouldn’t hesitate with it either. 

UCLA vs. Alabama: 

Going into the elite eight, there will only be one PAC-12 team left in the entire tournament. It will be Oregon. UCLA’s magical run ends here. Alabama has the offensive firepower and defensive efficiency to win the National Championship… and you better believe they know it too. Congrats to UCLA on an incredible season and somewhat of a Cinderella story this spring, but I predict an absolute massacre will take place in the form of Alabama kicking the living piss out of UCLA. No fairy godmothers will come to UCLA’s aid either. Just your classic tale of Cinderella meeting the sidewalk.

My Final Four:

As I’ve stated throughout this entire month, I think Gonzaga walks into this Four and matches up against… Michigan. Despite how hot Alabama is right now, I think Michigan’s got a lot to prove and even more to accomplish with this squad. In addition, the longer they survive, the greater the potentiality in which Isaiah Livers returns. 

I know I’m not supposed to talk about the right side until we get to the Final Four, but let me just say who I think is going real quick. I don’t want that red dot on my chest to come back again.

I like Baylor and Loyola-Chicago coming out of the right side, where Gonzaga and Baylor will ultimately face off in the final game and complete the mystery of the game they never played. 

Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. These two teams were destined to play each other and I believe that they will, and it will be one of the most entertaining matchups in tournament history.

And you can take that to the bank.

Written by Henry Marken

I lost my pinky finger at age 4, but then found it again at a soup kitchen when I was 15. Survivor of a wild turkey attack (2008). I went to the University of Phoenix before it was cool to do college online. Currently in a lawsuit with Crayola after a devastating purple crayon incident.

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