2023 HawkTalk ESPN Bracket Challenge

I am in Orlando and was at yesterday’s game. A friend of mine does the color for Furman basketball radio broadcasts. He and the team are over the moon, understandably. Inexplicable why he heaved the ball like that. I will note that the last 10 minutes of the game saw UVA players looking gassed: hands on hips during free throws, etc.

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If my calculations are correct, by picking the better seeded team yesterday, you would have been tied for first place in our bracket challenge. Too many people including me picking upsets that didn’t happen. Then again, I did pick Princeton.:grin:

I pick Purdue every year to win it. It always ends with me not winning the bracket challenge.

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Wait…wait…wait! Is this the second ever 16 Beats 1 in the tourney? From a team I suggested sounded like Emily Dickinson’s cousin. Or a porno actor? A team that frankly, should be watching Merrimack? This is bananas.

Was feeling good about my 96 percentile. With Purdue winning it all.

This game probably didn’t help Kent much, as IU can be pretty lackadaisical at times. Probably not tonight.

When you have Drake in your brackets

When Coral Gables Tech wins wins

Yes. The first 1 seed to lose was UVA. I was at the game.


Merrimack got the Bellarmine treatment.

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Sackman ran into DICK in the concourse after the first game.

Sack: These next two games probably won’t be very good (Marquette and Purdue).
DICK: You never know.

DICK is wise. He knew we would be seeing history. So glad I got to see that live.


Yeah, they can tear down Nationwide Arena now. There will never be a more memorable sporting event held there.

Did you catch Penny Hardaway’s water bottle?

I quit :blush:

I am proud to say that two of my friends and I started the first “ FDU, FDU,FDU,” chant after FDU took an early 2 point lead. Those two guys have been driven for years with the desire to see a 16 beat a one. We felt like we were cheated a few years ago when #16 UNC Asheville was leading #1 Syracuse with under 2 minutes to go and the ref just handed the game to the Orange with some questionable calls. Anyway, we were all pumped up cheering FDU on.

Always good to see you Sack, and Martin, I did not realize you were there or I would have looked for you.

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Did the FDU pep band look familiar?

Maybe I’ll run into you today. I’ll be there until probably halftime of the 2nd game, then have to drive back to Michigan. Funny enough, I’ve seen FDU in the tournament before, as a 16 playing 1-loss Illinois in Indy in 2005 and FDU led by 6 at halftime. For 20 minutes, those of who were left in the old RCA Dome talked about the dream possibility that FDU would be the first 16 to win, but Illinois played well enough in the 2nd half to win by 10 or so. If they win today, that would be incredible. FAU is a tougher matchup for them.

Cool story!

I never attended the University of Dayton but I played two seasons in the UD Flyers Pep Band while in high school. The UD band director back then realized he had 7 home games over the December holidays when most of the members of his band were going to be away. He asked one of our Centerville alumni in his band to round up some volunteers from the Elks’ band. Our high school was 10 miles from the UD campus. Several of us stepped up.

After the holidays, the band director liked us do much he invited us to stay on for the remainder of the season. When the season ended he invited us back for the following year - my high school senior year.

That season was pure magic. As we played the UD fight song in our section under the basket next to the Marianist Brothers, the Flyers put together a sensational season and qualified for the Big Dance.

What happened then was purely shocking. The Flyers proceeded to beat Western Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina en route to a championship game matchup with Kareem Abdul Jabber’s UCLA Bruins in Louisville. The Bruins won that one by 15.

Our Centerville Elks de facto Flyers band members weren’t allowed to travel with the college band but all of us felt we were an integral part of the Flyers’ magical run.


Even though I don’t watch a whole lot of regular season basketball, other than Miami games, I always think I have the formula to pick a good bracket for the tournament. Do a little homework, pick some upsets and call for some surprises. And I’m generally wrong. This year I went with some upsets but also decided to go almost chalk in the final four and look what’s happening. It’s madness I tell you, madness. :hushed:

Very cool story. Thanks for sharing.

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I think Florida Atlantic is the 7th best basketball school in Florida. I’d probably slot them between Florida Gulf Coast and Florida International.