The hope when we first decided to enlist Olive the Hairless Cat as our Picks Expert was that she’d demonstrate a hitherto untapped ability to predict the outcomes of athletic competitions and make us rich enough to get both drunk and high in a single night, instead of having to pick one or the other. Alas, ‘twas not to be. So far, Olive’s picks have been roughly on par with that of a coin. In her last picks column she predicted only one of the Final Four teams correctly, claiming in her smug hairless way that Indiana would upset Kentucky, which, c’mon. But look, we’ve got this hairless cat, we’ve got these items representing the mascots of the remaining teams, what else are we going to do but have Olive pick the last three games?
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals
Normally, the teams meeting this late in the tournament are there through a combination of luck, three-pointers, shady recruiting practices, and luck—meaning, you don’t have many teams with much history between them facing off. But here we’ve not only got a pair of schools just down the road from one another (or so we assume—we have no idea how big the state of Kentucky is), we have in Rick Pitino a coach who built up one program (Kentucky) into “the Roman Empire of college basketball” (his own ever-humble words) only to have to face the monster he created. Storylines! Drama! WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT IN THE ALWAYS EXCITING ARENA OF SPORTING COMPETITION!
John Calipari, the Kentucky coach, tried to downplay the rivalry by basically saying his incredibly talented squad doesn’t really know who they’re playing or where they are. But even if the kids don’t care about the bourbon wars (or whatever this rivalry is called), the coaches do: Calipari himself said that the state only has one college basketball program and Pitino called him a a paranoid idiot in return. Hopefully the pair of coaches who seem to honestly dislike each other at this point can impart that lesson of "pure hatred" upon their young charges.
Olive’s pick: Kentucky
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Kansas Jayhawks
This is a less exciting rivalry. Pretend we just put some statistics here so we can go right ahead to the part where we talk about how stupid these mascots are. First of all, the Kansas Jayhawks are not really birds, because a Jayhawk is not a real kind of bird, what kind of moron are you? In reality, the word “Jayhawk” comes from Kansas’s rich history of murdering people from Missouri in the years leading up to and during the Civil War. For some reason, the University of Kansas has downplayed this association and adopted a made-up bird that looks like it was in a sorta-racist cartoon as their mascot. "Don’t turn your back on this bird," the school’s website advises. (Many universities these days want their mascots to be thought of as untrustworthy characters.)
The OSU Buckeyes are named after—what? Nuts or something? This is stupid. We will represent them as a bag of nuts because we don’t care.
Olive’s pick: Kansas
The Championship Game: Kentucky vs. Kansas
Not to get too deep into analysis, but the thing about Kentucky is that the team has a bunch of really big, athletic, fast guys who can shoot a ball into a hoop. This is highly desirable when you are playing the sport of basketball. Some other teams also have players with these characteristics, but not as many of them, and also Kentucky has Anthony Davis, who is superlative in many ways and will probably go on to an NBA career where rappers will reference his easy-to-rhyme name. But maybe Kansas could win? Olive thinks so, anyway, but we’re through taking her fucking advice.
Olive’s pick: Kansas
Previously - Olive the Hairless Cat Picks March Madness-Part III