We often underestimate the wisdom of animals. Not only do they know about earthquakes before they happen, dogs and cats have somehow negotiated a deal where we clean up their shit and feed them in exchange for being able to pet them. And, of course, Olive the Hairless Cat went 11-for-16 in her picks yesterday, including calling the VCU over Wichita State upset. Your bracket may be doing better, but that just means you are marginally better at picking games than a hairless cat is. God help you if you are doing worse. Here are her picks for day 2, as well as her picks for Sunday’s second-round games:
Michigan State (1) vs. LIU Brooklyn (16)
Michigan State is really good at basketball. LIU’s point guard raps better than anyone on MSU’s team though. Probably.
Olive’s pick: LIU
Memphis (8) vs. Saint Louis (9)
Saint Louis’s mascot is the "Billiken," which was apparently a figurine that fueled a "Pet Rock"-like craze back in the early 20th century. No one knows why it represents the team, but it looks like a character from that Gargoyles TV show from the 90s. Anyone else remember that? No?
Olive’s pick: St. Louis
Olive’s pick for LIU vs. St. Louis on Sunday: LIU
Cincinnati (6) vs. Texas (11)
Cincinnati got in a fight with Xavier earlier in the season, which was awesome (and regrettable, shameful, a black eye on the sport, etc.). Texas has one outstanding player with an outstanding name, J’Covan Brown, and underrated jerseys. Look at that color—doesn’t it remind you of the ochre-stained dirt that Texans have died defending, or something?
Olive’s pick: Cincinnati
Florida State (3) vs. St. Bonaventure (14)
St. Bonaventure won the A10, which may or may not be a ski hill in Austria or some sort of futuristic steak.
Olive’s pick: Florida State
Olive’s pick for Cincinnati vs. Florida State on Sunday: Florida State
San Diego St. (6) vs. NC State (11)
The Wolfpack have the coolest name out of every team playing in the tournament, save the Virginia Money Rockets. The Aztecs are not as impressive as their record would indicate.
Olive’s pick: NC State
Georgetown (3) vs. Belmont (14)
Georgetown’s defense is the best in the Midwest bracket, while Belmont nearly beat Duke at home and are one of the best low seeds in the tourney, so expect a decent matchup.
Olive’s pick: Belmont
Olive’s pick for NC State vs. Belmont on Sunday: NC State
Florida (7) vs. Virginia (10)
Virginia plays slower than treacle; Florida is comparatively an NBA team, tempo-wise. So this game will either be fun to watch or not.
Olive’s pick: Virginia
Missouri (2) vs. Norfolk St. (15)
CBS’s Dennis Dodds has picked Missouri to win it all. Olive has picked Norfolk State to upset them, so if Missouri loses, Dennis Dodds isn’t as smart as a cat.
Olive’s pick: Norfolk State
Olive’s pick for Virginia vs. Norfolk State on Sunday: Virginia
Notre Dame (7) vs. Xavier (10)
It’s a showdown between two of the country’s most visible Catholic schools—has anyone asked Rick Santorum, the country’s most visible Catholic, who he’s supporting? He’ll probably say something about “the gays” because that’s what he says in response to every question. (Man, Catholics must hate that they’re associated with that dude, huh?)
Olive’s pick: Xavier
Temple (5) vs. South Florida (12)
South Florida won its play-in game in ripping fashion and its defense is among the best in the country. Expect ugly basketball.
Olive’s pick: Temple
Michigan (4) vs. Ohio (13)
Opposite paths to the tourney here: Michigan beat Michigan State (1-seed) and Ohio State (2-seed) but stumbled during the Big Ten tourney while Ohio had a decent season but streaked to win the MAC and get an automatic bid.
Olive’s pick: Michigan
Olive’s pick for Temple vs. Michigan on Sunday: Michigan
Duke (2) vs. Lehigh (15)
Duke fans are obnoxious, but you’d be obnoxious too if you won everything in sight for years. Losers are more fun to hang out with—Italians haven’t won a war since the Roman days and everyone loves going to Venice and having wine-fueled orgies with those smooth-chested men and hairy women.
Olive’s pick: Duke
Olive’s pick for Xavier vs. Duke on Sunday: Duke
St. Mary’s (CA) (7) vs. Purdue (10)
St. Mary’s junior point guard Matthew Dellavedovai is Australian and the best player on his team. If St Mary’s won, it’ll be fun to see him do the post-game interview in his accent. Shit, they don’t have post-game interviews with the players in college, do they? They should.
Olive’s pick: St. Mary’s
Kansas (2) vs. Detroit (15)
Kansas doesn’t have a McDonald’s All-American, while Detroit does, though Kansas is a better team and should make it to the Elite Eight, and also is not in Detroit.
Olive’s pick: Kansas
Olive’s pick for St. Mary’s vs. Kansas on Sunday: Kansas
North Carolina (1) vs. Lamar (16)
Lamar might be the best No. 16 seed in the last 20 years, if you keep track of that sort of thing. Unfortunately, they’re still a 16 seed.
Olive’s pick: North Carolina
Creighton (8) vs. Alabama (9)
Creighton’s coach isn’t happy with his team’s seeding—the team won 28 games—but c’mon dude, you can’t expect a better seed when no one even knows where your school is (Virginia?).
Olive’s pick: Creighton
Olive’s pick for North Carolina vs. Creighton on Sunday: North Carolina
Here are Olive's complete Sweet 16 picks:
Check back next week for more of Olive’s picks. Remember—she’s got as much hair as Dick Vitale, but is way less annoying.
Previously – Part 1