So we don't have the NCAA Tournament. Well, at least not on our TV. But we have it here on Barstool. Thanks to WhatIfSports we have a website that will simulate these games for us. Every day that we're supposed to have games we'll have simulations for that round. Today we start with half of the first round, tomorrow we'll finish it up, etc. For the sake of simplicity I'm using Lunardi's bracket.
Thursday, March 19 - 1st Round Games
Before you start reading let me set the scene. You wake up Thursday morning. You wake up whenever you want because you're taking off work the next two days. At the same time the Positive Vibes Only Tour with Dave, Big Cat, Mush and Brandon Walker is getting started in Chicago with the Chicago crew. They are greeted with big time hugs from Eddie and Carl. Carl is roughly 6 Miller Lites in and WSD and Dave start arguing already. It's going to be a day. The sound hits.
We get started with the early games. Dave starts preaching positive vibes to a packed house. Everyone piles into their respective bars, couches, recliners and sportsbook. Greg Gumbel welcomes us and we all shed a tear because the greatest time of the year is here.
No. 4 Louisville vs No. 13 Vermont
'Let's go to Tampa,' Gumbel says. Eddie is the first to make a comment about Tom Brady going to Tampa. There is a quick death stare from Dave, but let's be honest no one can be mad at Eddie. We head to Louisville playing Vermont. Big Cat says 'shh we can hear Jake Marsh if you really listen.'
Winner: Louisville 79-69
No. 6 BYU vs No. 11 Indiana
A few minutes later we have the BYU/Indiana game tipping. We are reminded that Jimmer didn't get to make as deep of a run in the NCAA Tournament because his starting big guy decided to have sex with his girlfriend. Mush talks about how he had a bet about no one being suspended on BYU and Brandon Walker chimes in with how many kids he has. 'Bunch of rugrats' WSD reminds him. We're early on, people are trying to get their beaks wet with bets. We're treated to our first close game. TJ Haws, a recent dad and 42-year college senior hits the game-winning 3.
Winner: BYU 88-85
No. 2 Creighton vs No. 15 Little Rock
Winner: Creighton 88-65
No. 5 Michigan vs No. 12 Yale
Finally we have the game that's the most anticipated on Positive Vibes Only Tour. Dave opens up his jumpsuit to reveal the Fuck Yale shirt. A Go Pres Go chant breaks out. Dave gets a big smile, takes a sip of his Bud Light and says 'watches this, I'm going $50,000 on Michigan ML. These Yale nerds don't have a chance. They couldn't get into Michigan! I don't know basketball? YALE DOESN'T KNOW BASKETBALL!'
It's a back and forth game. Dave is standing and applauding. WSD is ribbing him as the game is close. After the game we get a solid 'fucking Nerds' from Dave.
Winner: Michigan 74-64
No. 7 West Virginia vs No. 10 Utah State
We are now onto the second slate of games. 'Hey, Bob Huggins is my guy.' Big Cat says as he pulls up the picture of the Storm Chasers. 'Love Huggy Bear. Gotta go all in on them.' Everyone agrees. Bob Huggins is wearing his finest pullover against Utah State as Chief realizes he kinda looks like Sam Merrill and talks about how he'd fit on the Blackhawks if he was a real athlete instead. Money is flying all around as WVU easily covers the small spread.
Winner: West Virginia 85-71
No. 3 Seton Hall vs No. 14 Eastern Washington
Seton Hall 105-79
No. 7 Providence vs No. 10 Arizona State
'Another one of my guys' Big Cat says excitedly as he goes to the kiosk. At the arena Ed Cooley is wearing his finest suit only to rip his pants again. 'This is good luck. In Vegas I was worried about ripping my pants too.' Eddie chimes in as Providence falls down early. At the same time Bobby Hurley is losing his mind on the sidelines. 'Imagine if we got a Hurley vs Hurley true face off.' Big Cat says eating a wing. 'Remy Martin. That's a guy you just can't trust' Marty says saying how he has this new method of betting names. We're going back and forth during the game. The last possession Martin has the ball at the top of the key. It's 80-79 Providence. The PVO tour is on its feet. Dribble left, cross to the right, hesitation, Martin has a step and rises from 12 feet. 'NOOOOOO YOU RAT BASTARD' Marty screams. Swish. Our first bad loss.
Winner: Arizona State 81-80
No. 8 LSU vs No. 9 Oklahoma
The last game of the afternoon slate is a doozy. We have Will Wade finally coaching a NCAA Tournament game after last year's suspension. It's another back and forth. 'This is fucking March' Jon Rothstein tweets Big Cat. He doesn't mean to swear, but he can't help it with this game. The lead is never more than 4 either way. Brady Manek is going off for Oklahoma, hitting pick and pop threes left and right. 'He'd be a great Cetlic' Dave chimes in, not realizing he kinda looks like Larry Bird just out of habit. LSU advances though. A Darius Days put back with less than 2 seconds left giving them the win. The Sportsbook in East Chicago is losing its mind. We have back to back game winners going into the 8 night games. No real upsets yet, but great games all about. This is fucking March indeed.
Winner LSU 79-78
No. 2 FSU vs No. 15 NKU
Winner: FSU 74-59
No. 3 Nova vs No. 14 Hofstra
Still scarred by Nova's 2016 title run. Rico Bosco tweets out that Nova are a bunch of frauds. He rants about how things are bigger than sports. Eddie calls him immediately. He puts him on speaker phone and talks about getting squeezed out. SEVEN YEARS, Eddie and Rico both say at the same time. During this Nova is choking a lead late. They can't inbound the ball and just keep running the same inbounds play trying to lob it to Collin Gillespie. 'See I know a guy at Hofstra that designed this play' Rico starts to say 'SHUT UP RICO' Dave yells. He's worried about hitting his Nova bet. With about 35 seconds to go the ball is swung to Jermaine Samuels, who drills a three from the wing like he did against UConn and Kansas. That gives Nova a 80-75 lead and they hold on late.
Winner: Villanova 80-77
No. 2 Kentucky vs No. 15 NDSU
Finally the game of the night, I tweet out. It's met great on Kentucky Twitter. They know I'm the normal Kentucky fan here. At the same time people are telling me Calipari is a cheater and can never win. I remind them that he has more tournament wins than any other coach since he took over Kentucky. It's a comfortable lead the entire time. NDSU cuts it to five with four to go and my Twitter is exploding. Here comes cheap Cal. He needs to pay more players Rico tweets me. I ignore him because he's wrong. Immanuel Quickley hits a dagger three with 2 minutes to go and Kentucky drills free throws late. Everyone bets against Kentucky to rub it in my face.
Winner: Kentucky 73-63
No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 16 Prairie View A&M
'Hey, where did Carl go?' Eddie asks. Everyone starts looking around as the night is here and Carl has been chugging Miller Lites, responsibly. 'Uhh, I thought he went to the bathroom' WSD answers. 'That was 3 hours ago you mouse moron' Dave says to him. They start to argue about how long it takes to go to the bathroom as Gonzaga overs are bet.
Winner: Gonzaga 97-73
No. 5 Ohio State vs No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
'Seriously, where is Carl?' This is asked by Chief, the responsible one of the Chicago crew. I spent a day with those guys last year. I can say that Chief is 100% the dad there. He plays judge, he knows when to interject. He puts it on him to find Carl.
Winner: Ohio State 92-55
No. 6 Penn State vs No. 11 NC State
Chief wanders off 'I'll go get him.' Chief walks around the casino. 'Carl!' He screams like looking for a lost puppy. 'Heyhowyadoin. Carl here' he finally gets his response. 'Carl where the hell did you find a hot tub in the middle of the casino? What the hell are you doing?' Chief asks in a calm tone. 'Chief calm down. This is Susanna's friend. She brings a hot tub to every March Madness casino. Come on in, the water is fine.' 'Carl, the Illinois game is about to tip! You need to be back here.' Chief snaps at him in full dad mode. 'Shit the Illini! I know Chief. I know all about the Illini. They are back. Did you hear that they are back? Brad Underwood is here to save Illinois. I love that guy.'
Winner: Penn State 85-70
No. 7 Illinois vs No. 10 USC
Carl and Chief make their way back and sit on the couch. Somehow Carl is now wearing a Deron Williams throwback jersey and orange helmet. 'Bang bang, we gotta take Illinois here' Eddie says. Everyone on the tour goes ALL IN on Illinois -3. Ayo gets going early. He's attacking and getting to the free throw line. Carl is doing jazz fingers for good luck. Mush starts arguing about how you pronounce Kofi Cockburn's last name Cock Burn. Everyone is devastated to find out it's pronounced Koh Burn. Mush wants to change his bet after hearing this as it doesn't fit his name model anymore. Cockburn finishes with a double-double anyways. Illinois hits with ease.
Winner: Illinois 78-65
No. 4 Oregon vs No. 13 New Mexico State
Winner: Oregon 84-77
It's a relatively calm day in the NCAA Tournament. It sets up for a wild Friday the way the season is going. That said, we had some good games. No one really cares because everyone is enjoying just watching college hoops. Imagine not having the NCAA Tournament, Big Cat chimes in. Just impossible.