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Tim Dougherty | Thursday, March 17, 2005

Today, as this year’s Cinderellas dash your hopes at taking home $20,000 in that friendly pool, be cool. Ev’ry lit’ll thing is gonna be alright, mon. Gab isn’t the only gift we get on St. Patty’s Day. Foresight is one of those lesser qualities handed down to us by the Celts (a little thing I like to call Notre Damus, my friends), though lads throughout the ages have often forgotten this thanks to the lethal combination of Guinness, Bailey’s and the IRA.

In my virtuosity, I’ve kept myself free of these hazards solely to keep you from sweating out those finals moments.

Illinois will have a Fairleigh easy time today and the defense, led by Luther Head’s thievery, will take the Illini into the elite eight.

Elsewhere in the Chicago regional, Southern Illinois will have the second coolest nickname in the tournament. Gael? Fine by me, but, inspired by Iditarod champion lead dogs “Sox” and “Blue” (divinely referring to the regional city’s two most awesome baseball teams in that order), the Salukis will advance.

In the Albuquerque regional, though, the number one-seeded Huskies of Washington will be too focused on the $500,000 they just gave their old football coach. That, combined with Nate Robinson’s parents, will provide too much distraction for their star point guard to overcome, and even an Iron Will won’t help these dogs make it through the weekend.

Unfortunately for them, things will get worse when their football team sets an NCAA record for biggest lost ever on Sept. 24.

On a related note, 12 seed George Washington will not uphold their end of the five-12 jinx and will ruin the possibility of one of the most American sweet sixteen match-ups ever – forcing us to focus on West Virginia’s six-foot, 11-inch giant Kevin Pittsnogle as our chief source of amusement.

The Syracuse regional will be boring because Bonnie Bernstein said so in SIOC. However, the internet told me, “Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, (Pan-ther), (Pan-ther).” No scary snakes here. Wisconsin will win on Friday.

UNC will get to the Final Four. But, once there, they will immediately lose as they always do whenever I root for them.

In Austin, Cincinnati will beat Iowa because of the strong play of seniors Jason Maxiell and Nick Williams. However, neither will graduate and will spend the rest of their lives playing basketball in Europe with all of their old teammates.

Vermont will still be mad at the disrespect the tournament committee showed them in its 13 seed pairing with four-seeded Syracuse, but in my last clairvoyant assurance to you, Vermont will lose in a hard-fought game. Redemption will be its, however, by cutting down the nets as the grand master champion of coolest tournament nickname, the Catamounts.

Oh yeah, St. Patrick’s Day. Erin Go Bragh. Have fun. Carpe diem. I’ll be working in The Observer office all night, missing the greatest holiday of the year, the greatest basketball day of the year, and “The O.C.” Talk about Paddy’s Lament. C’est la vie. At least I’m not French.