Don’t mean to rain on anyone’s March Madness parade, but the odds of someone filling out a perfect NCAA bracket sheet are nine quintillion-to-one. Math never was my strong suit, but I can count, and I discovered that there are 19 digits in a quintillion. Never mind picking every game correctly. I’d be happy if I could just predict the right national champion for a change.
With those daunting odds in mind, I’ve finished my bracket. I wound up being partially true to my school, penciling in my alma mater, Syracuse, for a Final Four trip. But I’d feel a lot better about that pick if I knew more about Arinze Onuaku’s injured right knee. If he’s healthy, I feel good about the Orange men making it to Indianapolis, and I could see them winning the national championship if they are playing at the top of their game. But if A.O. isn’t A.O.K., I think Kansas State will emerge from the West Region.
My final Final Four has Kansas beating Syracuse and West Virginia beating Villanova. And I like Kansas to win it all, say by a 74-70 score. My early-round upsets have 13th seed Siena knocking off No. 4 Purdue and 13th seed Murray State upsetting fourth-seed Vanderbilt. Let me know who you like?
*The thing I like about the Bills recent free agent signings of linebacker Andra Davis and defensive lineman Dwan Edwards is that they are big men with experience in the 3-4 defense. At 251 pounds, Davis gives Buffalo the size they need at the inside linebacker spot, and Edwards checks in at 290. Both have been productive players, and although neither is a game-changer, they represent a start in the right direction as the Bills transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4.
*Tickets for the 2010 Hall of Fame Classic, featuring legends such as Bob Feller, Goose Gossage, Harmon Killebrew and Gary Carter, go on sale Saturday morning at 9 at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. The game will be played at Doubleday Field on Father’s Day, June 20, and if it’s anything like last year’s contest, it will be a real treat. In that game, the 90-year-old Feller – the oldest living Hall-of-Famer took the mound and delivered several pitches. Talk about a priceless moment. Should tickets remain after Saturday, they will be offered via the phone and Internet at 9 a.m. March 29. For more information, call 607-547-0397 or visit www.baseballhall.org .
*Finally, I’d like to wish a Happy 90th Birthday to Teresa Peluso from my hometown of Rome, N.Y. “Tre,’’ as she’s known to everyone, has been like a second mother to me through the years. Nobody – and, I mean, nobody – makes better home-made sauce or meatballs than “Tre.’’ Have a great day, my friend, and here's wishing you many more birthday celebrations to come.