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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

March Madness, Part 3: Bracket Breakdown - East

Welcome back to our coverage of March Madness. Previously our guest commentators, Gumby Bryant and Mad Johnnen, helped us break down the exciting 'North' region of the iNCAA bracket. Now we're going to look at the 'East' region - I'll let Gumby and Mad get right to it:


North Region


Oh, and if you haven’t gotten the whole bracket yet, or haven’t filled it out, here's the entire, printable bracket.

Gumby Bryant: Welcome back to our exclusive iNCAA coverage. I’m Gumby Bryant…uh…no relation to Kobe…and here’s Mad Johnnen…

Mad Johnnen: Welcome back everyone…

Gumby Bryant: Ok, let’s cut right to the chase – is the ‘East’ region the strongest in the iNCAA bracket? I’m starting to think so…

Mad Johnnen: Well, hold on a minute, let’s back up for a minute – I want to take a moment to introduce anyone who’s just joining us to the iNCAA tournament.

Gumby Bryant: Ok, but make it quick, we’ve got a lot to cover!

Mad Johnnen: The iNCAA tournament is a ‘last-man standing’ style tournament to determine who has the most control over Iraq at the end of the tournament. This tournament lasts 1 year and has six rounds (thus, each round lasts 2 months). At the end of each round a determination will be made as to which of the two teams has more control and authority in Iraq. For example, if you look at the ‘East’ region, #1 seed Theocratic Shiites is up against #16 seed Christian Iraqis – at the end of April we will determine who has more control and that team will move on to the second round.

Gumby Bryant: Hah – we all know who’s moving forward from that match-up.

Mad Johnnen: Well, yeah – the Christians are going to get crushed like this is a modern-day crusade!

Gumby Bryant: That’s what makes the current turn of events so interesting. Not many people realize that life was actually pretty good for Christians under Saddam Hussein. Ever since the invasion Iraqi Christians have been pretty much under siege with church bombings, kidnappings, and killings.

Mad Johnnen: Now, wasn’t the Deputy Prime Minister under Saddam Hussein a Christian?

Gumby Bryant: Yup, many people forget that Tariq Aziz, basically the number two guy in Iraq under Saddam, was a Christian.

Mad Johnnen: Well that’s too bad for Christian Iraqis – they had a good run.

Gumby Bryant: Yeah, you could say that they’ve been the ‘Cinderella story’ of the past 30 years – I think they’re going down and out after the first round.

Mad Johnnen: Now, how about that #1 seed for Coach Sistani’s team?

Gumby Bryant: That was pretty much a given – the Theocratic Shiites are arguably the strongest team in this whole tournament after U.S. Army. But, in addition to the #1 seed that the Theocratic Shiites deserved, I think they also got really favorable placement within the ‘East’ region.

Mad Johnnen: Come again? I was thinking the exact opposite – I think the ‘East’ region is potentially upset city…

Gumby Bryant: How’s that?

Mad Johnnen: Well, bear with me here, take a look at the top half of the ‘East’ region – you’ve got two other really strong teams in that part: Moqtada al-Sadr and Ba’ath Party

Gumby Bryant: But only one of those teams can move up to challenge the Theocratic Shiites…

Mad Johnnen: Sure, but whichever team moves up to challenge them in round 3 will have the benefit of a bruising second round match that will get them in shape for the Theocratic Shiites.

Gumby Bryant: And who do you think will move up to challenge Coach Sistani’s squad?

Mad Johnnen: I think Ba’ath Party, though seeded much lower than I thought they deserved, will move up and could possibly upset the Theocratic Shiites.

Gumby Bryant: Wow! I didn’t even think they could get by Moqtada al-Sadr in the second round!

Mad Johnnen: al-Sadr had his spark last April, but he’s really lost a lot of traction since then. You have to remember that the Ba’ath Party is really well organized and knows all the tricks of the game – they’ve been number 1 in Iraq for 30 years.

Gumby Bryant: Well, I guess you have a point, but I’m not sure I see them upsetting Coach Sistani…

Mad Johnnen: Well, it could happen – also take a look at the bottom half of the ‘East’ region. I was really surprised that the Theocratic Sunnis got a #2 seed!

Gumby Bryant: I guess you could say that was the shocker of this region – the Kurds were really unhappy at the fact that they were given a #3 seed.

Mad Johnnen: But that’s ok, they have a chance to take out their anger on the Theocratic Sunnis in the 3rd round.

Gumby Bryant: Only if they get past the Saddam Loyalists in the second round…

Mad Johnnen: What? I was going to say that the Kurds were going to roll over the Saddam Loyalists, they sure have some vengeance to work out of their system!

Gumby Bryant: Hey, you can’t underestimate the Saddam Loyalists – remember, they were the ones who started the current insurgency way back in March 2003!

Mad Johnnen: Granted…they are a tough, scrappy little team.

Gumby Bryant: Well, in conclusion, Mad, give me your pick to win the ‘East’ region…

Mad Johnnen: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Ba’ath Party will make an astounding comeback to win it all in the East.

Gumby Bryant: That’s definitely a daring prediction – I’m going to play it safe and vote that Coach Sistani and the Theocratic Shiites stomp through the East. With that, we’re off – stay tuned for some more bracket breakdowns next time. We actually have a surprise for viewers…

Mad Johnnen: What’s that?

Gumby Bryant: Next time we’re going to break down the ‘West’ region and we have booked Coach George W. Bush of U.S. Army to give us some insight into the ‘West’ region and the whole iNCAA tournament.

Mad Johnnen: Should be exciting – stay tuned!