Sunday, March 12, 2006

In filling out the NCAA brackets, there are some schools that are just fun to write in. I especially enjoy abbvreviating schools by including the last one or two syllables:

  • Villanova -> 'Nova
  • Arizona -> 'Zona
  • Syracuse -> 'Cuse
  • Gonzaga -> 'Zaga

Or for maximum fun, there's the one with one letter, then the last syllable:

  • Louisville -> L'Ville

Also, fun are the schools for which you can write the first syllable then a nicknamey end:

  • Cincinnati -> Cincy
  • Missouri -> Mizzou

Then there's the shools which have a spcific abbrevitation that you can always use.

  • North Carolina -> UNC
  • Kansas -> KU
  • Kentucky -> UK

I'll steer clear of the question of who the "real" USC is for now.

The U- nicknames are also fun...

  • Massacussetts -> UMass
  • Connecticut -> UConn

UConn is especially fun since the team's nickname (the Huskies) is derived from this abbreviation.

Other schools are kind enough to be generally known by their initials (UNLV, UCLA), and the most successful college basketball program of the bracket era had a four letter name and needs no introduction.

This led me to wonder if the "fun" teams are overrepresented in people's bracket picks. Are teams that have no obvious fun abbreviation, like, say, Illinois or Arkansas or Marquette, are underpicked. Do some people fill out their brackets, consider picking Wisconsin-Milwaukee in an upset, then think about writing it in the tiny bracket space, and figure, "Ah -- screw it!" and go back to chalk?
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