Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Our Final Four Picks

Not a stellar year of picking in the Todd family. Alyson’s bracket didn’t get saved, so we don’t know what her picks really were. Mihret never got the chance to pick. But we’ll definitely make sure she gets to pick hers next year. The way ours panned out this year, she’ll have no problem winning our pool in the very near future!

My Final Four (2011)
Ohio State
Duke
Notre Dame
BYU

Duke over Notre Dame

Even better? I only had one of the real Final Four teams (Kentucky, UConn, VCU, Butler) make it to the Sweet 16. I had Kentucky losing to Princeton in a first round upset (and I was oh-so-close. Too bad that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades). I did, however, have VCU upset Georgetown and Butler beat Old Dominion – neither of these were picked by the majority of the “experts.”

Aiden’s Picks
Ohio State
San Diego State
Notre Dame
BYU

Ohio State over Notre Dame

Christy’s Picks
Syracuse
Duke
Purdue
Florida

Duke over Purdue

Of course, in the Todd household, we’re pulling for Butler all the way. But with our recent track record, I doubt any of us would have the guts to say they’re going to win. I’m thinking Butler Blue II will appreciate that.

Who did you pick? Any of them still around?

Who are you cheering for in this year’s Final Four?

Oh yeah…

GO DAWGS!!

My Final Four

I’m a little late in posting this. It’s been a busy two weeks (including a funeral for a good friend, a quick trip to Brown County, and a conference in Chicago). I hope you understand.

But…

that doesn’t mean I didn’t have the time to fill out a bracket for this year’s tournament. And although I haven’t been able to park myself in front of the TV to watch the first two rounds, I’ve been able to keep tabs on the majority of games through other forms of media. Radio has definitely been my friend this year!

So – here’s my bracket in a nutshell:

Upsets I got right:
Cornell over Temple
Murray St. over Vanderbilt
Butler over Syracuse (Sweet 16)

Upsets I had but got wrong:
Richmond over Villanova (round 2) – shoulda gone with St. Mary’s
Texas A & M over Duke (I knew Purdue would win Round 1. Didn’t think they could pull off another win. I was almost right.)

And, like almost everyone else in the country, I had Kansas beating Northern Iowa. I really messed up that whole region.

Final Four
Kansas
Butler
Kentucky
Baylor

Championship Game:
Kansas over Kentucky.

Yeah. I got that one wrong (obviously). On the bright side, three of my Final Four made the Elite Eight. We’ll see how they do today and tomorrow.

Who did you pick for the Final Four? It’s OK if you got them wrong already. No one will laugh at you (I promise). After all, my national champion went out in the second round. Who am I to laugh at anyone?

Hoops Highlights – Day 3

I love this weekend!  There were some absolutely phenomenal games today.  More overtime games today than any other single day in the history of the NCAA tournament.  That’s how good it was.  That’s what makes this weekend so amazing every year. 

Memories from today:

* Yesterday (I forgot to post this on the Day 2 highlight) I swear I heard Billy Packer say a player “needs to expose himself.”  He was talking about a player from UNLV right after Creighton took the lead (or tied it…I can’t remember).  I know he was trying to say that he needed to get open and create opportunities.  But expose himself?  Idiot (Grandpa would be so proud of me, wouldn’t he?).

* Now everyone knows why Ohio State is scared to play Xavier every year.  Xavier is just that good.  I figured the game would be a blowout, so didn’t object when Christy suggested we take the kids cosmic bowling.  Of course, I had the people at the snack bar change the TV from the Weather Channel to the game – just so I could keep tabs.  I’ve lived here through seven NCAA tournaments and it still amazes me how little the public pays attention to the games.  I remember teachers rolling in TVs during class and watching the games in the cafeteria at school in Indiana.  I’ve just taken it for granted that if a TV is on during March Madness, it’s going to be turned to the game.  That’s not always the case here.  That’s still very foreign to me.  Anyway, at this bowling alley, there are TVs between the scoreboards above the lanes.  With about five minutes to go in the OSU/Xavier game, they turned those units to the game, too.  I was torn during the game.  I’m a Big Ten kind of guy. I have Ohio State going to the championship game in my brackets.  I have a soft spot for the Musketeers, though.  It’s kind of the same reasons I pull for Butler whenever they’re not playing IU.  I was excited to see that Xavier had the lead.  It was my turn to bowl when OSU had the ball during the final seconds of regulation.  No one was bowling.  The place was rather quiet.  All of a sudden, the entire bowling alley yelled, “OH!!” as the Buckeye knocked down the three-pointer to tie the game.  It was a great game!

* Vandy beat Wazzu in double-overtime.  Wow!  That’s all I can say.

* Did I mention Billy Packer’s an idiot?

* Today’s St. Patrick’s Day.  That means that the sports bar I watched the IU/Gonzaga game at was hosting a huge St. Patrick’s Day party.  Crowded.  Nowhere to sit.  Too smoky.  I left.  None of the other places were showing the game.  I listened to it on the radio until the UNC/MSU game was over.  I love listening to games on the radio, even when it’s not Don Fisher and Todd Leary.  Watched the end of the game at home.

* 13 points and an 11 minute scoring drought in the first half.   Great show, Hoosiers!  Sounds like a leftover from the Davis era.  Hopefully Sampson will knock that out of them in time for next year.

* Aiden stayed up to watch the rest of the game with me.  He got almost as excited as I did – especially when the Hoosiers tied it up.  I started jumping up and down.  He gave me a high-five.  Then he stood right by me and mimicked my body language.  Woah – that was scary.  Cool, but scary.

* Of course I’m disappointed that IU lost, but they weren’t supposed to win anyway.  I think the most frustrating thing is that they had the victory in their grasp and they panicked. 

There’s more I want to post, but this entry is becoming entirely too long and it’s entirely too late.  I’m sure I’ll write more tomorrow.  It’s days like today that make this – say it with me – the most wonderful time of the year!

My Pilgrimage

Muslims have Mecca.

Jews and Christians share Jerusalem.

Roman Catholics have Rome.

Mormons have Salt Lake City.

Republicans and Democrats have their National Conventions.

Every basketball fan that grows up in the state of Indiana must eventually make a pilgrimage to Hinkle Fieldhouse. I finally did tonight. Aiden, kmtodd23, and I went to the UE/Butler game at the hallowed house of hoops. Although the Aces lost (they had the lead down to 6 with 3:00 to go in the game, then squandered their chances with ticky-tack fouls), it was a great experience.

After the game, they opened up the floor for people to play basketball and to walk around. Aiden was in heaven. I’ll post pictures as soon as I can. I’ll post more thoughts about the stadium with the pictures. Let’s just say that the place oozes with a mystique unlike any other place I’ve been.

And yes, I stood on the floor, looked up at the rafters and yelled, “Hickory!”

And yes, I am a dork.

Mr. James

Edge who?

I hope he enjoys the natural grass in Arizona. You know – the field that’s supposed to add a few years to his career. That, of course, won’t help him since he doesn’t have an O-line to save his life.

A few years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if many Colts fan said the same thing about the newest superstar: “Addai who?”

But for now, he should enjoy the spotlight.

Speaking of enjoying the spotlight, Butler is ranked #19 in the AP (#18 in ESPN/USA Today poll), after their incredible run in the NIT. It’s their highest ranking since 1949. Not bad for a team that was supposed to finish in the middle of the Horizon League.

Evansville plays at Butler on December 22. I think we’ll be back in Indy by then. That might just have to be a game Aiden and I go to.

Torn

Having grown up an Aces fan, I remember the heated rivalries with Xavier and Butler when all three were in the same conference. During the season, I hated the Musketeers and the Bulldogs. If they happened to be in post-season play, I would cheer for them like they were my own team. It’s the solidarity that comes about by supporting a smaller conference like the (former) Midwestern Collegiate Conference, I guess.

Now, after having lived in Indy for several years, the soft spot in my heart for Butler has grown even softer. Maybe you could say it’s mush.

I’m also a fan of the Vols – have been for as long as I can remember. I’m an even bigger fan now that Bruce Pearl is there.

What’s a boy to do when the two play against each other?

Much like when IU played UE 10 years ago, I’m rooting for the school that would benefit from the win more than the other. I’m rooting for the underdog. Yes, I’m pulling for Butler to beat Tennessee tonight. We’ll see if that happens.

Now – don’t misunderstand me. When IU played Butler last week, I wanted the Hoosiers to crush them. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Hey – there’s allegiances, and then there’s allegiances.

Go Bulldogs!