You gotta love the NCAA Tournament, right? Well, maybe not if you’re a Big 10 fan, and not one team from the conference has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. What do you do then? Adopt a team, of course. I’m taking Bradley, and here are my reasons why:

Because they’re local
Hey, they’re from Illinois, right? WIth the rest of the local teams idle, who else could I root for? Plus it gives people in Peoria something else to do besides river boat gambling, and whatever else it is they do in Peoria.

Because I love upsets
Bradley is the lowest seed left in the tournament, every game they win will have to be an upset. And what’s more exciting than that?

Because their wins haven’t been flukes
Most low seed upsets follow the same formula: the underdog comes out on fire, plays their best half of basketball ever, goes into the locker room leading by 30, then spends the entire 2nd half fending off the superior team’s comeback. But Bradley’s wins haven’t followed that pattern. Each time they’ve gotten about a 10 point lead, and then matched their opponent the rest of the way. These guys are playing terrific basketball, and show no signs of being intimidated by the big name schools.

Because they destroyed my bracket
Normally this reason would prevent me from adopting a team, but this year I didn’t submit my bracket to any pools. So I wasn’t that disappointed when Bradley took out Pittsburgh, who I had losing to UConn in the championship game.

Because it makes Billy Packer look stupid
Face it, almost nobody likes Billy Packer, except for the coaches at big name programs. And that’s because Billy is so biased it’s silly. Shortly after the brackets were announced, there was Packer on CBS, announcing that the mid-major Conferences had gotten too many bids, taking seeds away from more deserving schools in the power conferences. Well, the mid-majors have held up their end of the bargain, sending 3 teams to the Sweet Sixteen (4 if you count Gonzaga). Incidentally, two of the teams that Packer wanted in at the expense of mid-major schools were Maryland and Wake Forest (his alma mater) neither of whom was able to win a game in the NIT.

Because they might help make the term “mid-major” obsolete
Both Bradley and Witchita State play in the Missouri Valley Conference. Which means that the MVC has sent as many teams to the Sweet Sixteen this year as the SEC, Pac-10, and ACC, and more than the Big 12 (1), Conference USA (1) and Big 10 (0).

Because it’s been more than 20 years since a true Cinderella danced at the ball
Isn’t about time it happened again?

Anybody else out there adopting a team?

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