Final Four Picks

You’re confused, right?

April Fool’s.

Seriously, to all of you faithful Friday readers — and unlucky souls who got stuck having one less day off for your weekend — who are wondering, “Why in the hello operator are there picks when there are no football games?” this just in: It’s a new day at the Oracle Sports section, and picks are made when we want and how we want.

So that’s why the all-star cast of editors is making picks on the men’s Final Four playing this Saturday in St. Louis, and by the way, we’ll be making them for the National Championship on Monday, as well. The first game is Illinois and Louisville followed by the Michigan St. and UNC matchup.

And all of us editors, in our disillusioned fantasies of being the next Joseph Pulitzer, have our specific — not to mention complicated and quite possibly demented — reasons and motives behind our picks.

Our fearless leader, Editor in Chief Thomas Pedicini, who has been too busy worrying about graduating — and getting a pillowcase of money like in The Godfather — forgot who was playing.

“I’ve decided the reason why I made my picks is solely the same reason women win the office pools every year,” Pedicini said. “I’m picking the colors of the team and that’s why I’m picking blue and orange and going with Syracuse — I mean, Illinois — to win it all.”

Good call.

Brad Bautista, associate editor extraordinaire, in his wise years and vast worldly experiences, chose his picks after meditating about the teams and eventually reaching nirvana, but quickly lost it to manage the Phillies in MLB 2K5.

“There’s no way a group of guys from Illinois is beating a group of guys from Kentucky,” he said.


Features Editor Jenn Pfaff — who really blows her own horn in the Herd of Thunder Marching Band — used her own unconventional method.

“I made my picks because the games came to me in a dream,” Pfaff said. “A sign that Illinois would beat Louisville and the other team would beat the other team.”


When I asked News Editor Mark Lennox about his picks, he seemed a little confused about the whole process.

“I love lamp,” he said.

I asked him what he was talking about, but to no avail.

“I love lamp.”

Yeah, that’s great.

So I moved on to my right-hand man, John I-wish-Peyton-Manning-was-my-father Calkins.

“I think (Louisville coach) Rick Pitino would win in a fight against (Illinois coach) Bruce Weber,” Calkins said. “The same goes for (UNC coach) Roy Williams over (MSU coach) Tom Izzo.”


So that leaves me, right? Mike Camunas, sports editor and local hero to young ‘uns striving to be taller than five-foot nothing.

I made my picks by using a simple and exact science and religion — that’s right. I combined them — called Armchairtology, where unwavering fellows like me get together, drink, don’t watch NASCAR and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having about 50 remote controls for one entertainment center.

I figured Illinois will win because of Dee Brown and his knee socks, and Michigan State will win because Roy Williams — the Chicago Cubs of NCAA basketball — will never, ever win a championship.

That’s our picks. You’ve been great. Enjoy Spring Training.

Bautista – Louisville over Illinois, 89-83, and MSU over UNC 81-75

Calkins – Louisville over Illinois, 65-61, and UNC to MSU 70-68

Camunas – Illinois over Louisville, 83-80, and MSU over UNC 85-79

Lennox – Illinois over Louisville, 80-70, and MSU over UNC 76-64

Pedicini – Illinois over Louisville, 89-83-83, and MSU over UNC 83-82

Pfaff – Illinois over Louisville, 85-79, and MSU over UNC 72-69