Colorado Buffaloes guard KJ Simpson shoots the game-winning basket over Florida Gators guard Zyon Pullin on Friday during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. [© Joe Timmerman/IndyStar/USA TODAY NETWORK / USA TODAY NETWORK]

Pat Dooley’s Back Nine: Sure, ‘I had Yale beating Auburn’ In My Bracket

The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that pretty much had every emotion possible.

 10. Let’s start with what happened Friday evening and the depression that fell over Gainesville with the end of another basketball season. There was anger, there was pain, there was the stinging realization that there were no more games to watch with this team. It didn’t end well, Captain Obvious, but this was a fun team to watch. Now, let’s try it again next year with a little defense sprinkled in. If I were Todd Golden, I’d make a phone call to Larry Shyatt and pick his brain. Or maybe the defensive talent just wasn’t there. Anyway, we’ll always wonder what the season could have been like at the end with everybody playing.

11. I was pretty down Friday night. I couldn’t even watch the rest of the games that night. And I probably have watched less than ever. The first two days gave me pretty much everything I needed to know – Florida lost and Kentucky lost. I also got this Friday night — my wife questioning why she married a sportswriter (her theory was she would not care so much about the Gators.) And why does it always have to rain in Gainesville after a big loss? But I was able to remind myself that when this tournament is over there will be 67 losers.

12. My bracket? How dare you mention my bracket? I don’t know how I did, because after spending three days trying to get it just right, I realized something – it’s just Fantasy Football. I already banned myself from that exercise, because I found myself not watching the games but the players. Sane thing here. So, I didn’t submit mine and have tried to watch games just for the majesty of the Madness. Next year, I am going to do a bracket where I pick all first weekend upsets. Either way, I’m not going to win and I can strut around saying, “Yeah, I had Yale beating Auburn.”

13. It my day, we filled the brackets out on paper and had to go get a second one because we tore the paper trying to erase Boise State and there was one game on TV and we liked it. Aw, fiddle-faddle.

14. The SEC is still going to make a lot of money from this tournament, more than $26 million and counting. But that league has not looked good. But I don’t see any way Kentucky fires John Calipari. Who are you going to get that would be better? At the same time, my Oakland T-shirt should be arriving any day, courtesy of my friend Joe Colorio at Titan MRI.

15. Yea, I don’t know why I waited this long to get to baseball. I know LSU is not the team from last year, but winning the series in Baton Rouge was quite an achievement. Hey, I knew if I told them to start winning the middle games, they would, Jac Caglianone is doing ridiculous things to baseballs and I have to think is a candidate for national player of the year. Take a gander at these stats: .394 batting average, 11 homers, 1.65 ERA, 3-0 record. Very Brad Wilkerson-esque.

16. Tim Walton is sure enjoying his new pitching staff. The youngsters have taken a good team and made it potentially great with a 29-4 mark after an overwhelming sweep of Kentucky.  Florida has five players hitting over. 400, led by All-American Skylar Wallace at .488. Interesting series this week at Mississippi State in one of those Thursday-Saturday series.

17. I was out at the Kanapaha Festival of Shrubs (that’s what I call it) and ran into my buddy Keith Miller from Big Mill’s Cheesesteaks (yes, I had one at 10 a.m. and it was awesome) and we started talking about the 29thBob Dooley Invitational and I realized it is only 47 days away and I’m starting to feel nauseous. The cheesesteak was delicious, but there is a lot to do for this tournament. Luckily, there are people like Keith.

18. By the time we get to May 11, I am going to have one great playlist together: sports columnist Pat Dooley can be heard on “The Tailgate” along with Jeff Cardozo from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday on 98.1-FM/AM-850 WRUF.

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