This week's print version of the column has the incorrect byline, the article was written by Kevin Faris. Sorry for the mistake.

This Wreckage

Wow! When I am wrong, I am wrong. My NCAA Tournament selections were so off I would have been better off letting my 8-month-old niece, Macie, pick for me.

When I told you all not to use my picks if you wanted to win money, I was not kidding. I do not know what is wrong with me. I have not successfully picked an NCAA Tournament since I was in high school, yet every year I still believe that I am smart enough to win it all.

I am the Bob Knight of NCAA pools, living off of a reputation garnered during the 80s and early 90s, only to be one of the first people eliminated. The sad part is, I only put my Sweet 16 in the paper, if I had shown you my Final Four picks, it would be even worse. Let's just say one of my Final Four picks did not even last until midnight on Thursday (thanks a lot Gonzaga). So far, in the South the only team I still have is Duke; in the Midwest I have Kansas; in the East I have Maryland; and in the West I have nobody. Zip, zero, zilch. Nada. Nothing.

Every round of games brings a whole new batch of teams I picked, losing. Pepperdine, Alabama, Michigan State, etc.

This also brings a new round of phone calls from my friends informing me of said games. This is usually followed by them saying they should get their own Sports Column, since I obviously know nothing.

At least I felt good about being wrong when it came to UK. Tayshaun Prince's 41-point performance was a beautiful thing to watch, and although I made fun of him all season, I was extremely excited to see Keith Bogans come out of his slump. Regardless of my joy for UK, the question needs to be asked: What is wrong with me? Why do I pick these games? Breaking it down, there are a few key possibilities.

Theory Number 1

Being a pretty big sports fan, like I am, there comes an odd side-effect with the territory, I call it the irrational hatred. This is the sort of hatred you have for an individual or team in sports that is not really based on any sort of logic, like a rivalry. For example, if you are a UK fan, like myself, it is perfectly logical to hate UL. They are our rival and I hope they lose every game they play. The irrational hatred part comes into play when you are a UK fan, and you hate all the ACC and Conference USA teams. The list of sports people and entities I have irrational hatred for is long and strange, including but not limited to, Mark McGwire, Kobe Bryant, the ACC, the Big 12, Steve Young, and the Atlanta Braves. The reverse side is the blind love you have for teams and players associated with your favorites, which is why I always pick SEC teams to do well, outside of Tennessee, who I hate, rationally. This theory explains why I have Florida, Mississippi State, and Alabama going really far in the tournament. It is also why I have Wake Forest, NC State, Oklahoma, and Missouri all losing early. If I had taken a more objective approach, it might have helped my selections.

Theory Number 2

As I sat around yesterday watching my brackets fall apart, I began to formulate some sort of excuse or ploy I could use to get out of looking like an idiot with my horrible selections. I realized I need a scapegoat, and I realized that scapegoat worked at Ace. You see, after I write this column from deep inside Sports Headquarters, I send it on to be edited and cleaned up by the editorial staff at Ace Weekly. If you look at the masthead on page 4, you see that Rhonda Reeves is the editor and that Rob Kirkland is the Editorial Assistant. It is quite possible that either of these two people sabotaged my selections. But what is the motive? Rhonda could be upset about me offering naked pictures of her to whoever beat my picks, which at this point would be everybody.

She, however, does not know a lot about the NCAA Tournament, so she is out. (It's also possible that she's delegated everything and isn't reading this, or why would the naked pictures offer have made it in?)

Rob, well, I do not believe he has any clear motive, so who could it be?

As I scanned down the list of employees and contributors, it became clear. The interns have formed some sort of Troika of Evil. Jenifer Fee, James Reid, and Tiffanie Short have conspired against me and were using this opportunity to make me look foolish.

From now on, they should be listed not as interns, but as The Troika of Evil in the sideline credits. Well, if I have learned anything from our President, besides not to eat pretzels while watching the Baltimore Ravens try to play offense, it is that evildoers must be taken out. So, Troika of Evil, or T.O.E. for short, I am now on to you.

So you see, my picks really included Missouri, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Indiana, and Kentucky and the T.O.E. changed it to thwart me. I understand this idea seems a little outlandish, but I think I should stick to it.

Theory Number 3

I am really not that bright. I thought long and hard about this one. I know sports. Really I do. And after going to, I realize I am not the only sports columnist who has really bad selections. I think sometimes too much information is a bad, bad thing. Take the Boys High School Sweet 16. I picked Lexington Catholic. Why? Because they were the only team I knew. If I had studied it thoroughly, I probably would have picked East Jessamine, and they got eliminated in the regionals.

Well, I hope these provide some excuse as to why my selections were so poor. From now on I will try to stay away from predictions, as I have revealed myself to be more of a Nostra-Dumb Ass as opposed to Nostradamus. No more picks for me, no sir-eee, no more prognosticatin' for this guy.

Oh, and by the way, I think the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series. I really do.