Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness: The Sweet Sixteen

The Sweet Sixteen is now in place.

As a number of people have pointed out, this has not been a tournament for drama thus far.  What is a ball without a Cinderella story?  And yet no flag with deeper than a fifth seed has survived the first two rounds.  To a certain, very limited extent, this is due to the vagaries of the brackets and the seeding order, both determined (were you wondering?) in a highly informal process as I was relaxing on the couch on Christmas afternoon.

Much more so, it is because most of the flags of the American states and territories, to a greater or lesser extent, stink.  All we have really done so far is winnow out the worst of the batch.  There are a few possible exceptions: a flag I like better than y'all do (Louisiana) and one y'all might have liked a whole lot better than I do (American Samoa); at least one pretty good one that got squeezed out (Cal) and at least one that is in, but very likely doomed (but I would not want to openly predict the vote).

We're left with sixteen contenders, and my guess is that we'll start to see closer votes and tougher choices.  After all: there can only be four regional champions, and only one winner overall.  Semifinals for East and South will open simultaneously on Thursday; semifinals for West and North will open on Friday.  L&TM5K readers can "enjoy" a short burst of more conventional content; Vexillophiliacs can stay up late Monday to see who will come out on top in the Hawaii/Washington showdown.

Happy Daylight Savings Time in participating locations!


  1. It may just be that I find flags more interesting than basketball, but so far my bracket has been doing really well in this tournament. I've only been wrong on two of the Sweet 16 so far, though I'm sure that won't last. I'm usually the one who's pick to win March Madness gets eliminated in the first round by a team I've never heard of.

  2. I'm wondering where the stats for the North second round are? One of the things I've been enjoying the most is seeing the actual "scores" that the champions win by.

  3. Are you gonna do other countries next? That would be neat!

  4. I would be afraid that might start a war...

  5. Oh I meant states/districts/provinces of other countries

  6. Hmm, my choices here are obvious, to me, and at least a couple are against the seed ranking. Maybe there will be some battles.