March Madness: 2017 NCAA Tournament haiku previews


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With the main draw of the NCAA Tournament set to begin, let us look at the field as it stands with 64 teams and get metrical.

As always, a simple and fun preview. A different one from what you’re used to seeing. No videos, no GIFs, just haiku. The syllabic-mandated poetry that is done in 5-7-5 pattern.

You know my March mantra: The longer previews can be helpful but cumbersome. Sometimes, things are better left said as briefly as possible. In my case, sometimes even briefer than that.

As always, here it is, the field of 2017, as poetically as I can put it.

EAST

Villanova (1) vs. Mount St. Mary’s (16): Yes, they can repeat / At least the Mount got a dub / Jenkins back on stage

Wisconsin (8) vs. Virginia Tech (9): Buzz is back in dance / Last seen with Marquette, ’13 / Badgers mis-seeded

Virginia (5) vs. UNC Wilmington (12): Not sure this is close / UVa: all-hair 1 seed / Keatts to NC State?

Florida (4) vs. East Tennessee State (13): Gators are speedy / ETSU will throw down / First Dance for Mike White

SMU (6) vs. USC (11): Bet on the Ponies / SC won November tilt / SMU revenge

Baylor (3) vs. New Mexico State (14): Georgia State, ‘15 / Then Yale beat Baylor last year / Scott Drew needs a win

South Carolina (7) vs. Marquette (10): Gamecocks are all D / If Marquette wins, Wojo-Duke / Frank Martin death stare

Duke (2) vs. Troy (15): Duke is back, you know / Did you hear? Duke is so back / Is Duke really back?

duke.jpg
Favorites to win / Now clear of all injury / More Grayson drama?  USATSI

MIDWEST

Kansas (1) vs. UC Davis (16): Self up for the Hall / UC Davis, I see L / KU my champ pick

Miami (8) vs. Michigan State (9): Coaches met before / Larranaga: George Mason / Remember ’06 

Iowa State (5) vs. Nevada (12): Wolf Pack is two words / Monte best point guard in sport / Should be a great game

Purdue (4) vs. Vermont (13): Upset special-ish / UVM = longest win streak / Biggie: POY?

Creighton (6) vs. Rhode Island (11): Horror at Creighton / Point guard might wind up in jail / The “quiet” Hurley

Oregon (3) vs. Iona (14): O down a big dude / Muh-muh-muh my Iona! / Dillon, what is this?

Michigan (7) vs. Oklahoma State (10): So, so much offense / From plane scare to Big Ten champs / Must-see first-round game

Louisville (2) vs. Jacksonville State (15): A snoozer right here / But Hats Off to (Ray) Harper / Escort talk coming

Caleb-swanigan-purdue.jpg
Tough game for Vermont / Swanigan is a monster / Painter or Becker? USATSI

SOUTH

North Carolina (1) vs. Texas Southern (16): Heels have wheels, do go / Mike Davis is some story / Justin Jackson: STUD

Arkansas (8) vs. Seton Hall (9): I will take the Hall / Ark an anonymous team / Moses and Angel!

Minnesota (5) vs. Middle Tennessee (12): More bad seeding here / Middle beats Big Ten again / Last year was Sparty

Butler (4) vs. Winthrop (13): Butler owed some good / Winthrop has small dude who rains / Bulldogs hard to pin

Cincinnati (6) vs. Kansas State (11): Got a street fight here / Best Cincy team since Huggins / Did Bruce save his job?

UCLA (3) vs. Kent State (14): More than just Lonzo / NBA flair in college / I’m sorry, Kent State

Dayton (7) vs. Wichita State (10): Love/hate this matchup / People sleeping on Dayton / We have a “Scoochie”

Kentucky (2) vs. Northern Kentucky (15): The Norse: my people! / With UK, Bam is the key / For all the bourbon

justin-jackson.jpg
Not much in the way / UNC, cruise to 16 / Back to title game?  USATSI

WEST

Gonzaga (1) vs. South Dakota State (16): Why the Zaga hate? / Cinderella to baddie / Watch for big Mike Daum

Northwestern (8) vs. Vanderbilt (9): Northwestern? GET OUT! / Finally, this story ends / Oh, hey there, Vandy

Notre Dame (5) vs. Princeton (12): Thursday opener! / Always love a good Ivy / But Dame has the dudes

West Virginia (4) vs. Bucknell (13): No heart scares please, Bob / ’Eers are top-five in KenPom / Bison have Nana

Maryland (6) vs. Xavier (11): Melo the hero / And here is more Bill Murray / Dez Wells played for both

Florida State (3) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (14): Talkin’ ’bout the ’Noles / Nostalgic for Dunk City / Bacon is sizzling

Saint Mary’s (7) vs. VCU (10): Oooh, this looks like fun / More swell Aussies for Mary’s / Both coaches leaving? 

Arizona (2) vs. North Dakota (15): Is this the year, Sean? / Sundogs, Nodaks > Fighting Hawks / Read up on Lauri

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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