It’s the middle of July, the weather (at least where I am in Athens, Ga) can only be described as “imagine a swamp on the sun” and college basketball is still four months away. Folks, I come to offer you an oasis in the middle of the college basketball desert.
If you were a member of Hammer and Rails (an exclusive membership, I assure you) last year, you already know what’s up. We promoted the bracket challenge for the TBT and The Men of Mackey, and one of you lucky degenerates (or nice person, I’m sure some of y’all are perfectly fine) won a sweet pair of Puma basketball shoes and a Men of Mackey Tee-Shirt.
The good folks at the TBT have offered us another incentive laden deal this year, but I’m not currently at liberty to discuss the details. Things are in a bit of a holding pattern while t’s are crossed, i’s are dotted and emails are exchanged, but I’m working hard on my end to secure the bag. I’ve been holding off on this post, hoping to get the official approval from the powers that be, but with time ticking down, I want to give everyone the opportunity to sign up now.
We need at least 20 participants to qualify for the site specific prizes anyway, so we may as well get this party started. I have never led you astray before (with the exception of occasionally defending Darrell Hazell as a football coach, for which I have been punished, perhaps not harshly enough, but it’s hard to walk around on only 7 toes) so you’re going to need to put a little faith in your boy (and Travis). I can’t guarantee anything (although I assume this is a slam dunk because it was fine last year) but you’ll be eligible for the national prizes either way, and the entry is free. I know some of you are wealthy beyond my wildest dreams, and you’ll lose money spending 5 minutes to fill out a bracket, but for the rest of us working class schlubs, it’s a free chance to have a little fun.
I’ve got a private (and extremely exclusive) league set up for us at the TBT bracket site. As I mentioned before, you’re eligible for national prizes (which we have absolutely nothing to do with) by signing up for the league. In order to win the (alleged) site specific prizes, you (again, in theory) would need to be a member of Hammer and Rails. Travis is standing by to process any and all applications. You’ll need to to prove you fandom and pledge fealty to the ALL MIGHTY T-MILL to gain entry (just kidding, H&R has no membership requirement, just in case a few of you are super literal engineers).
Hammer and Rails Bracket Challenge
League Pin (to keep out the riff-raff)
Men of Mackey Roster
Former Purdue Players
Cameron Delaney (Denver and Houston State)
Evan Maxwell (Liberty, Kansas & Indiana Wesleyan)
John Harrar (Penn State)
Kyle Mangas (Indiana Wesleyan)
Luis Jacobo (Stetson & Purdue - Fort Wayne)
Tyrone Nash (Notre Dame)
Parker Tracey - Video Coordinator - Purdue
Mike Hess - Video Coordinator - Neumann University
Ryan Kay - General Manager - Purdue
Men of Mackey Game(s)
7/24 - 7 PM - (4) Men of Mackey vs (5) Mid American Unity
7/26 - 7 PM - (teams to be determined)
7/27 - 8 PM - (teams to be determined)
My first bracket tip is to not trust any bracket tips I provide. My NCAA tournament bracket was one of the worst in the nation, and my TBT bracket from last year wasn’t much better.
I’ve been doing a little research for this year, and this is what I’ve found:
- Teams that have played and won in the tournament before tend to have an advantage.
- Teams with a core of overseas pros or recent college grads tend to do better as the tournament progresses and fatigue becomes a factor.
- The Men of Mackey will win it all (ok, this somewhat goes against 1 and 2 but I’ll be cold in the ground before I pick against the Boilermakers (or honorary Boilermakers) which is why I do much better when they’re not in the NCAA tournament, in terms of filling out brackets).