Friday iChing: March Madness edition

By Sean Carroll | March 10, 2006 1:35 pm

It’s been a long time since we’ve busted out the Friday iChing, in which we use songs from our iTunes playlist as Tarot cards to tell the future. Fortunately Steinn has kept the tradition alive, but it’s time we step up to the plate. Also, substantive blogging is hampered by my travel schedule at the moment — and wouldn’t you know, I fly all the way to southern California just to get rained on.

Since it has been a while, and we don’t know when it will happen again, we should take advantage of the situation to ask a question of great magnitude and import: Will the plucky #2-ranked Villanova Wildcats and their scrambling four-guard lineup be able to charge through March Madness to win the NCAA basketball tournament? We point and click and the randomizer whooshes… The key explains each of the cards.

  1. The Covering: Madeleine Peroux, This Is Heaven To Me
  2. The Crossing: Thelonious Monk, Epistrophy
  3. The Crown: Bob Marley, Keep On Moving
  4. The Root: Vladimir Horowitz, Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2
  5. The Past: Von Freeman, I Love You
  6. The Future: Leonard Cohen, Tower of Song
  7. The Questioner: Yohimbe Brothers, Psycopathia Mojosexualis
  8. The House: LL Cool J, Jingling Baby
  9. The Inside: Ute Lemper, But One Day
  10. The Outcome: Squeeze, I Want You

Well, sometimes the Oracle speaks pretty clearly, even if it doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. The Covering simply restates the obvious: it would be great to win the national title. The Crown, explaining the best that can be obtained, is “Keep On Moving,” which I take to imply that we can at least expect some advancement into later rounds. Vonski’s “I Love You” represents the past, an obvious allusion to Nova’s spectacular upset of Georgetown to win the 1985 national title in one of the most thrilling basketball games of all time. The Inside implies that we fans hope/expect to win it one day again — but the Outcome, “I Want You,” while again stating the obvious nevertheless seems to promise something other than complete fulfillment. So, either the iPod is just teasing us, or it’s going to be close-but-no-cigar for the valiant Wildcats this year.

That’s okay, so long as it’s not Duke, we can all be happy.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Miscellany, Sports
  • Tom Renbarger

    Based on #7, I can see that you’re particularly excited by ‘Nova’s chances this year, perhaps even past the point of rationality. :-)

  • spyder

    Light the cigar, but it will probably burn for an ACC team. I could see four of the Big East teams making it to the round of sixteen (esp if all 8 are distributed equally around the country), but after that, it will be UConn and maybe Nova to the 8. My own local Zags won’t see 16, no matter how much the locals desperately want to see that happen.

  • Rob

    Cool J in “The House” can only mean one thing. JJ Redick and Duke!

  • macho

    Xavier all the way.

  • Elliot

    Big 10 highest conference RPI rating. Gotta like Duke though.

  • Tom Renbarger

    Boosterism almost impelled me to say that Michigan State is the finest 11-loss team in all the land, but I think the ‘Cuse might have something to say about that, actually. Still, with Carolina and Tennessee being the only higher-seeded teams on their side of the DC bracket, the Spartans have as solid a chance to reach the regional finals as a 6-seed has any right to expect. If they can get past their first-round matchup, of course…

  • Steinn Sigurdsson

    Well, this kinda changes our perspective on it all…

    Hm, I’m thinking Jingling Baby foreshadowed this, unless there’s something more appropriate in some of the songs I really don’t know… 😉

  • Sean

    Yeah, that is scary. (For those of you non-clickers, Villanova guard Allan Ray got his eyeball poked right out.) Ray is supposed to be able to play by the next game, but it’s got to be a little traumatic to go through something like that. Fortunately he seems to be okay.

  • adam2002

    For some reason, people think that baseball is same as cricket. But having a cricket background – I can tell you guys that is not true. Both of these games are totally different.

    Adam, New Balance

  • adam

    There are some significant similarities between cricket and baseball, although to those of us from the British Empire, baseball is clearly more recognisable as rounders.


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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