Billy Fitzpatrick ‘20Chief Sports Editor
Chief Sports Editor
Note: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., relied heavily on his Committee for College Development via Sports Wagering (CCDSW) when filling out this year’s bracket. Resident basketball expert Fr. Earle Markey, S.J., Holy Cross basketball legend, had final say for all picks when the CCDSW could not reach a consensus. Any and all winnings from Fr. Boroughs’ bracket will be used at the College’s discretion and will supplement the upcoming 3.75% tuition increase. If Fr. Boroughs wins more than $40 million from his bracket selections, the College will consider continuing the free laundry program put in place this year.
Onto the picks.
In the East, Fr. Boroughs found it difficult to stray far from the popular pick of Duke. When he heard the Blue Devils’ star freshman forward Zion Williamson was named after Mount Zion in Jerusalem, featured prominently in the Old Testament, Fr. Boroughs had to put Duke through to the Final Four. While Fr. Boroughs is always a proponent of ecumenical dialogue, he could not in good faith pick the 12-seed Liberty (a Christian school) over the 5-seed Mississippi State due to some of Liberty’s beliefs and values that contradict Jesuit ideals. On a similar note, the CCDSW did agree to pick our Jesuit brothers at Saint Louis University to upset Virginia Tech in the first round (the Billikens disappointed). Fr. Boroughs nearly predicted the upset of the tournament by selecting Bradley to shock Michigan State, a university he could not in good faith support after the recent sexual assault scandal in East Lansing. In the end, Fr. Boroughs and the CCDSW are putting their prayers behind Duke and its 21st century prophet Zion to advance to the Final Four in Minneapolis.
The West Region again saw Fr. Boroughs side with the 1-seed. Here, he had little choice. Besides Gonzaga being a Jesuit university, Fr. Boroughs is a 1973 graduate of the Spokane, Wash., school! The Lord and Savior would never forgive him for betraying the Bulldogs. Plus, Fr. Boroughs just loves the silky smooth game of Rui Hachimura. Elsewhere in the region, Fr. Boroughs had Marquette, the Jesuit university from Milwaukee, advancing to the Elite Eight. (The CCDSW did not watch enough tape of Ja Morant. Good thing they’re not part of Coach Carmody’s scouting team.) After Holy Cross sent some students to the state of Kentucky for spring break immersion trips, Fr. Boroughs decided to pick Northern Kentucky University to upset Texas Tech. (Did the CCDSW really not watch the Red Raiders almost beat Duke earlier this season?! NKU didn’t stand a chance.) However, nothing was going to stop Fr. Boroughs’ devotion to his alma mater; he has Gonzaga advancing to the Final Four to take on the prophet Zion – an almighty matchup.
The South Region presented some tough decisions for Fr. Boroughs. Two Catholic schools were pitted against each other in the first round when Villanova and Saint Mary’s College squared off. Saint Mary’s being Gonzaga’s biggest rival in the West Coast Conference, Fr. Boroughs sided with the defending National Champion Wildcats of Villanova. Unfortunately, he also had Nova advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, but the CCDSW failed to account for Purdue’s advantage of having the country’s only Engineering School of Cloning Massive White Guys. Fr. Borough’s bracket took another hit as he selected Patriot League foe (or friend?) to upset Tennessee in the first round. Sources say the President’s contract included a $50,000 bonus if he picked the Patriot League Champion to win at least one game. Being a big fan of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Fr. Boroughs loves a good redemption story, so he picked Virginia to advance to the Final Four after last season’s UMBC disaster.
As much as Fr. Boroughs wanted to side with the 16-seed Iona against UNC in the first round, he thought better of it. Plus, he knows coach Roy Williams is an honest-to-goodness, God-fearing man that churns out good Christian men. Surprisingly, he accurately predicted fellow Catholic school Seton Hall to fall to Wofford, mostly because he’s never seen a jump shot as smooth as Fletcher Magee’s. His loyalty to the state of Massachusetts led him to select Northeastern over Kansas, but luckily the Jayhawks got bounced in the second round, so his bracket didn’t suffer too much as a result of that ill-advised upset pick. He likes Houston, mostly because its head coach Kelvin Sampson reminds him of the great leader Samson from the Book of Judges. However, the Biblical warrior who derives his power from his flowing hair was not enough to overcome UNC, also powered by magical hair in the form of Coby White’s afro. UNC marches on to the Final Four.
Final Four and National Championship
Duke vs. Gonzaga Part II. The Zags topped the Blue Devils at the Maui Invitational just before Thanksgiving, many months ago. Gonzaga remains the only team to defeat a full-strength Duke squad this season. Fr. Boroughs doubles down and picks his Gonzaga brothers to summit Mount Zion! Coach K’s efforts to bring our savior Zion to the dark side were not enough, and the prophet announces his decision to enter the NBA Draft minutes after the final buzzer sounds. In the other national semifinal, Fr. Boroughs doesn’t really have a dog in the fight between UNC and UVA. But there’s just something about that Coach Williams and his good ole’ Carolina boys that he can’t resist. Coby White’s afro brings Fr. Boroughs back to the 70s, a time in which he dominated the courts of Seattle and Spokane with his height and length à la Bill Walton. UNC it is.
In the National Championship Game, Fr. Boroughs has a rematch of the 2017 iteration that saw the Tar Heels win their sixth national title. This game would also be the teams’ second meeting of the year, after UNC topped the Zags in Chapel Hill in December, 103-90. However, Fr. Boroughs knows how well the Tar Heels play in the friendly confines of the Dean Smith Center and how much of advantage that was in the first matchup. He also knows that Killian Tillie wasn’t available for that game for Gonzaga, and that he’ll be a factor in this rematch. In the end, Fr. Boroughs sees this as an absolute dog-fight, but God is on the side of the Bulldogs. Gonzaga wins its first national championship behind massive performances from Hachimura and Brandon Clarke. Go Zags!
This article appeared in the annual satire edition of the Spire.