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The Lazy Fan's Guide to the Elite 8

Picks so elite you won't believe.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

So, if you're here, you've probably been with us since the jump and if that's the case all we can say is, you're welcome. The picks have been stellar, the takes have been hot and on point, and the colors have been mesmerizing. We're entering the home stretch of this lovely tournament and we've had great games, but more are on the horizon, starting tonight with the first half of the elite 8, the first final four if you will.

The Rules (part trois)

- Mizzou'd! Gonzaga and A&M are out, so two more adding another year to "played the tourney, didn't get to the final four" chart and Miami didn't get its first Elite Eight opportunity.

-It paid off if you just go by seeds. All #1s are still intact. Unlike your bracket, probably.

-Defenses do win championships? (Drink! Well, if you're lucky enough to be at the Easter egg hunt that had a mimosa bar) Virginia and the fake birds rank highest in defensive efficiency.

In the East

1 UNC vs 6 Notre Dame

I've watched some plodding basketball games in my time but what Notre Dame and Wisconsin did Friday night was not basketball, that some wretched, unwatchable, soul crushing nonsense. It reminded me of Nebraska vs Rutgers in the regular season but because it was the NCAA tournament I didn't change the channel to watch the Ron Popeil infomercial on the knives that can cut through virtually anything. Anyway, the fairy tale tourney will end for Notre Dame and somewhere Rudy will be watching harder than guys twice his size, if only they had the heart he does, be more like Rudy Notre Dame guy and you'd be all conference at watching TV instead of just some guy with too slow a recall button hit. But at least they took out Wisconsin, 'cause they'd just make it to the final four again and display another round of hideous uniforms and no one needs that. Vegas odds at post time have UNC as the best bet to win the whole thing if you're feeling lucky. Well, do ya', punk?

In the South

(Editor's note: See what we did there? I refuse to post Kansas colors here, REFUSE!)

1 Kansas vs 2 Villanova

Well I've had it up to here (motions very high) with the stupid Kansas Jayhawks and their stupid coach whose hair literally hasn't moved since 1999. That's not even possible. I wonder if he and Roy Blunt go hair shopping together. Anyway, 'Nova (as in...Casanova) the plan is to keep exorcising those demons that haunt you and to put the Diacano down on those stupid birds in pilgrim shoes. Just do this for all of us, we need it. Then Perry Ellis can move into Del Boca Vista Phase II and run for Condo Board president, like he's always wanted (that's right, we've got Perry Ellis old jokes too). Enough is enough. We are all Wildcat fans today. A soul-crushing three (that's right, Coach K!) by 'Nova to end the game. All the jayhawk tears. Seriously, write up that sports hate psychology thesis right now.

In the Midwest

1 Virginia vs 10 Syracuse

The Orange are that cousin or brother in law of yours that says they'll only be staying for the weekend while their Milli Vanilli cover band plays two shows and then he's on his way and back home to Buffalo, but then he just keeps extending his stay, eating up all your food and drinking up all your fancy craft beer that you save for special occasions when you've clearly left out Natty Light just to feed his thirst. It's over Syracuse, take your ass and your keytar playing  bandmate Fat Pete out of here! Virginia, do this for us, Virginia you're our only hope. Virginia your licensed drivers should be forced to stay in Virginia. And then the one Syracuse fan I know, who hasn't watched a lick of basketball until the tourney, will go away. Honestly. You can't argue they belong here when you haven't watched them all year. What about unlicensed Virginia drivers? They can join the chaos that is known as NYC.

In the West

1 Oregon vs 2 Oklahoma

Well let me tell you something, I for one am excited that 100% of the states that start with the letter "O" are represented in this tournament to this point. Kudos to you both. It's Buddy Hield against whoever the hell plays on Oregon, because if you're reading this, I bet you haven't heard of one of them. But both these guys took down their sweet 16 opponent, but credit to Oregon for putting the beating on Duke, we all hate Duke, and they needed to go. Now, I'm sure Coach K will give me a talking to but I won't be able to hear him over my giant damn smile. Dana Altman, who was a breath away from taking the Arkansas job and didn't, looks like you chose wisely sir. We're bringing lip readers into this whole mess? What did everyone do twenty years ago without social media to stir up every controversy possible? Played Uno games? What?! What point value is your lead at when shooting a three is considered unsportsmanlike? Clearly they just needed to fight each other, skill against skill alone.

That's about the size of it for today's post, but fear not loyal reader(s), we'll be back next week with another guide to the Final Four and finally, the Finals because, let's be honest, we've all come together this far, and to go back would be silly, capricious and arbitrary. Enjoy the games and have a super evening!