If this was any other year, water cooler conversations across the country this morning would be focused on the NCAA Tournament. Whose bracket was busted over the weekend? Who reached the Sweet 16? Which Cinderellas have the best chances of pulling off another upset?
Of course, this is not any other year. The coronavirus has blown up any semblance of normalcy for us. That includes March Madness, which the NCAA canceled 11 days ago, along with all winter and spring championships.
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While those games aren’t happening, we’re hoping our version of March Madness — a bracket dedicated to all-things Rutgers — will provide a needed distraction from what’s going on outside our front doors.
This is how it will work: On the usual tournament days, we’ll reveal the matchups here and on Twitter. That’s your opportunity to vote for the athlete, celebrity, tradition or moment that you think most deserves to move onto the next round.
We’ll keep going until April 6, which would have been the day of the national championship game.
We held the first two rounds over the weekend.
So without further ado, here is your all-Rutgers Sweet 16, including NJ Advance Media Columnist Emeritus Jerry Izenberg, a Cinderella 14-seed.
This region is dedicated to the best of the best who have worn the Rutgers uniform.
1 Paul Robeson vs. 5 Anthony Ashnault
6 Ray Rice vs. 2 Carli Lloyd
This region is all about the traditions and institutions that are essential to the Rutgers experience.
1 Scarlet Knight Mascot vs. 5 The RU Screw
6 The Targum vs 2 Grease Trucks
This region is all about the most famous people to attend Rutgers university — the actors, the educators, the politicians.
1 James Gandolfini vs. 4 David Stern
14 Jerry Izenberg vs. 2 Mario Batali
This region is reserved for the greatest moments in the history of Rutgers athletics.
1 1869 first game vs. 4 ’76 Final Four
3 The 2006 Louisville game vs. 2 Big Ten invitation
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