Drinking My Way to the Final Four

The Michigan State Spartans celebrate their win over the Tennessee Volunteers after the midwest regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome on March 28, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michagan State defeated Tennessee 70-69 to advance to the Final Four. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Well I don’t know about you, but all these upsets, overtime games, and come from behind thrilling victories have totally killed my bracket this year. I like to see a good game like everyone else, but gosh darn it I like winning a couple hundred dollars better. Now I’ll likely have to listen to my brother brag about his game-picking prowess; like we all don’t already know that his 7 and 5-year-old boys filled half the thing out for him.

While I may not win any money this year (thankfully everyone else’s bracket sucked too) I have to admit that there has been some great basketball. The great thing is that the best games have yet to be played!

Duke would be the obvious choice; they are a #1 seed for a reason after all. However, West Virginia is a #2 seed and pretty good team as well. Michigan State has been to the Dance a number of times, and head coach Tom Izzo knows what to do when his team gets there. However, they will be facing one heck of a challenge in the hometown favorite Butler Bulldogs.

If you have read my blogs in the past you know that I do not necessarily subscribe to the normal method by which most people pick winners. Personally, I believe that the sign of a good team is not the record, the honors, the statistics, or a team’s history. The sign of a quality team is in its beer. With that in mind, here is how I think the Final Four will play out.

The Duke Blue Devils hold up the trophy after a 78-71 win against the Baylor Bears during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium on March 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Duke Blue Devils vs. West Virginia Mountaineers: Duke will be represented by the Triangle Brewing Company’s Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale; WVU by the Mountaineer Brewing Company’s Red Ale.

With the brewery name matching the beer name, WVU wins the opening tip-off and gets out to an early lead. The power (ABV of 8%) of Triangle Brewing Company’s Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale allows Duke to make a comeback before the end of the half making the score 37-35, WVU when the first half buzzer sounds. In the second half it is the overall character of the beer (I mean team) from West Virginia that makes the winning difference. The Triangle Brewing Company’s Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale has a fruity undertone (thanks to the brewing process) even though there is no fruit in it. Both the malt and hops flavors are distinct and standout, keeping the Blue Devils in the game in the closing minutes of the game. However, the well-balanced flavor of Mountaineer Red Ale proves to be too much for the Blue Devils. Munich and caramel malts combine with hops from New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest to create a beer that is as good as the team which it represents.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Michigan State Spartans: I live in Indianapolis folks. Butler wins.

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