Are you pulling for the Louisville Lannisters?
Sure, technically it's no longer the month of March but the Madness is still upon us. It may be in its most maddened throes even. Like this year's regular season, the upsets have been plentiful and no one has been able to keep a firm lock on anything approaching a global favorite … or a Targaryen.
What we enjoy is generally colored by how pleasurable, relatable and familiar it is. We could recount the affair(s) one Final Four coach has. Or discuss the Cinderella-nature of another. Or even stretch it into the marriage between an overachieving underdog's coach and his supermodel wife. Instead, let's metaphor this sucker with a little Game Of Thrones and let that inform your pick.
Louisville Cardinals: #1 Seed. The Lannisters. The school itself is very good at seeing which way the wind is blowing and is leaving for greener pastures as it heads to the ACC next year. It's coach, the majestically-coifed Rick Pitino, could easily be thought to excrete gold. Outside of his basketball acumen and intimidating, skeletal visage, Pitino has dynastic ambitions; his son Richard was recently named the University Of Minnesota's head coach. Both the Lannisters and Louisville have had a favorite son gruesomely maimed. And Pitino was embroiled in a sex scandal but managed to see his way past the extortion … a Cardinal always pays his debts.
Michigan Wolverines: #4 Seed. As much as I'd like to compare the Starks, and their frosty climate and dire wolves to Wolverines, Michigan is most similar to House Greyjoy. The cool climes of Ann Arbor could give the island of Pyke a run for its money. Both Michican and Greyjoy enjoyed a rebellious success one generation ago (the Fab Five for Michigan and the Balon Greyjoy in the Iron Islands) and are seeking a return to prominence any way they can. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree; Wolverine Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is the son and namesake of the an NBA great and Balon Greyjoy's two children, Asha and Theon, constantly thrive to live up to him.
Syracuse Orange: #4 Seed. The Martells. Fans of the show may not know much of House Martell yet but the southern stalwarts know as much about defense as the swarming zone that Syracuse employs. The Orange's 2-3 Zone has been as stifling as Dornish Red Mountains to attempted invaders. The Martells are led by Prince Doran whose sedate tactical style rivals that of Cuse's Jim Boeheim (does he ever call a quick timeout?). Add to that the fact that orange dominates their color schemes and they are looking for serious revenge against the Lannisters (Louisville) and you might as well dress the desert snakes in baggy shorts and jerseys.
And the Wichita State Shockers: #9 Seed.
No disrespect meant to the Cinderella of this year's tournament but these guys are most similar to the Freys. I hate to compare the savvy Gregg Marshall to the lecherous Walder Frey BUT both men thrive with a soupcon of resources and absolutely define their respective fiefdoms. Given some spectacular conniving, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Freys were also nicknamed the Shockers. Wichita State shares proximity with basketball superpower Kansas University and upstart Kansas State but manages to hold its own as do the Freys against the Tullys and Reeds.
My strong hope is that Martells and Syracuse come out of this thing alive because as much as I love an underdog, I can't pull for the Freys.
OK, nerds. Tear this apart.