As Syracuse University’s zone defense broke down against Ohio State University in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament, so did Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick‘s diet.
“The better teams you play, the more difficult it is to use zone defense. It wasn’t fun to watch, so I started eating tri-colored layered cookies and purple Peeps in the second half,” said Bramnick, who represented his alma mater in NJBIZ Brackets. “Today, I had jellybeans for breakfast, and for lunch, I’m having the rest of the Peeps, which are now stale. Like my team, my diet is shot.”
Bramnick kept to his diet with a salad — and won a bobblehead of George Bush — when the Orange squeezed past Treasury communications director Andy Pratt‘s University of Wisconsin by one point in the Sweet Sixteen. But Bramnick said losing Brazilian 7-foot center Fab Melo before the first round of the tournament was “tough on the team” in the Elite Eight against Eastman Cos. President Peter Schofel, who will be joining his team in New Orleans this weekend.
“Syracuse has gotta get better tutors who can speak his language,” Bramnick said. “If they do that and keep recruiting good players, I think they’ll be back in the tournament for the long haul.”
In the Midwest finals, Princeton University corporate relations director Wendell Collins wasn’t surprised her alma mater, University of North Carolina, lost to Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla P.C. shareholder Sharlene Hunt’s University of Kansas, calling the team’s No. 1 ranking at the beginning of the year the “kiss of death.”
“It’s always better to be the underdog,” Collins said in an e-mail. The game against Kansas “was a nail biter, as usual, and it was ours to lose.”
To get to the Elite Eight, Collins built a strong lead in overtime against Mack-Cali’s Mitch Hersh, who represented Sweet 16 Cinderella Ohio University. But the Kansas Jayhawks dragged the Heels’ offensive strategy through the tar in the regional finals, blocking them from the basket in the last four minutes of the game.
While Collins attributes part of UNC’s loss to injured senior point guard Kendall Marshall — a “key driver of the speed and momentum of the team”— she was impressed by freshman Stilman White, who she said “showed strong leadership when called upon without Marshall.”
“White was a surprise addition at the end who contributed to scoring and, thankfully, less to turnovers,” Collins said. “We’ve got a strong group of underclassmen next year, so I think we will do well.”