March Madness | Have You Finished Your Bracket?

March Madness is upon us. I wait for the NCAA’s every year, and once it is over, I go through serious withdrawals until next year. I have completed my picks – but this year was quite different for me… I did a lot of guessing. My bracket is below.

Having been born and raised in Indiana and graduating from Purdue, basketball is in my blood. I attended Purdue from 1982 through 1994 (yeah, I was on the long-term plan), and rarely did I ever miss a basketball game. Lower arena, wearing Purdue garb, and program in hand to keep the stats (it helped to keep me somewhat calm – otherwise I would be out of control).

This past season was very unlike me… I watched very little basketball, and did not kept up on any of the conferences, which is very abnormal for me. Just been so busy on the internet this year, I suppose. My new addiction… blogging. So…. a lot of guessing went into play. Sure, I could look up each and every school, check the records, review the top players, the trends, etc., but there isn’t enough time. Hell, the years which I have done that much work in the past seem to be the years I failed miserably with my picks.

Speaking of Purdue basketball… I have to share a little story with you about my date with a Purdue basketball player. Year: 1984. Player: 7’0″ Joe Gampfer. As tall as a tree, but no grace whatsoever. He had a very strong senior year in high school, but about all he was good for at Purdue was to block the ball at the basket merely by just raising up his arms. Tall son-of-a-gun. If I recall correctly, Joe wore a size 21 shoe – his feet were enormous! Now, I know what you’re thinking, you dirty birds, and the answer is, “I have no idea.” It was a one-time date. Dinner, and that was pretty much about it. Personality-wise, he was most definitely not a match for me.

But I’ll never forget when he arrived to pick up me. Here is this gigantic man, towering above everyone else typically by a foot, and he drove up in a Chevette. When we got in the car, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. He had his seat all the way back, naturally, but his knees were still up next to his ears!

I tried to find a picture of and info about Joe, but there is very little in the Purdue archives that far back – and that makes me feel so old. Best I could do was a blurb in a local paper about Joe choosing Purdue – and note the Chevette ad just below… funny coincidence. And found the team photo from 1984 when the won the Big 10 Championship.

Also, click HERE to view a bracket with the 64 teams as well as the date and time they play in the first round. Or you may scroll down to the bottom to view.

But first… My picks (click on it to view full size to read):


Joe Gampfer newspaper article:


1984 Purdue Basketball team photo – I imagine that’s Joe Gampfer in the middle. Names were not provided for the photo, and image is poor quality. But since he was the tallest around, it pretty much has to be Joe:


Joe Gampfer’s Stats:


NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball 2012 Bracket with all 64 teams including date and time of First round play. Click on the image to enlarge.

12 replies »

  1. Joe Gampfer lived on the same floor as I did during my freshman year at Purdue. He wasn’t a great student or basketball player, but he was quite talented as an artist and really funny. He was always hounding the cafeteria people for more food. Eventually, Gene Keady cut him, supposedly for weight issues, which I can understand. He did get to keep his scholarship though. I knew him pretty well.

    • I will still never forget how he literally folded his body to get in the driver’s seat of his car. I still remember what I ordered for dinner… BBQ ribs. We were at a BBQ restaurant where everyone threw peanuts on the floor. I don’t remember the name of it. Too many years ago. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I had the pleasure of meeting ‘Big Joe’ two weeks ago. He runs his own Limo and transportation service in Cinn area (and is quite good). Great guy.

  3. Played basketball with Joe from grade school through high school. Joe should have never gone to Purdue when Rose left. Keady was not the coach for him. Keady did take his scholarship away.

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