Thursday, March 22, 2007

March Madness continued: The Elite Eight of Catholic Theologians

Previous story here. Game re-caps first: winners in green.

Bracket One
(1)Paul of Tarsus v.
(16)Francis de Sales
Winner: Paul of Tarsus, 88-35. This game was actually evenly matched until St. Francis declared a forfeit to the man he called "my revered teacher, not opponent," ceding to the powerhouse strength of Paul, or as Paul said after the game, "It is no longer I who shoot, but Christ who shoots in me."

(6) Anselm v.
(14) Ambrose
Winner: Ambrose, 50-48. This game was the surprise of the night: Anselm seemed to get tripped up moving down the court through the ontological argument; it was elaborately done but also slowed the game considerably. Anselm mentioned in the post-game interview that he was seeking understanding in this unexpected loss. Ambrose effectively counteracted Anselm's game by cutting to the heart of the T, sinking baskets in a confident and determined manner.

(9) Therese de Lisieux v.
(12) Athanasius
Winner: Athanasius, 60-55. Therese showed a steely strength and grace in her game, but was thrown by the idea that she should be the ball for God to play with. Athanasius , to his credit, kept coming back for more, even after getting ejected from the game at one point.

(5) Catherine of Siena v.
(4) Ignatius of Loyola
Winner: Catherine of Siena in a mild upset, 70-68. At the end, she begin shaking her finger at Ignatius, which seemed to rattle his otherwise stellar concentration. Ignatius discerned he was meant to lose this game for the greater glory of God.

Bracket two
(2) Augustine of Hippo v.
(15) Gregory the Great
Winner: Augustine, 80-65. Gregory showed flashes of brilliance, but Augustine was in total control of this game. The game had to halted by the unfortunate reactions of some of the pro-Gregory crowd, who began to pelt the floor with pears. The Donatists and Pelagians had to be removed from the game.

(7) Teresa of Avila v.
(13) Bernard of Clairvaux
Winner: Teresa, 75-74. This game was very evenly matched, with the lead moving back and forth throughout. Teresa said afterward this game required seventh mansion concentration.

(10) Bonaventure v.
(11) Peter Abelard
Winner: Bonaventure, 68-66. Although some considered calling on the Seraphim a dirty trick, Bonaventure replied he was simply playing to his strength. Abelard's guardian angel went to help Bonaventure in the clutch. Additionally, Abelard found he could not morally influence the ball to the basket.

(3) Thomas Aquinas v.
(8) John of the Cross
Winner: Thomas Aquinas by forfeit. John of the Cross went into ecstasy and ceded the game to Thomas. Thomas honored John's better choice by leading the disappointed crowd in a solemn version of Tantum Ergo Sacramentum.

New bracket for the Elite Eight: predict it yourself and play along here.

The games!:

Paul of Tarsus
v. Ambrose
(IC predicts: Paul by 10)

v. Catherine of Siena
(IC predicts: Athanasius by 3)

Augustine of Hippo
v. Teresa of Avila
(IC predicts: toss-up)

v. Thomas Aquinas
(IC predicts: Thomas by 3)

Updates this Saturday, Mar 24!


Anonymous said...

My money is on Aquinas for the finals.

The Angelic Doctor is going to take Bonaventure, hands down. Following this, he'll have a hard-fought game against Therese of Avila; but St. Thomas' method of memorization (the memory palace) will utilize every room of St. Therese's interior castle; she'll simply have nothing left for the game.

In the finals, I predict that St. Thomas will engage St. Paul on legalistic grounds, pitting Aquinas' Treatise on Law vs. St. Paul's exposition of the Law of Christ (Rom & Gal). While St. Paul has a more forceful game, St. Thomas' technical skill and man-on-man defense should win out. Perhaps this is because St. Paul has always been too distracted by the Judaizers and his own Jewish roots, or perhaps this will be because St. Thomas didn't have to contend with frequent beatings and imprisonment.

That said, St. Thomas has a reputation for not finishing his game (Summa). It should be an interesting match-up.

God Bless,

Ray from MN said...

You are absolutely delightful, I.C.!

Even I who have only a vague knowledge of our great theologians, have been able to follow the play by play reports.

Antony said...

My money is on Siena to pull an upset over Athanasius. avila by 3 over Hippo. Otherwise I agree with your prognostications.

Rufus McCain said...

Augustine over Teresa in triple overtime, 120-119, with Augustine sinking a trinitarian 3-pointer (hail mary! from half-court) in the final seconds to win.

Anonymous said...

Gotta go with Paul, of course, and yeah, I agree that it'll be the Angelic Doctor over Bonaventure.

The others - oh, boy. Tough to call. Since Athanasius managed to pull it off against Therese, I think he'll just edge it against Catherine. Augustine versus Teresa is going to be the interesting one, and should provide edge-of-the-seat entertainment for the crowd until the final whistle blows. It'll be end to end stuff, a game of two halves, and it'll all come down to if the lad done brilliant!