Never bet against Tony Bennett. Never.

When you make a prediction in your NCAA brackets, or you pick a team to win the Super Bowl, there’s a distinct possibility that you’re not going to have a correct pick.  And you throw your hands in the air and say, “Well, my bracket got busted, there’s always next year.”

Then again, you’re not the league statistician for the National Basketball League of Canada.

And somewhere along the way, I had this great idea that I could predict the playoff finals.

Last year, I was nearly perfect – and in the Central Division conference finals, I had the Brampton A’s beating the Windsor Express in six games, winning the best-of-seven series 4-2.

Someone must have taken my words and hot-glued them to the Windsor Express bulletin board.

Because after Windsor won the series 4-3, this little video popped up on the interwebs.

I know, I know… it never gets old.

Now this year, I made another bold prediction.  And, in fact, three of my four picks are either moving to the next round, or they’re in command of their respective series.

And in the fourth matchup, I picked the (St. Catherines, Ont.) Niagara River Lions to upset the Windsor Express, figuring it would be the equivalent of an NCAA 5-12 upset seed.

And what happens?  The Express win in three straight games, sweeping Niagara out of the game.

Dang it.  Bracket busted.  And it was busted by the Windsor Express, of all people.  So I know that video is coming.  It’s probably up on Facebook right now.

Oh wait.  Got a phone call.  Scuse me for a second… hmm…

So who’s calling?  It’s Tony Bennett.

No, not the classic vocalist.

This Tony Bennett is a 6’1 guard who played collegiately at Bradley.  He’s suited up in the National Basketball League of Canada for several seasons, and he currently leads the Express in both assists and steals.  No, he called me up – first, to give me a few good-natured ribbings, then he said something I wasn’t expecting.

“Hey, I need your address.  I’m going to send you one of my game jerseys when the season is over.”

Well now… wasn’t expecting that…  Much appreciated and welcomed.  I do have a nice collection of minor league jerseys – mostly Albany Patroons gear, but also some game-worns from some other minor league teams along my basketball travels.

So here’s the deal.  As soon as a Windsor Express Tony Bennett #5 jersey arrives at the Town and Village, I will post a photo of myself wearing the uni.  Right here in the blog, I’ll post it.  Hey, it’s all good.  It’s all fun.  And I’m a big enough man to admit that I messed up the bracket by going for the underdog instead of picking chalk.

But now it’s on to the next round for Windsor.  And they get to face the London Lightning, for the chance to advance to the NBL Championship series against the Atlantic Division champions.

It’s still fun, no matter what.