Brewers showing March Madness allegiances

Counsell is a Notre Dame alum, rooting for Irish and Wisconsin teams

Brewers showing March Madness allegiances

PHOENIX -- With the NCAA men's basketball tournament brackets announced on Sunday, it was interesting to judge the temperature of March Madness awareness in the Brewers' clubhouse. And not surprisingly, it was pretty partisan.

MLB.com's sampling included three players -- Ryan Braun, Taylor Jungmann and Matt Garza, plus manager Craig Counsell, a 1992 Notre Dame graduate with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

The margin of error of the poll is plus or minus two NCAA victories.

"I follow Notre Dame and all of the Wisconsin teams," said Counsell, showing his real colors as he embarks on his first full season as Milwaukee's skipper. "U.W. Green Bay, Wisconsin, they should be in. So there are three choices. It's fun to watch. Last night, I caught the end of Seton Hall-Villanova [a 69-67 Seton Hall victory]. For the Seton Hall kids, seeing kids that happy and the coach that happy, it was pretty cool to see."

Jungmann pitched three seasons of college ball at Texas before the Brewers selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. He left no doubt where his sentiments lie.

"If they get knocked out, I might very well stop paying attention to the tournament. I'm diehard Longhorns," Jungmann said. "It's just Texas, man. Texas is my team. And that goes back to when I was kid, long before I went to school there. I used to really be into [college hoops], but with everything going on, I just pay attention to Texas and that's about it."

Garza is a California kid and went to Fresno State before the Twins took him with the 25th overall pick in the 2005 Draft.

"My team clinched a berth yesterday so I'll be watching it," said Garza, who played basketball and football as well as baseball at Washington Union High School in Fresno, Calif. "It's always fun to be watching it in here with all the guys. You know, certain guys have their affiliations. It gets a little competition going inside the clubhouse. It's fun and friendly."

Braun is also a California kid, but he played his college baseball in Miami before the Brewers made him the fifth overall pick in the 2005 Draft.

"I haven't followed college basketball at all this season, to be honest with you. I know Miami has had a good year and I'll always root for them," Braun said. "But to me, the NCAA tournament is one of the most exciting times in sports. It's so much fun to watch and I'll be following my alma mater. I'll certainly watch the games if I get a chance."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.