Are you smarter than me? A seven year old? A four year old? How about a coin?
Let the madness begin.
March is a fantastic month. Spring seems just around the corner, the words “pitchers and catchers report” fill me with optimism, St. Patrick’s Day, and, of course, March Madness. March Madness, the most gloriously perfect sports tournament man has ever created. Why do we love this event so much?
- The finality of it all. This one and done format is similar to the NFL, but where the Superbowl champion has to endure three or four of these “win or go home” type match ups, the NCAA basketball champion had to pass six of these final exams. It makes the final two minutes of nearly all the games nail-biting-heart-palpitating and potentially bracket busting. The closest the pro game can offer is a game seven. Last year in the NBA playoffs we had 5 game sevens, 5 “win or go home” games. We get 63 of them in the NCAA tournament!
- Nobody is an expert. Your league’s fantasy football champion may know his way around the NFL and its 32 teams. Even if you’re a seam head like me, you only have to keep track of 30 MLB clubs. Let’s say you’re a real animal and you follow their AAA affiliates, that still leaves you 4 short of just the teams that make the NCAA tournament! Even the most ardent college hoops fans, with full time jobs, can in no way know the ins and outs of all the qualifying squads.
- There’s always a team, a player, or a story line to root for. Even if you didn’t go to a division one school, with so many teams in the tournament, there’s bound to be a school from your area. You may have a friend that graduated from one of them, or CBS did a nice human interest piece about the coach, or they have a great mascot. But of course there’s no greater motivator to cheer until you’ve lost your voice than the almighty…….
- BRACKETS!!!!!!! Don’t bury the lead Dave! Cut the crap, the reason people really love the NCAA tournament is the brackets! Anyone can fill one out. Even if you’ve never seen a college basketball game all year. The seeding is there so you won’t get too crazy off track with your picks, and they are crazy accessible now. Not too many years ago, the office photo copier was overflowing with photocopied tournament brackets filled out by everyone from the CEO to the mail clerk. Now it’s easier than ever to run an office pool, monitor how you’re doing compared to the rest of your coworkers, and decipher which outcome helps your bracket the most. Not only that, you can actually watch every game from your PC, tablet or even phone……while you’re at work.
- The randomness. If you’re like me, by the time the confetti falls, you’re out of the running for taking home that fat prize pool, and come the next morning you’re bemoaning the winner, griping with your buddies about how little they know about the game, scoffing about how random it is, and crying about how it all comes down to luck. Therefore I’ve set up a Geekade Sports, ESPN Tournament Challenge league as a bit of an experiment.
- I’ve entered (I’ve watched some games this year).
- Along with my wife (who has been in the room in some capacity while I’ve watched some games this year).
- My seven year old son (who has participated in some basketball clinics, and has watched parts of Villanova games this year).
- My four year old (who knows what a basketball is).
- And a quarter (heads for the favorites, tails for underdogs).
Full disclosure, for everyone’s brackets I’ve moved all the one and two seeds to the second round. If you’d like to join in the fun and see if you’re better at picking basketball games that my 1974 quarter, follow the link!
Good luck to all and here’s to all those busted brackets!