Brackets, Bragging Rights, & March Madness

All across the country, in homes, offices, warehouses, and everywhere in between, people are filling out their brackets. I’ve seen studies that show how much money companies lose due to this wonderful phenomenon. It’s astronomical. Very few things in life can make you feel better than the moment after yours is filled out. This is the year, I’ve totally nailed it this year. And then March happens. Middle Tennessee beats Sparty, or Lehigh beats Duke. You’ve seen it, you’ve been its victim. But we do it again, year after year. The dream of a perfect, or near perfect, bracket draws us like moths to a flame.

I’ve only gotten the Final Four correct once, in my memory. 1992 with UC, Duke, Michigan, and Indiana. Another year I got the entire first day correct. I was #1 on ESPN out of a million plus entrees, albeit tied with 53 others. I started day 2 with the first 4 correct. I was 20 games in, and I was perfect. I then proceeded to lose 3 straight (thank you Dayton for starting that avalanche) and my bracket slowly crumbled over the ensuing 2 weeks. But I had that dream that we all dream for over 24 hours. That’s what draws us back, pursuit of perfection. It’s not a bad thing as long as you can let go once it’s over. Most of us love the competition, the smack talk.

I haven’t joined any brackets this year. Yet. This would break a string of roughly 30 years doing these. I may still do one, but I’m primarily focused on my bets in Vegas these days. Without a dominant team this year, this could be one of the craziest office bracket pool years in recent memory. All four #1 seeds have their weaknesses. Will anyone take advantage?

So who do you like? What lower seed do you see surprising everyone? Can UVA win 6 straight with primarily defense? Can Michigan stay hot enough to reach the Final Four? Will UNC show they deserved their #2 seed? Will Oklahoma prove all the naysayers wrong? The committee needs them to win their first game to shut everyone up.

Enjoy the games, guys. Have fun with the brackets, enjoy the time with your friends. Just don’t drink and drive. There’s an app for that. And if you win your brackets, for the love of all that is holy, smack talk like the king that you are.

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