I Gots the Madness
Editor’s note: this was supposed to run on Thursday, but we had to upgrade our database, so my apologies for our delay.
Hey, kids, it’s March! Time to start the madness!
Yeah, that’s about as enthusiastic as you’re going to see me get about March Madness…unless, of course, my team makes it to the Final Four and (hopefully) beyond.
There’s really only one team that I care about in this thing and they haven’t won the national title since 2000. Hmph. Yes, my friends, I am talking about that fine institution of higher learning situated on the banks of the Red Cedar – Michigan State University – where couches tremble in fear at this time of year. For they know they shall be burned no matter what the outcome of the tourney (although, I hear that it is better to be set ablaze in joy than in sorrow).
I suppose I do have reason to be slightly more interested in this nonsense than usual though. Somehow, I got roped into doing the whole bracket thing. Admittedly, my interest in NCAA Tournament brackets has never gone beyond mumbling ‘mmm-hmm’ when my husband updates me as to the status of his bracket and the chance that we might actually win the elusive $150 restaurant gift certificate that his company gives out every March. I can feign mild interest for free food. This year, however, I have not one, but three of my own brackets! My interest level just skyrocketed from mild to moderate, friends!
Now, I hear tell that some people spend really significant amounts of time poring over stats and all that other rigmarole in order to determine the chances for upsets, etc. and create the perfect bracket. I also hear tell that these same people often lose in the office pool to Mabel from Accounts Receivable who isn’t even quite sure what sport this thing is all about and thought it would be fun to let her cats choose her bracket.
Determined as I was to not come out the big loser in this thing, I decided to forego letting my son choose my brackets by assigning seeds to his favorite toys like some of the other members of our pool (Hi, Eric!) and go with a slightly more scientific approach. And here it is, folks! Feel free to steal my awesome ideas.
Bracket 1 (a.k.a. MSU needs more cowbell): This one was easy. MSU wins the whole tourney. All the rest is trivial really. Heh. Okay, so, just start clicking all those #1 seeds. Get about halfway through the Midwest and realize you’ve heard people talk about ‘upsets’. Hmm. Okay, San Diego State University, it’s your lucky day! Might as well throw Ohio a bone too. Okay, moving on…ooo, look Oakland University – they’re from Michigan. I’m from Michigan. They win! Keep on going with the #1 seeds throwing in a few upset wins for those athletic powerhouses like Sam Houston State University. Also, make sure any teams from the state you live in advance nicely – Maryland and Morgan State, here’s lookin’ at you, kids! Too bad Maryland will have to lose to Michigan State though, tough luck there. Okay, looks good, maybe not the winner, but at least it doesn’t totally make you look like you have no idea what you’re doing. Moving on…
Bracket 2 (a.k.a. Heh, you said ‘Butler’): In this scenario, Butler goes all the way! I’ll give you all a minute to regain your composure. La, la, la, la, la. Okay, all better? You were laughing pretty hard there. Yes, I’m putting my chances at bragging rights in the capable hands of the Butler Bulldogs, folks. Talk about an upset! I have no basis for the assumption that Butler could advance past even the second round of the tournament, let alone win the whole thing, but Butler has a special place in my heart – mostly because of a personal joke shared with my husband. Heh, Butler. The rest of this bracket pretty much followed the methods outlined above, with one notable exception. Michigan State loses in the first round. Blasphemy, I know! But, I’ve followed MSU sports long enough to know that when they choke, they do it in a BIG way. Ya hear that, kids? Make sure you have your accelerants on hand early, lest you end up late to the couch burning party.
Bracket 3 (a.k.a. *insert creative name here* – cut me some slack here, I was starting to lose my vim by this point): I had no idea what was going to happen here. So, I consulted Google, clicked a few links, read a few surprisingly witty comments about some of the teams, saw a lot of numbers that didn’t really mean much of anything to me, and started picking. I have to admit, I really started to lose interest by the time I got to the Sweet 16 so I pretty much phoned it in after that…and what do you know, Michigan State comes out the victor again! Wishful thinking? Eh, we shall see.
All in all, I think my methods of bracketizing (it is very possible that I made this word up) were far more respectable than say, choosing the teams by who has the cutest mascot. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself at least. And, if I end up winning, well, hmm…I don’t know what I’ll do. But it will be big and awesome and most likely insufferable for all who cross my path. Bragging rights are cool.