It is that time of year again! Brackets are being filled out, wages are being placed, and 64 lucky Universities across the country are preparing for the largest tournament in American sports. All across the country, people are choosing winners for each of the respective game in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Some are pouring over statistics, schedules, and matchup projections to make well-educated picks that will likely crumble by the end of the first round. Others are flipping coins or choosing winners based on the colors of the schools, often at a much higher success rate than the statistics-crunching nerds.
More commonly known as March Madness, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament brings people from all ages and all backgrounds together. From teenagers to grandparents, from accountants to toll booth operators, men, women, and children, the madness does not discriminate.
With a reasonable 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of having a perfect bracket, March Madness is connoisseurs are not aiming at perfection, they are simply hoping that their bracket is not a pile of sewage by the end of the first day of games.
From the basketball perspective, the possibilities really are endless. Each year you can all but guarantee an upset as a top-seeded team falls to a tenacious school from the middle of nowhere. Will we see Zion Williamson end his college basketball career by leading the Duke Blue Devils to a national Championship? Or will we see a small-name school ride the Cinderella story all the way to the final four, a la Loyola University of Chicago’s season last year?
Anyone who tell you they know what will happen is one of two things; grossly ignorant or incredibly manipulative. In the words of Mark Twain, “there are lies, damn lies, and March Madness brackets.”
One thing is for sure, if you live for basketball, this is your time of year. There is no greater nation-wide competition in all of American sports than the end of the college basketball season.
To the fans of all 64 teams - best of luck, I hope you win a game or two before your heart is broken.