I had Marquette beating Davidson yesterday in my bracket. It wasn’t that important because I had Butler beating them next round, but I still wanted them to win the game. When the game got close at the end I found myself really rooting for the Golden Eagles, despite the fantastic game that a huge underdog Davidson was having. All of my friends and I except one cheered as Vander Blue made a layup with a second left to win the game. The other friend couldn’t believe that none of us were rooting for the underdog. Obviously, underdogs and upsets are what make the NCAA Tournament so special. And I started to realize that that is more important than my bracket after the Marquette game.
Then Oklahoma State happened and it kinda ruined my day. I had them going to the Elite 8 and they lost to Oregon. My bracket was ruined and that was all I could think about. I love filling out my bracket every year and there is a huge payoff when you predict the tough games. But when I think back to the past couple years of NCAA tournaments, I think of Butler and VCU. I think of Duke winning it all, and George Mason getting to the final four. I think of UVM beating Syracuse. What I don’t think of is picking two correct 12 over 5 games last year, or the time I picked Wisconsin to win it all when they were a 2 seed and lost in the 2nd or 3rd round. The only time I would ever think about my bracket over the games themselves is if I won a prestigious pool or called every first round game right, or something to that extreme. The bracket is so great because there is always the possibility. You can feel like this is your year every year. But according to USA today, the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. You aren’t going to get a perfect bracket. In fact you probably aren’t even going to come close. So why let it ruin your NCAA Tournament experience?
Cinderella’s make the tournament magical, so I want to root for those teams. I hope Harvard gets to the final four and I hope VCU wins it all. I am not going to let my average bracket ruin my favorite time of year, so I’m changing my ways. Using futureme.org, I sent myself an email to be sent on March 14th, 2014, which explains what I have written above, and reminds me not to fill out a bracket. Filling out a bracket only makes your tournament experience less enjoyable. I’m not even saying this because I am doing poorly in my brackets. I am still in the 92.5 percentile in two of my brackets and I have potential to win several pools I am in. This isn’t an overreaction to a bad bracket. If I don’t get the email I am sure I will forget about this idea and I’ll end up getting disappointed again. This college basketball season was so special because there was an unbelievable amount of games in which I did not have a rooting interest and just hoped for a good game. More often than not, great games came through, and as a sports fan it was incredible to watch. I won’t be filling out a bracket because the pleasure I get from enjoying a Cinderella run will greatly outweigh the pleasure I get from my average bracket. College basketball is one of the greatest joys in my life. As an avid fan, I’m looking forward to sitting back, relaxing, and watching the greatest spectacle in sports.