Okay here we are, knee deep in what is commonly known in the sports world as March Madness. It’s one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events of the year. Probably next to the Super Bowl, the NCAA basketball tournament to crown the national champions is one of the most watched events in America. Speaking of watching, the participation that’s involved by the population that follows is a conversation that’s sparked around many water-coolers around the country. It’s that participation that puts the “Mad” in Madness.
We start out with Selection Sunday, where the field of 65 are put into place, or specified ranked positions in four separate brackets. Each bracket division plays down until there is only one and the remaining four teams are heralded as the “Final Four” and the three final games are play where a winner emerges. The way the participation comes into play is when the thousands or probably even millions of fans, watchers, or even those just looking to join in your local office pool fill out their best guesses as who who will beat who, which teams will end up where, and who is their pick as the national champion.
The first couple rounds can be the easiest, or the hardest depending on how you pick. If you think you got it figured out you can pick the best teams, likeliest upsets, best matchups and fill it in that way. Or the NCAA selection committee makes it easy for us when they rank each team, the best getting a “1” next to their name and the worst with a “16.” Easy enough to just go with how the law of averages or the rule of the best pre-ranked teams should go and fill it in that way.
Not for nothin’, but either way never works out. For example, in cases like the Super Bowl, it’s easy to pick either team or who you think would win. You either get it right or wrong. But in this case, there are 32 games to pick and the odds of you getting all 32 of those right are next to nil. I’m joining the half of America that wishes for a “do over.” Even if that happens, we’ll still probably get it wrong.