The madness is upon us. I can hear college basketball announcers Dick Vitale and Gus Johnson screaming and mayhem ensuing. So grab your pencils, do your research, grab your lucky rabbit foot. The NCAA tournament is lurking at every office, school and house. Research has been done and apparently companies and businesses lose up to $1.9 billion in productivity from Selection Sunday to the championship game. Whether it be from laziness or distraction. There are around 281 million people in the U.S. take away about 100 million unemployed we are left with 181 million people. I’m doing my own math so who knows if you can trust me but $1.9 billion divided by 181 million people is about $10.49 per person in the U.S. So everyone is giving up about that much for a month. That’s money well spent in my opinion.
Since I worked at the Idaho State University Campus Recreation Facility, we’ve had a tradition of going to Wingers for the first set of games. All you can eat sticky fingers and basketball on every TV, it’s a basketball fans dream come true. If you aren’t watching the games, a competition is going on to see who can eat the most sticky fingers. Even though I don’t work there anymore, I was invited to go this year and plan on going. I won’t partake in the eating competition though.
Whether you go for the favorite or the Cinderella story, making brackets always puts more on the line when you watch it. It makes you feel like you’re part of the small little school from who knows where. I usually fill out five brackets or so. One serious, a couple with my favorite team winning it all (sometimes that falls in line with the serious one), and a couple with big upsets in it. I used to be really educated in college basketball and when it came down to tournament time I would always lose, except a few times my Tar Heels won. I started to realize that you have a better chance finding a piece of hay in a pile of needles. I now rely on my knowledge, which isn’t much, a couple of “experts” on the internet and TV and then lady luck.
It’s always hard for me to pick against my own team. If I decide to pick a team to beat them and they win the whole thing, my loyalty goes into question. If I pick them to win the whole thing and they lose in the sweet 16, I get accused of using my heart and not my head. It’s a serious dilemma that I’ve faced since I was a young boy. I only have a few requirents from each year; Duke can NOT win it all, there needs to be at least a few buzzer beaters for every round, and I want a couple of double digit seeded teams to advance past the second round. Those usually make it the peak of entertainment for this time of the year.
I haven’t been very successful the past few years so I will probably go with my mom’s method… pick teams with cool names and good color combinations. Nine out of the last 10 winners have had some sort of blue in their school colors so it might not be a bad idea.
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