Spring is starting to peak through the frozen tundra of most of this grand country with assistance from new budding flowers, jubilant robins, and of course everyone’s favorite – March Madness. Yes, the greatest collegiate sporting event is now fast upon us. By this time, a vast majority of us have all ready filled out one or more brackets for the ultimate goal of picking the winner. For some it’s for the money, but for the majority of us it’s for bragging rights.
As the Tony Kornhisers, Dick Vitales, and Dan Patricks of the sporting world will tell you, picking your brackets is not an exact science. Luck is the key ingredient for a recipe of success. With that said, hard core sports fans are not the only ones filling out brackets – stay-at-home moms, the “geeks” in the server room, and the average cube dweller in your office are all in for the win. And all of them think they have the best system for picking the winner. Here’s just a sample of the most popular strategies: just picking all the favorites, picking the schools with the “coolest” names, picking schools with the best mascots, or picking mixture of favorites and underdogs.
No matter what system you decide on, it is the “madness” of the tournament and the unpredictability that drives us to watch. We are not watching just to see the how the big boys play – Duke, Kansas, UNC, Florida, etc. We are watching for those Cinderella teams – George Mason, Gonzaga, Winthrop, Indiana State, VCU – to shine. The tournament is all about the “Rudy” factor – letting the small guys show the nation that they have the “right stuff” to play with the big boys.
If anyone thinks that American Idol has all the suspense and drama on TV, well Bubba, just tune in each weekend throughout the month of March and the tournament will show you what “must see” TV is all about. Time to put that seatbelt on, because the engine is roaring, the car is starting to motor down that windy road to the Final Four which will be a fast and furious ride of pure intoxicated excitement!
By the way, the magnanimous Commonwealth of Virginia still has three – yes, you read it correctly – three teams still alive in the dance. Who would have thought that the VCU Rams would slay that mighty Goliath of Duke Blue Devils. Go RAMS! Before I forget, who do you have as your 2007 NCAA champion – UNC, Florida, OSU, or that Cinderella team? Mine is Georgetown this year. And like the rest of you, I’m sure that I picked the best bracket.