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My feelings about March Madness have always been the same — it’s madness. I don’t really follow college basketball. OK, let’s be honest, I don’t really follow any NCAA sport (or any sport, for that matter). Frankly, I don’t trust the system. If my eight years on the youth soccer league taught me anything about organized sports, it’s that helping out the other team (aka kicking the ball into your own goal) is generally frowned upon.
But I digress.
I figured during my last year in college, I should really hop on this bracket thing. So on Tuesday, I Googled “March Madness bracket” and clicked on the first result, which was the CBS Sports free bracket challenge, and was pleasantly surprised to see a new Toyota hybrid as the prize for the winning submission. Because the City of Columbia has my little orange Beetle on its wanted list for unpaid parking tickets, I had to win this competition, if only for the car.
It was official — CBS had presented me with a challenge, and I was not backing down.
After the registration process, I was taken to the bracket page, which was only slightly confusing. Considering the last bracket I was involved in was for a flip cup tournament in a barn in my hometown (what’s up, southern Illinois), I wasn’t prepared for the enormous list of teams I would have to sift through. How am I supposed to know how Ohio State will fare against a team that hasn’t even been picked yet? I was getting overwhelmed.
For the first round, I stuck to the ACT method; if you don’t know the correct answer, go with your gut instinct. Some decisions were easy: Missouri (I have to make up for all the basketball games I haven’t attended), Duke, Syracrus, Florida. This wasn’t rocket science. The lower the number, the better the team, right? I threw a few underdogs in for good measure.
Other match-ups were like Sophie’s Choice, such as North Carolina vs. Long Island. I know North Carolina is the better team, but Long Island has the better iced tea. I chose North Carolina against my better judgment. They have pretty good tea too.
The rest of the rounds were pretty much a free-for-all. There was no method to my madness, but I felt good about my picks. It looked like an overall winning bracket. After I got lost on the CBS sports website (there is a lot you can do with a March Madness bracket, I found out), I printed out my copy and taped it to my desk. I was ready for the first round of games, whenever they’re playing.
Many may find it silly that a college girl who doesn’t know the difference among the Arkansas schools can actively participate in March Madness, but I welcome the criticism. I scoff at the notion that filling out a bracket involves any sort of basketball knowledge or gambling skill. I am ready to win this challenge and my new eco-friendly car.
Bring it on, NCAA.
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