The Ides of March Madness
It's all because March brings madness in the form of basketball and especially the NCAA Tournament brackets. As I write this, millions of people across the USA are fitfully weighing the shooting averages, points per game, and cheer-leading outfits of teams they've not watched all season. Most of their conclusions will be wrong, because, who picks a perfect bracket? It's harder than sitting through an entire episode of Joan Rivers' Fashion Police without making a inconsiderate plastic surgery joke ...or for that matter, just getting to a commercial break.
However, there are some effective strategies for picking a decent bracket. What they are, I cannot tell you, as my brackets usually explode like a hot water balloon about 15 seconds into the opening game. However, I do have some helpful suggestions:
- Pick the team that will win. Oh, sure, you say that's obvious but let's see you do it.
- Don't pick Slippery Rock University. Seriously. They're not in Division I. Trust me; I make this mistake every year.
- Don't go by the team nicknames. You'd think a bunch of Bulls from South Florida would trample Owls from Temple, but apparently owls got game.
- The previous rule does not apply to teams named the Aardvarks. You can safely pick anyone playing against the Aardvarks, including grade school teams.
- Don't pick 16 seeds to win a game. They never have. (So, of course one will today, just because I'm writing this. Jerks.)
- Assume that at least one number 1 seed will reach the Final Four. Basketball experts may seem like overconfident, opinionated blowhards sometimes, but they watch a lot of basketball. More to the point, they don't actually pick the seeds. Usually 1-2 number 1 seeds get to the Final Four, just because they can.
- Don't get Cinderella crazy. Sure, the real Cinderella's a cute blonde with a thing for see-through shoes and dramatic exits, but Cinderella stories in the NCAA tourney are upset wins. While it's great fun to see overconfident, over-funded college athletic programs get beat by smaller teams, it won't happen in every game. So, try not to pick more than 15 to 20 of these per round.
- You know the saying, "good guards make good teams?" Check and see which teams have the best security. ("Brinks, for the trey!")
- Experienced coaches can get teams farther in the tourney. Nah, I'm just kidding. It's a crap shoot and they know it. Good coaches go out early all the time. It's great fun watching them kick chairs on the way to give their winning counterpart a death-grip congratulatory handshake. It's like watching all the nominees who didn't win Oscars rolled up into one angry former athlete.
- Don't just go by how a team looks. I have found that closing my eyes when I pick helps. Except when I miss the bracket and accidentally click on links to Cialis ads. They're all over sports sites for some reason.
- Tall guys are good at basketball. Just saying.
* Seriously, there's not a single crossover dribble until Act V.