By the time you read this, chances are your bracket is already busted — or it’s on course to be worthless after the weekend.
One of the most exciting — and unproductive — times of the year has come this week as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament began narrowing down the field of 68 teams. Even before the First Four tipped off Tuesday the bracket began with excitement as more deserving teams were left out while schools better known for football had no business being in the tournament.
But the real fun began Thursday and if you felt like your bracket is a true winner, prepare for disappointment. No one completes a perfect bracket.
You have better odds of winning the lottery than getting every single game correct. It’s impossible.
This is what makes March Madness one of the most entertaining events of the year. Those who know basketball inside and out are proven wrong. Those who pick based on their favorite mascot or which team has the cutest cheerleaders end up winning the office pool.
We see the rise of the mid-majors and at the same time we see the collapse of a once-storied program heading into the offseason, wondering how it lost to a nine-syllable school.
The feel-good stories never disappoint, and it’s so much easier rooting for the underdog than in any other sport. Who doesn’t want to see Florida Gulf Coast Atlantic knock off North Carolina for the first-ever 1-16 upset?
The country was introduced to Stephen Curry during the tournament when he guided Davidson to the Elite 8 in 2008.
The Wildcats kicked out Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin before a two-point loss to eventual champion Kansas.
On the local front, Nevada made news 12 years ago when the Wolf Pack won the WAC and proceeded to upset Michigan State and Gonzaga before losing to Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16. Nevada would go on reach the Big Dance three more times, making it no further than the second round.
And who hasn’t forgotten about that classic upset against Montana when Nevada, the No. 5 seed, couldn’t advance after the first round?
March Madness is full of fun and excitement, even for the non-sports fan. Filling out brackets and following online or taking time off work to watch during the day cannot be matched by any other sport.
It’s the best time to watch college basketball and hope another Cinderella story emerges.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.