If you randomly asked people what March means, most would respond… Spring time or St. Patrick’s Day, but if you’re a college basketball fan or a true sports fan (i.e. one that follows more than just football), you know what it means. If you equate March with Spring, let me educate you about the world of March Madness and what it means to be a Bracketologist. Whether you’re interested in basketball or not, humor me and read until the end because it may enhance your monetary status.
Bracketology is the study of predicting not only which 68 college basketball teams will be selected to play in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, but also which ones will win their match-ups to make it all the way to the championship. Brackets can be downloaded and printed for you to make your picks or you can complete online versions. Once you’ve made your picks you can watch the tournament or follow ESPN and CBS Sports for final scores to see if you picked each game correctly. Why is that fun? Well, you can gain bragging rights if your picks are superior to others, you can enter your bracket into office pools to win a little cash/prizes, or you can enter Bracket Challenges online through a host of entities to win major money/prizes. The more accurate your selections are, the better your chances are to prosper.
For your bracket to be legitimate it must be filled out prior to the first tournament game with all 68 fields completed, selecting all the way down to the final four teams, including the national champion. There’s not an exact science to mastering it because the game of basketball is highly unpredictable and can change in a heartbeat (or less). Anything can happen in a game down to the last tick of the clock, literally. A team can be trailing by one point with .2 seconds to go, get the ball, make a miracle shot on the buzzer and BAM, they win the game, putting their opponent out of the tournament. It makes teams, coaches and fans absolutely insane… hence the phenomenon of March Madness.
Lastly, it’s important to know about the seeds. No, not the kind you plant for your Spring time flowers. Bracketology lives and dies by the seeds. There are four regions to start the tournament and each one has seeds ranking the teams from first to last for that particular region. In football, the CFP committee decided what four teams played for the championship and they were ranked from #1 to #4. There are four tops slots in basketball too, but they’re all #1.
That will confuse you non-bracketologists, but it’s ok – don’t worry about the details – just give it a whirl by filling out a bracket because who knows, maybe you will have the luck of the Irish on your side via St. Patrick’s Day… and win something! Participating teams will be announced tonight on Selection Sunday at 6pm ET on CBS and if you need guidance on picking your teams then watch the host of Bracketology segments that will follow on various networks, dissecting each and every team and possible tourney scenario. Download and print your bracket.
Other than September, the official kick off for football season, March is my favorite month! LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!
PHOTO: Northwest Jr. High School District Champs. Sporting the Farrah Fawcett hairdo, tube socks and converse shoes. That’s some serious ‘throw back.’