Bracket busted? Dealing with crushing disappointment? I understand. It’s the reason I made an oath to give up participating in March Madness four years ago, and why you should consider doing the same.
While not an avid college basketball fan, I followed along, enough to know who was good this year, who was underachieving, who were some potential “cinderella” hopefuls. And for those few days before the tournament, I would go all in. I would research, watch games, and constantly tweak each matchup in my bracket, until I felt it was perfect. This next year would be my year.
Everyone has similar thoughts, though. It’s why March Madness is so addicting. Even President Obama gets in on the fun, receiving his own ESPN special to reveal his bracket.
But it only leads to frustration. Every year, it seems like all that time wasted. One year, my friend’s mother jokingly submitted a bracket based on which team’s mascot she thought was “neater”. She finished above me in that pool. I’ve heard of people using darts. I’ve watched people base their choice on the team’s uniforms, or how many points a team’s name would score on a Scrabble board.
The odds of having a perfect bracket, as reported by CNN Money, are 9.2 quintillion to one. It’s next to impossible. It’s hard enough to pick a winner of the entire tournament, let alone predict every single matchup. There’s a reason why no one has ever had a perfect entry. Warren Buffet hosted a billion dollar challenge this year, given to the lucky someone who created the perfect bracket… You’re more likely to find a billion dollars on the side of the road.
This is especially the case this year, with most brackets being busted within the first two days, as three 12-seeds (North Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, and Harvard) upset their respective opposing 5-seeds (Oklahoma, VCU, and Cincinnati).
And so for the past four years, I have resisted the urge to get involved. I won’t lie, I miss it. I’m tempted, every year, thinking I’ll be able to control myself, thinking that, “it’ll just be for fun”. But I don’t allow myself to go down that slippery slope.
I’ve given you my story. I can’t blame you if you ignore my advice, but I beg of you, simply consider it. You’ll save yourself from days of regret.