And the madness has begun! I love college basketball. I grew up watching games with my dad. This time of year is my absolute favorite. Especially the first weekend. I mean, basketball games on all day? Fabulous! In years past I have been known to take a vacation day on Thursday or Friday so I can watch games all day long.
Even when I was young, I would fill out a bracket every year. It’s all part of the fun to predict the winners, the losers, the upsets and the Cinderella teams.
There is a method to my madness of picking my teams, at least for the first round (or second round now).
First loyalty (see Duke, UW, and Gonzaga and in that order) – regardless of whether or not I think they are going to win, I put them on the winner’s line (at least for the first round). They are my teams.
Second proximity (see Pac 12 or other teams from WA) – I am definitely a homer. I have to stick with my Pac 12 or any other local teams.
Third coaches (see Tom Izzo and Roy Williams) – this could also be called familiarity as after watching many years of the tournament, I’ve grown accustomed to watching these coaches.
Fourth unreasonable and unexplainable hatred (see Michigan and any team John Calipari coaches) – there really is no reason for this hate, but it exists.
Fifth former Cinderellas (see Butler, Valparaiso and Bucknell) – the magic happened once, surely it can happen again!
Sixth players (see EJ Singler, younger brother to Kyle Singler who played for Duke)
You take all these factors and finally you throw in gut feeling, along with second guessing and other intangible factors. And your bracket is filled out. Sometimes you ignore your gut feeling (i.e. I did not go with my gut and put Georgetown over Florida Gulf Coast) and it comes back to bite you.
The gut feeling also comes into play when you have several factors in play against each other. Sometimes in your favor (see Michigan State & Tom Izzo versus Valparaiso – I went with Michigan State).
With my bracket finally filled out, I sit down to watch the tournament and throw the bracket out the window. I love watching the upsets and the higher seeds fall, except of course when it’s my higher seed that falls (cough, Gonzaga, cough).
Bring on the madness!!