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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Madness of March


Millions of people, including the president, fill them out each and every year. It is during the week of St. Patrick’s day that people start becoming less-productive at work and start spending their time doing research on college basketball. Every year those same millions of people try in vain to figure out a system that will lead them to the perfect bracket.

So how exactly do you pick the national champ? Do you go with the best team in the country? Do you go with the team that is the hottest going into the tournament? Do you go with the team with the best colors? What about coolest mascot? Highest cumulative GPA?

Ask the so called ”experts”, the guys who get paid to do what you and your friends do in a bar, and they all said the same thing this year: Kansas, all the way baby! They’re the number one team in the nation, no way they can lose! Ummm… about that. Kansas lost in the second round to Northern Iowa. Northern Iowa?! What in the name of Ali Farokhmanesh is going on here? Northern Iowa might have been popular amongst Laker fans because their team colors are purple and yellow and possibly the residents of Cedar Falls where the school is located…But that’s it.

In this year’s tournament, there were eight, yes eight upsets in the first round. Major conference teams like Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt all made early exits after the first round. After the second, Villanova, New Mexico State, and popular National Champion pick Kansas all joined them on the sidelines. All six where in the top 25 at one point during the season. So what gives?

A big reason for this is parity. Players who start for ”Cinderella” schools, such as St. Mary’s and Northern Iowa, could have easily played for powerhouse Division I schools. However, they would have probably sat on the bench the entire time. In some cases they slipped through the recruiting cracks due to character problems, academic issues, questions about their size, or they simply grew as basketball players over the course of their careers. The bottom line is, nobody knows who they are. Yet here they are, becoming household names like St. Mary’s Omar Samhan. This happens every year. Hence, March Madness.

All of these people fill out their brackets hoping to have the perfect bracket and win money for it. But the point is, there is no exact science. Fact remains, it never happens as the odds of having a perfect bracket are worse than winning the Powerball twice.

My buddy’s friend at school filled hers out based on what color she looks good in. She predicted Maryland losing in the second round because she simply does not look good in red. Really? What kind of logic is that? She picked Ohio to beat Georgetown, who was in the Big East Championship game, because Georgetown is “overrated”. Overrated? At one point in time Georgetown was in the top 10 in the rankings. The Big East is easily the toughest conference in all of college basketball, and yet Georgetown is overrated? Of course, Ohio wins.

To all the people who fill out brackets, there is one solution to next year’s bracket. When filling out the 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket, simply screw around with it. Do a “I could give a crap less” bracket, a “just go with your gut” bracket, and one that you actually took time to figure out who wins. Maybe even one based on your favorite color or teams with the best last names. That is the only way to do it. Otherwise, there will be tons of s*** and f@%# coming out of people all over the world. America loves the underdogs, so simply go with it and enjoy the thrill with the increased level of testosterone. It is only here for ten days spanning over three weeks, so there is no need to stress over it like it is a midlife crisis.


About the Contributor
Andrew Otovik served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2010-2011