March means madness, and this year’s tourney has been one for the ages. Everyone fills out brackets and talks as if they know what on earth they’re talking about. Then, after the first weekend, everyone who tries to sound smart ends up looking foolish. After the second weekend, 99% of Americans are left to just enjoy basketball, having their brackets blown to the heavens. Your humble author is in the 1% eagerly awaiting the Final 4 anticipating a big pay day.
I want to use this space to air some grievances temporarily, while rubbing some salt in the wounds of you silly Duke fans who persistently think this overrated squad will win the tourney each and every year.
First, the thing that drove me crazier than any other comment in late February and early March was the constant “fact” that UConn would be tired from their Big East tourney run. For all of you who said this, COME ON! Think back to when you were 18-20. You were never tired. Now that we’re all old and washed up, we get tired just watching a game. But when you’re a bright-eyed youthful athlete you don’t get tired. Adrenaline fuels you, excitement pushes you, and you just go with it. I could do things at 20 that I couldn’t dream of now. Thus, I picked UConn and my man Kemba Walker to win it all, fully confident that they would, in fact, make it all the way. This One Good Pick has rocketed me to the top of the leaderboard in every pool I have entered. While everyone else picked Kansas, Duke, Ohio State and Pitt to meet in an all-chalk Final Four, yours truly knew that this wouldn’t happen. Sure, I picked Kansas to join them, and I didn’t foresee Pitt making the early exit they made, but I never once bought in to UConn being tired and not being able to play basketball for three more weekends in March.
I will admit, UConn is my only Final 4 team left. But that doesn’t matter, because March Madness is all about relativity, and my single Final 4 pick is relatively better than your o-fer.
To you Dukies out there-yes, you Royal Dawg, I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not. Did you really think that Duke would make enough 3 pointers to get past the Sweet 16? Duke gets all the love, all the time, and perennially let the “crazies” down. I only wish my boys from Connecticut had gotten the chance to beat them, but the conservatives from Arizona handled the task nicely. Kansas let me down…I thought they had the makings to go all the way to Texas, and they almost did. I wasn’t surprised when Ohio State lost (I picked UK correctly there.) I actually had Pitt and Florida playing, with Florida winning that match. I was one of the many who underestimated Butler again, but I don’t mind losing a few points in a bracket to watch Florida lose to a Bulldog. Too bad it’s another breed of Bulldogs who can beat them. I can’t say enough good things about VCU. I was one of the 68 team haters, and I was wrong. VCU played poorly down the stretch, but have gotten white-hot in March and thoroughly deserve to be where they are today. To knock off KU the way they did is awesome. I can’t wait to watch the Butler-VCU game.
We have, in my opinion, a great Final 4. Two traditional powerhouses and two “Cinderella’s” facing each other for a chance to cut down the nets. That’s what makes March so great.
So, after all the rambling, I get back to my initial point. One Good Pick can make all the difference in the world during March Madness. Brackets are as bad as I can remember, with all the chalk losing so early. I stuck with my heart with UConn, and with a victory over UK this weekend I am in line for a big payday simply because I picked one team correctly. My bracket as a whole is nothing to be proud of, but compared to yours it smells like money.
Have a great rainy Monday.
p.s. I fully expect UConn to let me down now that I am in a position to win it all. But I’ll bask in the limelight for a week anyway while I still have a dog in the hunt next weekend.