Merry March Madness. The madness has already begun and will run all the way until April. Between now and then you will be extremely engaged in how your bracket is performing; as will your competition.
Luckily, for you the reader, we’ve scouted your pool (in bracket format of course). Because there’s at least one of these stereotypes in EVERY single pool.
Your bracket is exactly like your fantasy football team or your vacation pictures- You care A LOT, but no one else does. Nor should they. Please keep that in mind this March. Every time you tell me how your bracket is doing, I’m pretty much Homer Simpson listening to Ned Flanders explain the difference between apple cider and apple juice. My body is still there, but my brain has vacated.
Our top overall seed is matched against its social media identical twin. If you Tweet about your bracket, you should lose followers, and deservedly so. The sports writer equivalent of this individual are the college basketball writers who publish weekly columns on how they voted in the Associated Press Poll. The main paper in my hometown is guilty of this egregious offense and the woman who produces that weekly tedium often Tweets how she voted. Again; can’t see how anyone would find that interesting.
Most people only care about the athletic programs at their alma mater twice a year- now and bowl season. That’s totally fine, but don’t pretend like you’re all in year round. Just be true to who you are, because your mispronunciation of the players’ names and “riveting” anecdotes about game moments that never actually happened gives you away.
The #4 seed is matched up against another March Madness tourist. This year’s entry level analysis acumen is something along the lines of “there’s no clear cut favorite team, and so much parity.” ESPN Analyst Dick Vitale summed it up best: “A #3 seed is just as good as a #1 seed. They’re so close it’s unreal.”
He’s right, but you knows who’s wrong? The person who will tell you how much PARODY there is this March. Yes, every time PARITY reigns, you inevitably get the people pontification on PARODY. Sorry, Saturday Night Live and The Onion do not have a team competing in the NCAA Tournament.
It’s cliche because it’s true. People like me who went to a traditional basketball school (Illinois) and completed their graduate school at an even bigger and better basketball school (Michigan State) live and breathe college hoops. Unfortunately, we always lose to those who pick according to their favorite shade of red, mascot ferocity, or something along those lines.
According to Elias Stats Bureau, teams that won the most championships wore blue (23), red (6), green (1) and orange (1).Teams that lost the most championships wore blue (20), red (6), orange (3), yellow (1) and green (1).
It’s also worth mentioning that Stony Brook has no chance at all because they’re nicknamed the Sea Wolves. What? Huh? Wolves don’t live in salt water! They live on land.
It wouldn’t be fair to harshly judge others without of course holding myself to the same standard! Across all genres of media, in all sections of all home pages, you’ll find a link to an op-ed column in bracket form.
You’ve seen the stats- Thursday, and to a lesser extent Friday, are the days that America “calls in sick” to work. Every year, our nation misses out on billions of dollars in lost productivity. Considering how hard we work the rest of the year, we’ll deal.
The tournament’s opening day coincides with St. Patrick’s Day this year, meaning it’s the perfect storm for people to be exceedingly drunk by 11 am; and of course telling you all about it. Over and over again.
Perfect fraternity row style match-up here as our #6 seed roots for the same teams that ESPN, CBS, Turner, and the NCAA do. College basketball is a very obvious oligarchy (well, maybe it’s a plutocracy instead). You have a select group of blue bloods, who coincidentally, and amazingly almost all wear blue, dominating the sport. Teams that played the most championships wore blue (43), red (12), orange (4), and green (2), according to Elias.
Like Northwestern Guard Tre Demps told me this week once his team was eliminated from the postseason: “They want the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, that’s just reality.”
Paul M. Banks is a regular contributor to RedEye, the Chicago Tribune's youth-oriented daily newspaper. He appears regularly on WGN's CLTV (usually wearing a sport coat with skinny jeans) and KOZN 1620 The Zone. Banks previously contributed to the NBC Chicago and Washington Times websites. He currently owns and manages The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network and News Now. Growing up with three older sisters and no brothers, he inevitably ended up a member of #TeamOverDressed