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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • March Madness Hilarities

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  • I have to admit, I've never really been a huge basketball fan.
    I always thought basketball had too many rules, not enough freedom, too many timeouts and lack of celebration after each point. The thing I love about soccer, baseball, hockey and football is the great excitement after someone scores. The points matter a lot more in these sports because they have to work at them. Scoring a quick two-pointer in basketball is a lot different than scoring a much needed touchdown after a long drive in the fourth quarter.
    Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for basketball and the athleticism these players ensue. I actually gained a lot more appreciation for the game after covering the St. Mary's basketball teams. I especially got into it during the boys quarterfinal game versus Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, in which the Knights had an impressive comeback to win the game. That game showed me that even if a team is losing by a good amount of points, they can always come back and you never know who's going to win. It almost seems like any basketball team can win OR lose to any other team, which is an aspect of basketball that I do like.
    That being said, I decided to make a bracket for the NCAA March Madness tournament for the first time ever. I thought it would be fun to see how badly I do, being that I had no clue what I was doing. I wrote the bracket with almost no information on any of the teams.
    The motive to make my own bracket was mainly because of my mom. My mom is a teacher and one year she made her own bracket to compete against the male teachers at her school. With no knowledge on college basketball whatsoever, she wrote her bracket based on whether she liked the area from which the teams are from. For example, she would pick Colorado to do well because it's so beautiful there. But the funny thing was, she did really well! Apparently a couple of the teams she picked to go to the final four actually did, and her male coworkers were in awe of her. This kind of goes along with my theory of any team can upset and beat any team. In any case, I figured if my mom can do well with random choices then I can too.
    This was my mentality when writing my bracket. I figure that my bracket has just as much chance to be successful as an ESPN college basketball analyst's.
    The method in which I wrote my bracket was pretty scientific. I wrote my bracket based on each team's rank, their recent winning or losing streak, and whether or not I like the area from which they're from, like my mom did. I also looked over President Obama's bracket and based some of my decisions on what he chose, because you know, he's the president. I thought my method was a good balance between actually trying to do well and coin-flipping.
    Page 2 of 2 - Unfortunately, Gonzaga was the team I picked to win it all and they lost to Wichita State in the second round. However, I correctly picked 10 out of the 16 teams that made it to the Sweet 16. Also, three out of my four picks to go to the final four are still in the tournament. Not too shabby for a first-timer. Yes, most of this is luck, but I can always pretend I know what I'm doing when it comes to college basketball.
    My picks for the final four are Gonzaga (eliminated), Kansas, Indiana, and Duke. I will be pretty excited if one or two of these actually make it.
    In the end, I had a great time writing a bracket this year. I'm trying to get more into basketball and this is definitely helping. I encourage everyone to write a bracket for next year. You never know how well you'll do!
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