I’ve come down with March Madness

Yes, this post really is about college basketball March Madness. I’ve gone mad, and only basketball can cure me.

As a true Iowan who isn’t interested in basketball, I’m still keeping a very close eye on the college wrestling tournament this weekend. But about my new-found interest in basketball:

A coworker organized a group on the ESPN Tournament Challenge, and I passed the information to Bill. I wasn’t going to do it, as I had never filled out a bracket before, but he signed up and I saw coworkers signing up, so I figured I could click schools and pick them.

My first bracket

Not knowing where to begin, I first picked some teams with storied basketball histories (UConn, Syracuse, Kansas). Then I picked some teams with fun names (Zaga, Vandy). I had a few upsets in the first round for fun. I even looked at the information provided about each team for a while.

In the end, I have each of the No. 1 seeds going to the Final Four.  I had to fill out a score for the Championship Game to decide a tiebreaker, and didn’t even know what a proper college basketball score might be.

I didn’t really realize the power of the bracket until the first day of the tournament. The person who formed our group showed me that one can follow along and see how the game is progressing and how the outcome of each game is reflected in the bracket.

I hadn’t watched a basketball game since I had season tickets for the Iowa State women in college, but when I saw how I was doing and how the scoring worked in real time, I was hooked. After work I was glued to the TV and my bracket. I even said to coworkers, “I don’t care about basketball, I care about my bracket.” (Note to self: Do not engage in this for money in the future.)

I might lose interest as the tournament goes along (it’s way too long a tournament start to finish) as I lose more games and fall in the rankings.

After one day, with 21 entries, I’m tied for second. And I am (surprisingly) having fun.

And who do I have going to the Championship game? Ohio State and Pittsburgh, with Ohio State winning it all, in honor of the person who organized our group, BuckeyePat35.

UPDATE: Start of Round 3

Not sure where Round 1 went, but we are on to Round 3. The second day of Round 2 didn’t treat me as well as the first day, and I’ve lost the first game in Round 3. My excitement for this brackets fun may be short-lived.

I didn’t realize that in each round the points double. I am already feeling it. I am dropping slightly in the standings, as is my confidence in my system for picking winners. And for this round I got a little more bold in picking underdogs. I may soon regret that decision.

It is still fun to see how I’m doing and be a part of something that grips so much of the nation this time of year.

UPDATE: Middle of Sweet 16

I didn’t realize there was so much time between rounds (two rounds, then half a week off). Guess that’s why the tournament seemed so long in years’ past. Going into the Sweet 16, half my teams I had going to the Elite 8 were already eliminated. My interest in this round waned, as a result. And my confidence for future winnings decreased.

As others were still winning games, my score was staying the same and my win percentage was dropping. The beginner luck was just that. It was fun while it lasted. All I can hope for now is a good showing from Ohio State and Kansas. Midwest represent!

Do you have a bracket?

Are you in a league or have a bracket filled out on your own? How are you doing? What strategy do you have when you fill it out?

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2 thoughts on “I’ve come down with March Madness

  1. You use my method when you pick them. I’ve even won money using that method. Not a lot but enough to make it fun and interesting.

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