From First to Worst · 1 April 2017

I went from first to worst in less than sixty seconds. Okay, it took a week, but it seemed like I really was gone in sixty seconds. Of course, I am talking about March Madness.

While I have been the fantasy football champion among my friends and coworkers (twice before we got the trophy, even if our commissioner says that does not count), I have never come close to having a successful bracket during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. It is taken for granted that I will be last or next to last each year. But I still give it a shot. After all, it is just for pride and bragging rights. And I do get the dubious honor of bragging that I am always last.

This year, 2017, I was really excited after the first round. Well actually, after the first day of the first round. I was excited because I was tied for first. I was amazed at myself. But I knew it would not last so I took a screenshot of the bracket just to prove that I was on top. If only for a moment.

A week later, with the elite eight only half way done, all of my teams were out of the tournament. I was on the bottom of our standings with nowhere to go. Again.

Turns out that this was the year I should have just followed my emotions. I should have picked my mom’s favorite team, Gonzaga. At least they are in the final four.

My mom is no bandwagon jumper on-er. (That is a technical term for somebody who jumps on the bandwagon.) She lives in the Spokane area and has followed the Bulldogs for a long time. She watches them on TV and so does anybody else who is around her at game time. Of course, if she misses a game, do not let her know who won because she will go watch them later. I do not think Mom fills out tournament brackets, but if she did, Gonzaga would be her choice to win it all every year. At least if she went with her emotions.

Like I said, turns out that I should have followed my (or Mom’s) emotions this year. Because maybe Gonzaga really is the best Division I basketball team in the country this season. (I hope I do not jinx them with that statement.)

One thing about losing our bracket early is that I can think about my strategy for picking teams next year. Maybe I will go with the mascot strategy. You know, when you decide whose mascot can beat the other. (But it is tough deciding whether a horned frog can beat a wombat let alone whether a dog can beat a cat.) Or maybe I’ll go with which color of jerseys are brighter. Or maybe I’ll just flip a coin for each game – heads, the higher seed wins, tails the lower. Or maybe…

Regardless, the method of choosing does not matter. It seems picking game winners in the NCAA tournament is nearly impossible. Even the pundits have a tough time. Currently, I am thinking that I will just write a computer program to figure it out. It could not be any worse than picking my own choices.

When it comes right down to it, it really does not matter what choices I make in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I just do it for fun anyway. There is one certainty though. All it takes is sixty seconds (or maybe a week) for me to go from first to worst. You can count on that in March Madness.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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