Ah, March 1st. The smell of spring isn’t in the air yet, but you know what is……MARCH MADNESS BABY! That’s right, one of my favorite times of the year is the ultimate college basketball showdown, where hearts are broken and dreams are made…..Oh all right, only my husband’s heart gets broken as I beat him year after year after year when we fill out our NCAA brackets. “Wait a minute,” I hear you asking, “Did you say that you beat your husband every year? The same husband who gets the college basketball yearbook and….gasp….actually watches the games throughout the season?” That’s right! I, who used to trip over myself after making a basket (a rare occurrence in and of itself); I, the person who figures that yelling really loudly at the tv and making disparaging comments about a team’s “inability to shoot from the outside,” and their hopeless entanglement with a “zone defense” will disguise the fact that I have no idea what the hell any of that means; that very same “I” manages to beat my husband every year (so far–I am well aware that talking smack in such a public venue is tempting fate, but hey, it’s fun while it lasts). I will share with you my tried-and-true and oh-so-scientific-and-trustworthy standards for picking teams:
- Is the team from Wisconsin? If so, they go far (gotta stay with the home teams)
- Does the team name sound like a cheese? (i.e. Gonzaga always reminds me of Gorgonzola, mmmm…)
- Would I ever want to live in the state that the team is from? If no, then the team loses.
- Do I like the team uniforms?
- Does the school have a good history department?
- What about the english/american studies department?
- Is Bobby Knight the coach? If so, the team loses.
- Does the coach of the team have bad hair? I’ve noticed several coaches with slicked-back, greasy looking hair….obviously a sign that the team should not advance.
- Do I know people that I like who go to the school? That I dislike?
- Is the team from Wisconsin? (repetitive, I know, but by far the most important question to consider.)
- Do I like the mascot?
- Does my paycheck come from the school in question?
I have to admit that I do pay attention to the rankings listed by the team name, but when it feels like a toss-up, I go with my gut, and my gut leans toward cheese curds, brats, and beer (hence the importance of a WI team). And as I have no pretensions of ever winning the whole thing (although I did come in fourth once), I feel my system works for me, as I continue to leave my husband in the dust every time.
For those of you who may be less inclined to sports during this season (or at all), there is such a thing as the Tournament of Books (thanks to The Morning News). I, for one, think this is a genius idea, and I’m looking forward to it.
So bring on the b-ball! (Although if we could leave the sports announcers behind I would be most pleased).