The Nationalist

March Badness: Still recovering from the fever

Daniel Chervoniuk, Writer

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I’m done with the NCAA tournament. Honestly.

If you’re just a college basketball fan trying to enjoy the games, good for you. But if you’re a bracket making, wishful thinking, only watching NCAA in March type of person like me, you’re probably feeling a little down in the dumps right now.

This is, without a doubt, the most unpredictable event in the history of time. It’s gotten to such a point that I feel absolutely scammed for even attempting to fill out my brackets for who’s winning the games.

The peak of March Madness is before the games start. Sitting with friends, filling out brackets, flipping coins on 8-9 matchups, and choosing your unique bold upset that everyone else thinks you’re stupid for believing in; there’s nothing quite like it. You might’ve filled out five brackets, or you might’ve filled out 25; I don’t judge. Either way, you sit on your chromebook in the middle of class all excited and eager to watch that first NCAA game. You might’ve missed that first matchup, but you had another bracket that got it right so you’re still optimistic. A couple hours roll by, and you check to see how your bracket(s) did with the other matchups.

It’s horrendous. The horrible look of despair and gloominess slowly washes over as your carefully crafted creation crumbles to the busted bracket abyss.

There’s no reason to be surprised at this point because the March Madness bracket making game is to lose. Here’s why.

The seeding is completely and utterly useless, for it grants little to no guidance on who will win. I will never be able to fill out 1-16 matchups without hesitation ever again because of the monstrosity that took place on Day 2 of the 2018 tournament.

“Oh, the 16 seed is 0-136 against 1 seeds? I think I’ll go with Virginia over UMBC.”

And just like that, tens of millions of perfect brackets right out of the god-dang window.

Even if you did get THAT match up right, (which only around 1.5% of people did) we have Loyola-Chicago, an 11 seeded team, who haven’t made the tournament in 38 years. Who would guess that they would make it to the Final Four? About 9,760 brackets did, but that’s out of around 17.3 million people.

I wasn’t even aware of this team’s existence a month ago, and now they’ve beaten the likes of Miami, Tennessee, Kansas State, and Nevada. I swear, Villanova and Kansas are the only teams that are keeping me sane.

But forget about the seeding for a minute, because there are upsets that need to be predicted. Some of us might be confident enough to make our own predictions, but what about those of us who want to get another perspective from a reliable source? How about the bracketology experts? You know, the ones paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to sit in front of a camera telling millions of people on sports networks who to pick on their brackets? Yeah, I’m pretty sure they were on the mark this year.

Oh, wait…

Jerry Palm, CBS Bracketology Expert- 67% correct leading up to Final Four

Matthew Berry, ESPN Analyst- 54% correct leading up to Final Four

Jemele Hill, ESPN Sports Journalist- 34% correct leading up to Final Four

 

There’s hundreds of thousands of generated RANDOMIZED brackets that are out-predicting so called “experts” who spent decades studying the stats and preparing themselves every March to put their knowledge to the test.

I think it’s time to learn to just enjoy the enhanced craziness of college basketball. Busted bracket or close to busted bracket, let’s just learn to experience the games the normal way.

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March Badness: Still recovering from the fever