In the past few days, I have learned a few lessons about March Madness tournament brackets. Not all lessons are easy to learn. Moreover, some lessons come as no surprise.
Lesson 1: Reaffirmation
It’s not so much a lesson as it is a reaffirmation. I am not a good analyst. My predictions and bracket choices are based on limited knowledge. While, I enjoy a good basketball game, I don’t keep track of all the stats, players, or all the win/loss columns. I simply like good basketball games.
Lesson 2: Choose early
As soon as the brackets were announced, I picked four teams I thought had a decent chance of playing in the Final Four. I procrastinated and didn’t get into the office pool soon enough. Someone else had picked my teams. I didn’t choose Mercer and Dayton as much as I “ended up” with them. There’s still hope!
Lesson 3: Emotions are in high gear
I see it every year; the most stoic, even-keeled, analytical people become hyper-animated, trash-talking, emotional office pool competitors. There is something about March Madness that transforms people into their alter ego. My theory on this is that they choose their teams based on emotional attachment rather than rational data.
Lesson 4: Good sportsmanship
Good sportsmanship is not for the court only. As I mentioned earlier, I ended up with Mercer and Dayton as a couple of my teams. I took some good-natured ribbing about it, and I wasn’t even excited about it until Dayton beat OSU and Mercer beat Duke. I could have gloated and made some in-your-face remarks to the nearly despondent Duke fan, but I chose the high road. I made some generic remarks about Cinderella teams, in general, and how there’s always an upset or two in the tournament.
Lesson 5: Indifference
It’s hard for me to understand, but some people just don’t care about March Madness or sports in general. It’s okay with me if they don’t have an interest in sports or office pools. During the tournament, I don’t purposely avoid those people. I prefer the company of like-minded people who can understand the excitement and madness of the games.
There are those moments, however, when an indifferent person asks questions about the tournament. Perhaps the most comical question was, “Is there really a big dance after each game? How do I get tickets to the dances”? Oh, bless her little socialite heart.