The Bracket

April, 2017
By: 
J.C.Phillips
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Every year in mid March, a fever sweeps across the United States. It affects businesses from the service industry to fortune 500 companies. The illness I speak of is March Madness. March Madness is a NCAA tournament that has 64 collegiate teams playing 5 rounds of elimination games to determine who has the best basketball team in the nation. In other words, it’s like the Hunger Games but no one gets killed.

Around this annual event, work productivity seems to slow down because people who are college basketball fans, casual sports fans or proud alumni of these universities want to test their skill to try and pick the winner(s) of each round. Usually someone is designated to run this event at either a local bar, sports site or one's place of employment - this is called a Bracket Pool. The wagers can range from zero to umpteenth dollars, depending how much you’re willing to risk. The person with the least eliminated teams, who also picks the champion usually wins. It’s rare that someone has a perfect bracket. You have better odds getting kissed by a movie star.

Usually, the first week, people are wiped out because of upsets of higher seeded teams by lower seeded teams is the norm of this tourney. That’s why people love this event because the underdog has the opportunity to win it all. After some years of not filling out a bracket, I decided to play once again and see if I still have the touch to pick winners in this tournament. To give you a glimpse of the highs and lows I have included snapshots of my progress or failure by each round.

As you can see, I was doing pretty well with my brackets until I hit the Elite Eight round. I still have four teams surviving but I have all but 1 team going to the Final Four and I don’t even have that team making it to the National Championship game. So, as you can see, I have a busted bracket. My dream of a perfect bracket was not to be, but I can now relax and watch the games stress free and see some truly talented student athletes playing for their school, their community and each other.

 

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