Posted on 16. Mar, 2011 by in All, NCAA Basketball.

No Bracket for me!

The NCAA Tournament is officially underway as the “First Four” kicked off last night with a pair of play-in games from Dayton, Ohio.  Two teams seeded 16 squared off in the first contest followed by two 12 seeds in the second game of the night.  Winners of each would then advance on to the next “pod” to meet their opponents for Thursday first round games. Two more similar games will be played tonight.  This is the first year that the NCAA Tournament has expanded to 68 teams and had a number of play-in games.  I still have little opinion on if I think that was a good move for the sport.

As soon as the pairing s for the tournament is announced, the word “bracket” becomes the favorite word to use in the dictionary.  People that have not even seen a Division One College Basketball game this season fill out a bracket and try to make the correct picks, usually playing for a monetary prize.  Some pick winners based on “expert” knowledge, some based on team colors. Some pick winners based on past history and some on who has the coolest team mascot.  Whatever the reason, everyone thinks they have the perfect bracket, but no one ever does.

I can’t explain how many times I am asked about my bracket, called for advice, and asked to predict the future on who will win each game. This could come as a surprise to some, but I do not, did not, have not and never will fill out a bracket for the NCAA Tournament.  My reason may not make much sense to some, but it does to me.

I feel filling out a sheet with what I think will happen ruins the fun of the tournament for me.  Being as competitive as I am, and wanting to win every poll I enter, I would force myself to cheer and root for certain teams, specific upsets and exact results.  That is something that I never want to do.   My goal during the tournament is to sit back, relax and hope every game is a buzzer beater in triple overtime.

Sure I have a few teams I pull for, this year wanting Coach Huggins (West Virginia) and Coach Martin (Kansas State) to lead their teams to the championship, but for the most part I do not care on the outcomes of each game.  Filling out a bracket would force me to do so and put added stress into an event that I just want to enjoy.

Many people think I am nuts when explaining this to them and giving my reasons for not filling out a bracket.  I don’t think less of the people that I do fill out the pick sheets, it is just not my cup of tea.

I cannot wait until Thursday afternoon at noon, when the traditional first day of the tournament starts and teams begin their journey towards their “One Shinning Moment.”

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