No, this has nothing to do with grief. Are you surprised?
This has to do with one of my favorite topics -- sports -- particularly college basketball.
Last Thursday, as soon as I got home to my parents house, my dad busts out with
"You will never guess what happened!?! It is the worst I have ever seen!!"
"Richmond had a total meltdown. They were up by 3 points and lost the first round of the A-10 tournament in the final 4.7 seconds due to technical fouls!!! Charlotte won by 5 points!!!"
"So, you are saying Charlotte scored 8 points in the last 4.7 seconds?"
(Cardiac patients should not be watching games like this!! Dad is still alive and well, though. Whew!!)
My beloved Spiders had a complete meltdown in the last 4.7 seconds of the game. It was over a "questionable" call. One foul led to a technical, which led to another technical, and another, and Coach Mooney gettin' tossed! In 4.7 seconds, Charlotte scored 8 points, a player and Coach Mooney lost their cool, we lost the game, were eliminated from the A-10 tournament, and lost a potential opportunity for a bid to The Big Dance!
Talk about a meltdown!!! We sure made the headlines of ESPN Friday morning, but not in the way we would have liked.
Fast forward five days and I am filling out my bracket for The Big Dance (sans Richmond, sad.).
I always enter a pool for football and money is on the line. Last year, I ended up in 4th place out of 30. I just missed a prize by one spot. Bummer. This past season, I placed dead last. Big bummer. I fill out a bracket for March Madness, but I don't enter the same pool as I do for football because they don't have it and I've never really sought out another pool. Typically, I just fill out my bracket for kicks. Last night, though, my dad sent me an email to join his office pool. All that's on the line is bragging rights, so I jumped at the chance and sat down to fill it out.
It's no secret that March Madness is unpredictable. It always seems as if heart and desire somehow outshine athletic ability in The Big Dance and that is one of the reasons I adore college basketball. They play with such heart and energy. Considering my failure in the football pool, I decided I wasn't going to do any real research. I had done a lot last year for this tournament and my bracket was trashed when Duke got knocked out in the first round. In my family, we are Carolina fans, but I had confidence in Duke and didn't expect them to let me down so early. I did research for football and you know how that turned out. I blame the replacement refs for some of that, but I really should have hit the "random" button and probably would have done better in that pool. SO, my March Madness method, no research.
I instituted what I like to call the "girly girl" method. I can say that. I am one. The only difference is I actually do know a lot about sports, love sports, and could trash talk or engage in an intelligent conversation with the best of 'em. What is the "girly girl" method? It goes a little something like this:
"Oh, I like the color of their uniforms, I'll pick them. I like their mascot. I know someone who lives there....or went to that school" Those were my thoughts when I was making my picks last night.
TWO games in and I am already in trouble!!
I picked Pitt to go to the championship game. Totally a sleeper pick, but who would have expected Duke to get knocked out in the first round last year, RMU to beat Kentucky (Congrats Jeremy!) in the NIT this year or George Mason to make it to The Final Four? Pretty much nobody. I picked Pitt to go to the championship for those reasons and because Dude is from Pitt, so it was a bit of a nostalgic pick. In my bracket, Pitt played Georgetown and GTown takes the cake!!
But then comes this team from Wichita State. WHO THE HECK IS WICHITA STATE??
And, can someone please tell me why Kansas has THREE teams in the NCAA tournament?! WICHITA STATE, Kansas AND Kansas State!! What is going on in Kansas!! Apparently all they do is play basketball (and make me mad. Let's not talk about the time in 2011, at the Sweet Sixteen when Kansas wiped the floor with the Spiders. Just don't mention it.)
The "Shockers" (as they are called) screwed up my bracket already!!
So, here I am, research or the "girly girl method"....No matter how I select the winning teams, I end up with the same result. Done.
This time I am glad there's no money on the line. My bracket is about to meet the trash.
Thanks a lot, Pitt. I had confidence in you.