Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is this the hardest NCAA bracket of all-time?

I gave my bracket a first go Sunday night, and immediately hated it. It may be the worst I’ve ever filled out. I’m talking worse than my first bracket as a freshman in high school. I had Maryland winning it all that year. They won the first round on a buzzer-beating three (how's that for HD quality?), then lost the second round thanks to a Steve Blake missed layup on a wide-open fast break. I still hate him for that. I think I entered the Sweet 16 with 7 teams, had one Final Four team, and came in like 36th out of 38. I finished 34 places behind two hot girls that knew nothing about basketball. And yet I still think my bracket this year might suck even more.

With that being said, in the last two days, I haven’t been able to come up with anything better. I literally haven’t changed a game. I can’t back up any possible change I make.

Coming in, I was all pumped. I already knew my champion. I had my sleepers in mind. Then the committee created the weirdest bracket of all time. They've scattered good teams across bad seeds and bad teams across good seeds. Washington is a 7-seed. Florida is somehow a 2-seed. Texas is a 4-seed. Kentucky, a 4-seed. Then there's the late season injuries to think about. BYU and St. John’s lost key players. Kyrie Irving might come back, he might not. How about sleepers? All of my sleepers are playing each other in the first or second round. I expect some teams to be sleepers, but how am I supposed to know which team is a better sleeper than the other? It’s just not fair. Oh Kansas State could be a Final Four team? Well, Utah State “believes that [they] will win.” I can’t lose a Final Four team in Round 1.

Apparently I’m not the only one struggling with this bracket. I’ve heard people say they thought this was the year of the lower seed. I’ve heard others say they expected all four #1s to advance to the Final Four. My one buddy filled his bracket out for the first time, had San Diego State in the final, and just immediately crumpled it up and threw it out. If I could, I’d crumple up my computer and throw my bracket out as well.

I think this year’s bracket is a testament to the college basketball season overall. No one team really stood out. All the top teams beat each other up. There was a new #1 every week down the stretch. There just hasn’t been a clear-cut favorite.

Which makes my life filling out this bracket pretty miserable. As I’m sure it is for most. With that being said, I will still invest $20 in a pool, with the hope that maybe once, I’ll come home victorious. If not, at least the games will be that much more exciting along the road.

No matter how good I feel about my bracket coming in, I know it’s inevitable that when I tune into the first three games on Thursday, I’ll be losing two of them miserably, and barely hanging on to a lead in the other one.

It wouldn’t be March if there wasn’t any madness involved.