Who did you pick to win the 2013 NCAA Tournament? I picked Indiana. Who’s in your Final Four this year? I’ve got Michigan State, Georgetown, Gonzaga and the Hoosiers. Have you ever picked all Final Four teams correctly? I’ve never even come close. Kudos if you have, but have you ever gotten all Elite 8 teams correct? How about the Sweet 16? Me neither.
Before the first day of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, I didn’t watch more than about three minutes of college basketball action this season, but I’ll be glued to every second of March Madness. I have no shame in that either because I’m in the same boat as millions of other Americans who also filled out a bracket and entered their office pool even though they know next to nothing about any of the teams in this year’s field.
Then you have the fanatics. These are the folks who watch as many games as they can every year, so you would think they would have the best brackets each year, yet they don’t even come close to picking even half the thing correctly. Heck, there are bracket contests won every year by female fans who pick games based off which uniforms they like the best, and that’s no exaggeration. As crazy as all this is, these are also just a few of the many reasons why millions of Americans absolutely love March Madness.
The main reason, however, is because no one will ever pick a perfect bracket. In the past half decade there was one perfect bracket through the first two rounds, but that’s the closest anyone has ever gotten. Even if you go through yours making all “safe” picks, you only got all of the Final Four right once and that was the only year in history that all four No. 1 seeds made it to the last round of the big dance.
In the last four years, the team I picked to win it all got bounced in the round of 64. Everyone knows that because each year I print out my bracket, fill it out in pen and then hang it on the wall by my desk for all to see. And despite all of that losing on my part, I watched as much of the tournament as possible each season. I’ve never gotten more than one Final Four team right, so you could say I’m not very good at this, but I go absolutely bracket crazy during mid-March every year no matter how early my bracket gets busted. And if you’re like the average American, you do too.