Clinton, S.C., Thursday, March 20, 2014, 9:56 a.m.
Last night Siri and I filled out some brackets. I don’t have any study going where I determine whether or not my iPhone can pick basketball games better than I.
Sadly, I know the answer to that question, and the last thing I want to do is provide evidence.
I was channel-surfing between NCAA play-ins, the NHL game, and a Red Sox exhibition, and it occurred to me that not only had I not entered a “bracket” in any pool, but no one had even asked me. I wasn’t miffed. I’m sure there were several hundred others in the United States, let alone Canada and beyond, who hadn’t been asked by someone to “fill out a bracket.”
Naturally, I went to ESPN, where the lonely go, and started picking away. So as to assure that no skill is involved, ESPN allows everyone to fill out ten brackets. As of right before I started writing this, I had filled out six.
Obviously, early upsets are likely. It’s just a matter of picking which ones. Filling out multiple brackets allowed me to forecast nonsensical outcomes like Harvard over Cincinnati and Nebraska over Baylor, and then, on the next ballot, not. I think lots of teams could win it all, and that is why, thus far, I have picked Duke, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Kansas twice.
I have so many options that there’s virtually no chance of losing interest. The closest I have to rooting interest is Texas, though the Furman’s women’s team did play in something called the WNIT, I’ll have you know.
I can fill out four more ballots, if I hurry.
Another advantage of being in competition with people I don’t actually know is that, regardless of what happens, I’ll be able to sit around at a bar or a barber shop or the local office supply and say, “Yeah, I saw that coming. State didn’t have the personnel to come out of that zone when the game was on the line,” or, “The Poly coach played right into the Shockers’ hands,” or, “Florida probably beats any other team in the field, but the matchup in the Sweet Sixteen was brutal.”
By then, I’ll have some new announcer lingo that no one except (perhaps) announcers understands.
Some will see me for the con artist I am, of course, and it could be because they read this blog.
My winning ten grand on the NCAA Tournament is unlikely. I’ll probably continue to depend on the public buying one (or both!) of my novels, The Audacity of Dope or The Intangibles. They are both good and good for you. They are even available for Kindles.