A Method to the Madness?
March Madness is one of my favorite times of the year. Fill out a bracket (or 2 or 10), put some money down, and watch every single NCAA tournament game like it’s a life or death situation. Every year I enter tournament pools and every year I sit at my computer reading about the Cinderella teams, weak #1 seeds, and the ESPN analysts’ predictions. (Seriously guys – stop picking all the #1 seeds to make the final 4 every year. Cop out.)
I realized that this research continuously gets me nowhere. I think I would have had a better chance at winning my pools if I had randomly written names down. To prove my theory, I asked some co-workers to fill out a bracket. Most of them had little to no NCAA basketball tournament knowledge, choosing their picks based on uniform color, team name, or favorite city. I was set out to prove that it doesn’t matter how much research you do – winning a pool is pure luck.
First Round: Out of a possible 32 points, Brianne won this round, making 24 correct picks. I came in a close second with 23 points, and Alyssa and Jill came in third with 21. (I’m not even going to count Sam’s picks as he wasn’t aware that a 16 seed had never beaten a 1 seed and chose every #1 except Pitt to get knocked out in the first round… maybe next year.)
Second Round: Out of a possible 32 points, Jill outscored everyone with 24 points – 12 correct picks out of 16. Pretty impressive for someone who chose winners based on team color. I came in second with 22 and Alyssa and Brianne followed with 16 and 14 points respectively.
Third Round: Pressure’s on – if you lose your championship team, you’re dead. Out of 32 points and 8 possible correct picks, Jill rocked it with 5 correct picks and 20 points. I managed 4 correct picks for 16 points and Alyssa and Brianne faded into the dust with only 2 correct picks. The problem now? Jill and Brianne had lost their Champion as Syracuse sucked it to OK. (Thanks for being loyal though ladies.)
Final 4 picks – Brianne, Alyssa, and Jill only had UConn left, where as I still had Villanova and UNC, but I already lost my champion when Memphis fell to Missouri. So if UConn could hold on to win – Alyssa would be the champ.
No dice though, as UConn fell to Michigan State. So, none of us had a champion. Since I picked UNC for the title game, I earned 16 points and squeaked by the other girls. Final scores (out of a possible 192 points):
Julie – 93
Jillian – 73
Brianne – 54
Alyssa – 53
So I did win the office pool – but not by much. I’m still convinced that all the research in the world can’t create a perfect bracket – who really picks Bucknell over Kansas? Come on. I’ll chalk this one up to luck as well – better luck next year ladies!
Posted by Julie