From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.
Last week in the Lebodome (a.k.a. Scott Leibowitz) you learned all about how to fill out your 2013 NCAA March Madness tournament bracket. In his admirable quest to finish ahead of President Obama, he provided you with five things to remember when making your predictions for the NCAA Tournament. Well I took those five things into account, and with all due respect to Scott, it didn’t get me anywhere!
What Scott Told Me
First he told me not to over think my picks by choosing the big upset. My first rational thought was to pick Georgetown (more on this later), and in doing so I missed out on the joy ride that is Florida Gulf Coast! Not only did they become the first number 15 seed ever to advance to the Sweet 16, but they’ve also become the darlings of the tournament with their awe-inspiring alley oops and their frequent dance parties.
Scott also mentioned the importance of seeding. The higher seeds have done relatively well to this point, except in the West region of the bracket where the 9th-seeded Wichita State Shockers knocked out top ranked Gonzaga and will face off against the 12th seeded Explorers of La Salle. Nothing but red lines through my incorrect picks on that side of the bracket.
Moving on, I agreed with the idea that history isn’t important, and picked Georgetown (DC pride!) to win the championship this year. Doing so meant ignoring the fact that Georgetown was knocked out of the tournament by a double-digit seed four out of the last five years. Make it five out of six. That’s right, my bracket was eliminated from contention before the first round was over. Thanks, again, Florida Gulf Coast University.
Scott hit the nail on the head when he said “It really doesn’t matter.” He’s right. Just because my bracket would have been better if I had simply flipped a coin for each pick doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the rest of the tournament. Scott concluded his advice by saying, “Worst case you finish last and no one remembers it in a week.”
Wash Down Your Sorrows
Well I did finish last, and to help ensure I don’t remember it I’m going to spend the Sweet 16 enjoying food and drink specials at some of these Borderstan bars.
- Public Bar: 1214-B 18th Street NW, $3 Miller Lites and Yuenglings, $5 Stoli/Redbull.
- Lucky Bar: 1221 Connecticut Avenue NW, $3.50 Bud Light pints, $14 Bud Light pitchers, $4 Yuengling pints, $15 Yuengling pitchers.
- Buffalo Billiards: 1330 19th Street NW, $3.50 Miller Lites, $3.50 Coors Lites, $15 Buckets, $4 Redd’s Apple Ale
- The Gryphon: 1337 Connecticut Avenue NW, $5 Captain Morgan Cocktails & The Black and Stormy, among other specials.
- The Front Page: 1333 New Hampshire Avenue NW, $3 Miller Drafts, $5 Rails, $8 RBVs.
It’s that time of the year again. March tends to be a pretty wild month when you think about it and everyone seems just impatient waiting for the winter to end. From the killing of Julius Caesar to the day everyone becomes Irish, this month is all over the place.
However my favorite maddening tradition this month is, of course, basketball — my NCAA Final Four bracket (aka March Madness).
Every year I go into thinking this is the year I nail all my predictions, and every year I finish very middle of the pack. The odds on a perfect bracket are rough but, frankly, I am just looking to finish better than Obama this year. So to help ya out, Borderstan, here are five easy and simple thoughts to keep in mind when filling out your bracket this week.
Bracketology: Five Things to Remember
- DON’T OVERTHINK: So many errors happen because we all want to predict the big upset. That’s what makes them the big upset, the fact that you didn’t see it coming. Your bracket will do better if you stick with your first rational thought.
- Seeds are there for a reason: The seeding system isn’t just random. Yes some teams get more love than others but when thinking about who will win, read the seed before making a rash decision.
- Where is the game played?: Regions can make a big difference in the middle rounds. I love picking against smaller schools who have to travel long distances or a contender having to play in their nemesis backyard.
- History Isn’t Important: Yes we all know teams like Duke, Kansas, and Indiana. But that doesn’t mean a less-on-the-radar team, like Florida, Louisville, or Gonzaga, can’t make a deep run to the finals.
- It really doesn’t matter: No matter how hard you try, you can’t control anything. Finish your bracket on time and hope for the best. Best case scenario you win of your office/family/friends pool. Worst case you finish last and no one remembers it in a week.
The first game is this Thursday so fill out your brackets soon! Enjoy the Madness, Borderstan!
What Really Grinds My Gears
Did we even just have a real winter? Maybe we need a word for a cold fall that has no snow
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- 50 common misconceptions. Worth watching whole video.
- Carlesberg friend test. I hope mine would pass.
- March Madness, explained through Star Wars.