This weekend is arguably the second biggest for sports fans on the calendar. Although Super Bowl weekend is still king, the first two rounds of the NCAA Basketball Championship is, in my opinion, number two. When else is it almost appropriate to have the early basketball games minimized on your work computer on a Thursday and Friday afternoon?
For the kids competing in the 68 school event, it’s anywhere from a once in a lifetime chance at fame, to an NBA audition. What makes this time of year even more intriguing, is the fact that millions of casual fans have an interest in each and every game.
What had begun as a simple office pool in the 1980’s has caught on and become an obsession in America! The advent of the internet has helped fuel the fire on this. It is now so easy to log on to any of the hundreds of pools and click away at your predictions. I began competing in pools when players actually hand wrote there predictions and the moderator of the pool used a photocopier and kept track of the standings by hand!
There is a genius to this. If it wasn’t for my picks, would this sports fan who is originally from New York and lives in South Florida, have any rooting interest in a game involving Duke or Kentucky?
Like most Americans. while I was eating lunch on Thursday I was sitting at my desk watching the first game of the day. I had Notre Dame going another couple of rounds and continued to watch as Princeton stayed with them. The Irish would win by two points and had me whispering “Yes!” as time ran out. I’m not a fan of either school, but Notre Dame was supposed to continue on to the Sweet Sixteen in my world.
Yesterday afternoon the bubble burst for many when Wisconsin took down number one overall Villanova. A mere hours later Florida State’s loss to Xavier busted more brackets.
Here’s the genius in all of this. If you fill out one of these pool worksheets it gives watching the tournament new meaning. You have a rooting interest in every game! Thursday and Friday of the first weekend has everyone interested in all of the games being played. This weekend everyone from the most seasoned college basketball fan to the receptionist in the office all have a shot at winning. Everyone is interested during the first weekend of wall to wall basketball games.
During Barack Obama’s term as President, basketball fans looked forward to the unveiling of his bracket on ESPN. Many are disappointed that President Trump declined to do so this year. This just shows the enormity of what March Madness has become.
President Barack Obama fills out his 2009 Presidential Bracket
The question in workplaces throughout the United States and beyond, tomorrow morning will be “how did you do this weekend?” or “did your bracket get busted by Wisconsin beating Villanova?” There can be even more questions by day’s end today as number one seeds North Carolina and Kansas are in action.
Just for the record, I’m still alive and well despite Villanova losing yesterday. I had them losing to Duke in the Elite Eight. As for Florida State, I had Xavier winning that game. My Final Four you might ask? Three of them see action today. Kentucky, Louisville and Duke all play today. Gonzaga is safe and sound and in the Sweet Sixteen.
Enjoy the rest of this once a year basketball celebration. Take out your brackets and take notice as these kids play for a National Championship.