My bracket is busted, and that’s okay

Crumbled up and busted March Madness bracket thrown in the trash

Rylin Batac

Crumbled up and busted March Madness bracket thrown in the trash

March Madness.

I’ve always thought it was the best postseason in all of sports. Better than the NBA, NFL, MLB, and certainly better than the college football playoff (expand it to 12 teams, please NCAA). A perfect mixture of talent, underdogs, and inclusivity for teams across the nation. 68 teams compete, only one can win.

But the one brilliance of the tournament, the pièce de résistance, is the bracket.

Humans have a natural tendency to believe they are always right, and that’s totally understandable. Who would you trust more than yourself? Can’t be a lot of people if any.

And that’s what makes the bracket so fun. We attempt to guess 63 games correctly, each one impacting the next. Our own intuition tells us that the bracket we made makes sense; that in our opinion, this is what the outcome of the tournament will be. We consume sports media to find out “experts” picks and compare them to ours. Some pick teams to win based on favorite color and favorite mascot. However we draw up a bracket, in our eyes, it’s right.

The problem: it’s practically impossible.

There is a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance at a perfect bracket (or 1 in 9,200,000,000,000,000,000 if you were keeping count). You are more likely to get struck by lightning, win the lottery, or step on the moon than create a perfect bracket. The furthest someone has gone with a perfect bracket is 49 games, which is beyond impressive. We could never see a bracket like that again.

Personally, I’ve had my worst bracket yet this year. By the end of day 1, not even the end of the first round, I had 3 of my Final Four teams out.

3 out of 4, that’s pretty bad.

Not my best picking I’d say. Perhaps I was a little too high on Iowa and Kentucky, but at least I was not alone. Over half of all brackets were busted after only those two games. Who could have expected Saint Peter’s, a small Jersey City university with 2,355 undergrads, to have beaten blue-blood Kentucky? Kentucky spends a whopping 16.7 million dollars more on basketball than Saint Peter’s, making it the largest financial upset of all time. And after beating Murray State, Saint Peter’s is dancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Quite the year to be a peacock.

These upsets are what keeps us coming back. The thrill of a college you may never have heard of before beating a perennial powerhouse is what makes March Madness special. We develop special bonds with schools and players no one could have predicted. The most popular player in the tournament is Doug Edert, guard for Saint Peter’s. You may know him for his mustache, torching top-tier programs, and having the first name “Doug.” What’s not to love?

In the words of Irish poet, Oscar Wilde, “expect the unexpected.” Someone like Doug Edert will come around to ruin it, it is inevitable. Don’t worry, you’ll learn to like him quickly. So don’t fret when your bracket is busted, everyone else is in the same boat.

March Madness is as predictable as the weather. There’s about a sixty percent chance it’ll rain so you take your best guess on who wins. The expert meteorologists tell you what they think will happen but somehow never get criticized if they get it wrong. Even if it starts to downpour on your bracket, there will be sunny days next time.