Yesterday marked the first day of my (one and only) most favoritist sports season of the year: Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament.
I didn’t have any brothers or male cousins my age. Dad just sat around watching football by himself while Mom, Sarah and I would make up ridiculously complex family stories with our Barbies or set up a My Little Pony castle or sometimes let the sun touch our precious skin whilst drawing stuff on the sidewalk with chalk (we didn’t get out much). Sports weren’t in our vocabulary.
Fast forward 13 or so years when I was dating my college ex who was obsessed — LITERALLY OBSESSED — with bowling. Guys, he had, like, 11 balls. I’m not even exaggerating about that. And he had a robo-brace to keep his arm in place when he bowled, a little powder bean bag to keep his hands dry and a bag for all those balls (I said balls twice!!!!) Also? On the college bowling team. And we dated for three years, by the way. (Fail.)
Anyway, as nobody really considers that a real sport and I didn’t learn much about sports from him, let’s fast forward another five years to my third month dating my husband. We were in the thick of March Madness and I’d seen some extra-excitable behavior, but nothing compared to when Kentucky lost to Michigan State in the Final Four and he sulked into another room and came out in Cincinnati Reds gear. Basketball season, he said, was OVER.
I’ve got a bunch of dooseys from our game watching together (how about the time he accidentally busted a bag of tortilla chips while stomping around during a game? That was awesome.) I love him and like to support him and it’s only fair considering how many hours he spends watching trash like the Bachelor and American Idol with me.
In the past 6 years, I’ve realized I am much more invested in sports if there is:
- a good story associated with it (a player who donated a kidney to a sick kid, for instance)
- drama involved (coaching or recruitment scandals) or
- a super-hyped match-up.
The above reasons are why I love the NCAA Tournament. AND I love making my predictions, which has been a tradition with Hubby and I. I usually beat him because the less you know, amazingly, the better you fare. Actually the only time I didn’t beat him was the year I decided to get all fancy and do a little “research”. He’s shared a few little tips that have helped me tremendously with my predictions, and bloggy friends, I’m passing them on to you (and a few of these are my own recipes for success):
- At least one 13 will beat a 4.
- At least one 12 will beat a 5.
- At least one 10 will beat a 7.
- At least one 11 will beat a 6.
- For closer match-ups, look at the overall regular season record.
- Also, consider how close they are playing to their home court.
- If neither of these make it any clearer, choose based on some arbitrary thing: Which of the two teams is wearing your preferred color? Are they from a location you’ve visited before? Or want to visit? Do you remember one of their players from a news story you read? Do you like the way their name sounds (I will always choose Gonzaga)?
- If you are playing with a significant other or male friend, make sure you make their team lose the second round unless they are really good. It won’t help you win but it’s super fun to watch the color drain out of their face when you announce your prediction.
- Don’t make really dramatic upset predictions because usually it’s a crap shoot and then it will screw up your whole bracket.
There you have it; an almost fool-proof way to probably beat everybody else in their bracket. If I missed anything or you want to share your secrets (it’s just between us and also the entire internet!), leave ‘em in the comments! Go print off your own bracket and pretend like you care about basketball for a couple of weeks.
Tune in tomorrow when I’ll explain how I make prediction based on mascots, with my first guest blogger!