Why a busted bracket is one of the simplest ways to get pleasure from March Madness

I picked the University of Virginia’s basketball group to win the lads’s NCAA Tournament. Yes, you learn that proper. Virginia, the exact same No. 4-seed that misplaced to No. 13-seed Furman University on Thursday within the first spherical of 2023’s Big Dance.

My bracket is now fully busted.

And I’m free.

Look, I understand how silly my picks had been. A UVA win would have — within the fantasy world I created with my bracket — included beating the juggernaut Alabama within the spherical of 16, one thing that few folks thought the Cavaliers would have the ability to do. And within the championship, I had UVA beating No. 1-seed Houston at NRG Stadium. A stadium that, you would possibly concentrate on, is in Houston, and would subsequently award Houston home-court benefit.

No one in addition to me and UVA followers wished that. Virginia basketball is outlined by attempting to pressure shot-clock violations, the least horny type of basketball that has ever existed. You must be an actual weirdo or a dad who’s obsessive about protection to need that within the championship.

And but, maybe due to previous loyalties, I blindly believed that the Magic of March would rub off on the Cavaliers. Yes, I knew that the group lately misplaced to Duke within the ACC Tournament. And sure, I had learn the harm experiences and knew UVA wasn’t enjoying at full energy.

And possibly worst of all, I selected UVA this 12 months even though I picked them to win the championship in 2018, when the group was a No. 1 seed. You would possibly do not forget that UVA misplaced to No. 16-seed UMBC within the first spherical in one of many greatest upsets of all time.

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I did not be taught my lesson.

BUT IT’S MARCH! This is the entire level of March! That we do not be taught classes! That the factor you assume is least more likely to occur will, in a single type or one other, occur! The joke is firmly on me, as a result of I guess on the improper unlikely factor, and UVA is out of the match, as is my bracket.

To quote the nice witch Stevie Nicks, “Oh, I am a fool.”

Or am I? What if this has all been a grand scheme to save lots of my sanity? Hear me out.

I discover March Madness enormously irritating once I fill out a bracket. If you are a sports activities fan studying this, you most likely think about your self a aggressive individual, so possibly you may relate once I say that I care an excessive amount of about successful in the case of these brackets. And I must be clear, I’ve at most $20 driving on them. This is strictly about precept and delight for me (in case you’re betting the farm, effectively, that could be a totally different article altogether and this one most likely does not apply to you).

All of which means that when my bracket does effectively, it ruins my expertise of watching basketball. Because when my bracket remains to be alive, I need to succeed so badly that I can not delight within the superb upsets and the chaos that defines this match.

It’s an infinite aid to lose so badly that there was by no means even an opportunity of successful. It’s form of depressingly comforting to set the bar low and maintain it there. Because I can now root for absolute chaos: I hope Alabama loses as quickly as attainable. Under no circumstances do I need any No. 1-seeds within the Final Four.

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I do know this can be a controversial opinion. Most folks need to see the perfect, highest-quality degree of play. They need aggressive video games. And it is broadly accepted that the perfect likelihood of that comes within the type of the best attainable seeds enjoying one another every spherical.

But that is not honest to the St. Peter’s of the world. Do you do not forget that superb run? When the No. 16-seed BEAT PURDUE within the SWEET SIXTEEN!?

Sure, they went on to get shellacked by UNC within the Elite Eight, however child, not less than they made it there.

I bear in mind studying offended tweets from followers and commentators saying issues like, “This is why Cinderella stories actually suck, because then we get horrible games in the later rounds.”

What a completely terrible outlook on life. First, the entire level of faculty basketball in March is mayhem. Let’s be sincere, we’re not watching this sport for the product, we’re watching it for the guts these gamers play with, for the loopy outcomes, for the marching bands and memes. That’s what school sports activities are: tough across the edges and filled with ardour.

So we should embrace the chaos. We should root for the unimaginable. Ninety p.c of brackets had been busted after that UVA loss, so there is a nine-out-of-10 likelihood (you see that fast psychological math I simply did?) that yours is simply too.

Consider it a blessing. You are delivered from the guesses of your individual thoughts (there’s a psychological lesson in right here someplace, however I’m not going to get into it as a result of this text is already too lengthy). Let’s hope all of us selected as poorly for the ladies’s match as we did for the lads’s, and that for the remainder of March, bedlam reigns.

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Watch with clear eyes and an open coronary heart, as a result of it is now purely concerning the journey. And as for simply how a lot I’ll have the ability to get pleasure from March Madness now that I’ve blown it so badly, let me quote the nice Michael Jordan:

“The ceiling is the roof.”

Charlotte Wilder is a columnist for FOX Sports. She’s honored to signify the continually uncared for Boston space in sports activities media, loves speaking to sports activities followers about their emotions and is happiest consuming a hotdog in a ballpark or nachos in a stadium. Follow her on Twitter @TheWilderThings.

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