Over the weekend I was asked why we have yet to do a story on this year’s NCAA tournament. The answer is quite simple:
I know nothing about March Madness.
There are so many teams in this tournament and in D-1 athletics to begin with that I literally cannot keep track of them all. I have a general idea of what teams are in what conference and what teams are contenders but that’s about it. I just have never been able to get into college basketball or any real collegiate sports for that matter.
The rules are different, it’s formatted weird, the majority of the players aren’t very good, there are trumpets and brass instruments at every corner, and literally every student section annoys the hell out of me, regardless of what school it is. The only time I think I really genuinely enjoyed college basketball was for that stretch where Monmouth’s bench did all of their crazy antics from the sideline in the middle of games.
I like sports and I do research on almost everything but I could not tell you for the life of me how many conference losses Wichita State had this season. In fact, I couldn’t tell you what conference they even play in. I really just don’t care enough about college sports.
But with that being said, I have been watching some tournament games lately, partly because it is all ESPN shows anymore and even when there isn’t a game on, they’re busy talking about the games 24/7. But I did watch some of the games I was at least semi-interested in. I have a hometown bias towards Butler but I think they have a pretty good team that plays hard. Kansas looked fantastic against Michigan State and that Josh Jackson kid is going to be a stud at the NBA level, Michigan has caught complete fire lately, and Wisconsin might maybe be for real after knocking off Villanova.
I also told myself that this would be the one year where I wouldn’t fill out a bracket. Not only because I don’t know enough about the teams, but because I would immediately lose interest as soon as I got a pick wrong. But inevitably, a friend of mine started a pool for our church and I gave in and filled out a bracket.
Much to my surprise though, I’m actually doing quite well so far. Last I checked I think I’m in 2nd place or tied for it. I know that everyone hates it when there always seems to be that one guy at the top of the pool who doesn’t watch the games or does any research, or just doesn’t like sports at all. I assure you that I am that guy. I made some picks, picked a few upsets and went from there. I don’t know anything about how many wins teams had against power 5 conferences or anything like that. I filled out my bracket in five minutes and just hoped for the best.
What may be even more incredible though, is that the person who is leading our pool is the lone girl in our group, who as best I can tell, really does not care much for sports at all. She has lead this entire time and eventually this past Sunday I just was like “so…who helped you with your bracket?” in a lighthearted way. Don’t make me out to be the rude sexist guy, but I was truly convinced that someone helped her, not because she’s a girl, but because I am fairly certain she had just as much, if not less interest and knowledge in college basketball than I did before this tournament started. But she promised me that the picks were all her own, and in her defense, she told me that she has taken a real interest in the tournament since it started and has been trying to watch most of the games when she has time.
But I digress…my point here is, I really don’t have much investment in collegiate sports. I don’t know the stats on Lonzo Ball. I just know he’s going to be a top-3 pick when he’s drafted and that his father is a complete tool. I have Gonzaga winning the whole thing even though people tell me I’m crazy for doing so, but again, keep in mind I haven’t watched one Gonzaga game all year. I’m the furthest thing from an expert. My beloved Boston Celtics are projected to draft Washington’s Markelle Fultz and I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about him other than that he’s supposed to be really good. There is too much to know in college sports and I don’t care enough to try and follow it up close.