Junious Smith III: No March Madness brackets for me
If you’re reading this, your bracket is probably busted already.
March Madness is one of the greatest sporting events of the year — 68 teams with the glimmer of hope to win a national championship in college basketball and bring glory to their school. Countless hours are wasted at work as employees sneak games in while hoping their upsets hold true and powers remain, well, powerful. Millions of brackets are created each year with the hopes of winning prizes in the office or national stage.
Just count me out.
Three years ago, I haphazardly put together a bracket at my job at the time. I spent all of three minutes on it and gave it no thought until a coworker told me I had a lead after the first weekend. Once the news broke, I was highly engaged from there and it went from just enjoying the contests to hoping the teams I selected were still in it.
I had a lead heading into the Final Four, but when Oklahoma was upended by Villanova in the semifinals, I was tied with someone who also picked Carolina to win the title.
We had separate combined scores — mine being about 10 points higher. Overtime seemed almost certain after the Tar Heels’ amazing comeback in the final minutes, coupled with Marcus Paige’s off-balance 3-pointer to tie it. I was close to the win until Kris Jenkins came back to give Duke fans (for lack of printable words) smiles for an entire year.
I didn’t fill one out the next year and Carolina won the title, then attempted one last year only for two of my Final Four teams (the Tar Heels and Virginia) to not make it out of the first weekend. I have enough stress in my life to fill out a bracket, so I’ll just enjoy the games with only two teams to worry about (Carolina and anyone Duke plays because, well, rivalry.)
I certainly have no issue with anyone enjoying March Madness to its fullest potential. If those are your predictions, go with them and I wish you the best of luck with most of them. Meanwhile, I’ll sit back and enjoy just about every scenario coming my way.
Well, except a Carolina loss and a Duke national tournament. Then, I might just throw the whole season away.