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Viewpoint: Why Your Bracket Is Terrible

Retrieved from http://content.sportslogos.net

Retrieved from http://content.sportslogos.net

Cal U'Ren, Sports Reporter

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If you managed to guess the final four correctly this year you ended up being part of the .003 percent to do so out of over 13 million submissions.

North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Gonzaga are now the last four remaining teams in the tournament. Let me reiterate that choosing teams truly is a “guess” rather than a “choice.” With crazy finishes and high ranking seeds getting bounced early nearly every year, it’s not hard to understand why it’s called March Madness.

Having comprehensive basketball knowledge can be beneficial for many reasons, but erudition simply doesn’t help with an event like the NCAA’s tournament. It’s a tradition that can utilize skill to a certain extent, but realistically it’s all a gamble.

For starters, there are sixty-eight teams with a shot at the beginning. Many higher seeds have better odds than other teams involved, but this also means there is a high probability for fluctuation in wins and losses from one bracket to the next. It’s likely you can get almost all picks during the first weekend correct, but crumble afterwards due to one or two teams underperforming.

For the casual fan, or even someone who watches college basketball regularly, the problem comes from match ups; this is why seeding is such an important aspect. Most who fill out a bracket either don’t have the time or knowledge to analyze each potential game in regards to team or player match ups. Many, if not most, just use the “eye test” or their gut feeling, which can often lead to varying results.

There are countless examples of teams who appear better on paper in terms of talent, record, and athleticism that falter against an unlikely opponent. Any 1 or 2 seed can have endless Mcdonald’s All Americans or a twenty-five-win season, but if they face a team built to slow down their strengths these attributes can quickly become diminished.

Viewing brackets of sports writers and broadcasters who analyze the game for a living will tell you everything you need to know about your odds of successfully picking a bracket. If Jay Bilas can only get one out of the final four correct and Joe Lunardi and Seth Greenberg can’t manage any then how are we expected to fare well?

The next time your friend gloats about having the best bracket just remind them that it didn’t take much skill, they essentially just won a small lottery. The tournament is a crapshoot and hopefully it stays that way, because it’s consistently one of the best sporting events to watch every single year.

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Viewpoint: Why Your Bracket Is Terrible