The time of year has come again, March Madness is upon us. The hands down best sporting event of the year is here and I just hope we all remember to really soak it in and not let one second go by wasted not watching college basketball. The mystique of this tournament is unlike any other in sports. Any given team could win at any given time, “one shining moment” is all anyone needs. Thursday to Sunday, from Noon to Midnight, college basketball is non stop. If you have a job that doesn’t essentially mail it in and let you watch the tournament at work and you’re not immediately responsible for some one else’s life then you just may need to quit it now. That is not the place for you, no one there cares about you and obviously doesn’t care if you enjoy your life. The first four days of the tournament should be for nothing but laying around, gambling like a degenerate, drinking until you fall asleep, and stuffing your face with whatever unhealthy foods you can cram down your gullet. I still don’t know how this weekend and the day after the Super Bowl aren’t national holidays but that is another issue for another day.
Along with this glorious weekend we have the absolute hands-down best tradition in sports, filling out brackets. You do a bracket at home, one with your buddies on an app, one at work, one at church, if you have a family member that’s in a nursing home get to asking around because those old shits usually are doing one too. Make as many as you possibly can because folks you never know when it could be your last March Madness. Granted it’s going to drive you nuttier than squirrel shit when you have Kansas going to the Elite Eight and they get upset by Notheastern in the first round but that is the beauty of it all really, isn’t it?
Looking at upset spots for your bracket that 5/12 spot is always a hot one for people to take an upset in the first round and I think that is no different than this year. Murray State is just a 4 point underdog to Marquette and Oregon is just +2 to Wisconsin themselves. I think taking either one of those in your bracket could be a good chance at stealing some points in the first round and if you like to gamble a bit I would most definitely sprinkle a little something something on the money line of both of those game with pay outs of +156 and +117 respectively. Some other upsets to be looking in to would be the 7/10 places and specifically Florida over Nevada along with Seton Hall over Wofford both of those favorites are giving two points and that’s tight even for two teams seeded that closely. Also any time you are to look at a spread on the game and it seems too good to be true to take the favorite you can almost guarantee that the underdog is going to cover and a lot of time will win out right, with that being said there is another couple of under dog upsets to look into. For example Kansas is only a 6.5 point favorite over Northeastern and that makes absolutely zero sense, Saint Mary’s is only getting 4.5 from Villanova and again where the hell does that come from. I know Nova hasn’t been playing the best basketball all year but to think Saint Mary’s is within 5 points to begin with you could definitely justify taking them in the tournament and showing the ML some love. I’ve actually got a little bit of a gut feeling that Saint Mary’s could be a Cinderella pick this year, now that is not based in fact so take that for what it is worth. So anytime you see a spread like that definitely mark that down and take that into consideration when you fill your bracket out this year. Also just a little F.Y.I a majority of people love to bet the over so it will jack the total up, factor that in with a little bit of nervous energy from the younger guys and harder defense than anyone has probably played in their life and taking the under on the total just before tip off should be easy money on most games.
At the end of the day you can study all you want, look into every game and every team, take days to fill out your bracket, then some jack ass at work who doesn’t know the difference in a basketball and a pumpkin could walk away with all your bracket pool money. But that damn sure shouldn’t stop you from trying. Even though this tournament is a lot of luck and a crazy shots and crazy upsets at the end of the day, the best team usually wins. That sounds crazy stupid and simple but that’s about the best advice you can get. All four seeds have only made the Final Four one time in history (2008) but three of the Final Four have consisted of 3 top seeds five separate times. That still doesn’t seem like a whole hell of a lot but when 21 of the 34 championship teams have been 1 seeds you’re most likely better off taking the better teams all the way. Now I don’t think you should pull a Dicky V and take the 1 and 2 seed from every region and call that your Elite Eight because that may be just as crazy and improbable as making an 11 seed make it to your Final Four. You can probably excuse this because Vitale has been becoming more and more senile with every word he speaks but that is beside the point.
How ever you decide to enjoy this weekend don’t take a second of it for granted. This time only comes once a year and you don’t want to miss a second of it. I hope these stats and picks have been helpful, if they weren’t just know I tried like hell. Let’s have a hell of a tournament drink some beer, make some money, and most of all never forget, THIS. IS. MARCH.