First thing, I open up the app. I need to be able to see what’s happening and make frequent changes. A pencil and eraser would simply not work when you approach bracket making like Rothko.
I pick a quadrant and zoom in. I work in one quadrant at a time. Some years I think I’m done only to realize there’s a block that I missed. So, this year, I’m thinking quadrants. That’s four. I can likely realize if I don’t do four. Likely.
Here’s my next challenge. When I zoom in on a quadrant, I can’t see what I’m doing. So there’s a bit of blindness that I use to my advantage, like Zatoichi. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Next up, selection time. First things first, I’m looking to bump out my rival schools. Even if they’re a #1 seed. There’s always an upset early on. Why not those stupid schools that beat my team?
I click through a quadrant or two, only now I have to do something else. This bracket stuff takes a real time commitment. I can’t save my work. I have to leave it and redo it again later. I always think my second set of picks are likely better. Or, at least, no worse.
The quadrants don’t make any sense. Who can find Yale in the West? West of what? Providence? How does Buffalo get put in the South? Who placed University of SoCal in the East? Also, where is the North? Are there no North schools? Does the NCAA spell North as M-i-d-w-e-s-t? If there is a reason, I don’t feel like figuring it out. I have random teams to feed into my Final Four. If I’m googling anything, it’s where the hell is Weber State?
I select by schools I like, schools I like the name of, and schools playing against schools I hate–all with a splash of seeding. By the time I get to the 3rd and 4th brackets the second or third time, I’m more like working a divining rod. I let the cursor move itself toward a decision. It’s as good as anything else I do.
See Doc. Doc doesn’t know shit about college basketball and still plays March Madness. At least there’s no money on the line. Doc plays for pride. Don’t be like Doc.