The madness is imminent!

Can you feel it, that uneasy sensation coming on?

That gut-wrenching, sickening hole down deep in your stomach?  It’s only weeks away.

You can’t sleep.

You can’t eat.

Your only recourse is to wait another year for redemption.

Most of us are about to know that feeling again real soon.

Do you know why?


That’s right.  It’s time for all of us to break down our brackets, dissect as many meaningless statistics as possible, trust a hunch here and there, then enter as many pools as we deem appropriate, all in the hopes of picking, better than anyone else, which will be the best college basketball team in the land.

The ides of March are THE most obsessive time of year for sports fans.  That first weekend, 32 glorious basketball games in forty-eight hours, consumes us, elates and heartbreaks.  Every year, they are America’s least productive work days.  It’s when we cheer with bated breath for schools and players we’ve never heard of, hoping, praying for a win then sulking once our bracket is inexplicably busted.  Pencils broken, dreams shattered and tempers flared.

How could that be?  We were so sure.

We look over our pools again, the paper crumpled angrily into a ball, tossed into the nearest trash can, then neatly unfolded, as we beg it for forgiveness, counting once again how many teams we have left, hoping there’s some way, any way, we still have a chance.

But, we don’t, and we’re sick about it.  We are left with nothing but second-guesses, wondering how it all went so wrong.

But it’s way too soon for that.  Each fresh, unfilled bracket brings a shot at infamy.  And there’s where we currently stand.

So to those of you who plan on entering a pool here and there, I wish you the best of luck.  Feel free to come back and share your horror or success stories.  And don’t forget to invite me into whichever pools you’re entering.

I promise to share my horror stories in return.

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37 Replies to “The madness is imminent!”

  1. Pingback: The madness is imminent! - BallHyped, NCAA Basketball | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. I don’t need to know the brackets. The championship game will be between UNC and UCONN. Of course, what do I know?

  3. Oh no, you’re not dragging me into this again this year. This March I’m sticking to subjects that I know more about that college hoops, like ice fishing and quantum physics.

  4. UCONN, Snake?

    I’m not too sure you don’t mean Kentucky. UConn might not even make the tourney. They have 20 wins but are 8-10 in the Big East.

    Doesn’t matter though. You have other things to worry about.

    All those rumors coming out of Ainge’s plush Fleet Center office has everyone being expendable. And as soon as I think that team might have enough left in the tank to win it all, they go ahead and lose by 30 the Sixers.

  5. Aer…

    Since I know they don’t have ice fishing where you live, I just had an image of you freezing water your bathtub after dropping a couple mullet in there, fishing pole in one hand, physics book in the other.

    Thanks for the visual, which I’m pretty sure ain’t too far from the truth.

  6. I have a love/hate relationship with filling out brackets. I love filling them out, but by the end of the first weekend I always feel like an idiot. Probably more so because some girl who picked the schools that she liked the mascots on does better than mine… Good luck on yours!

  7. Chap…

    That’s why they call it madness, brother.

    Guys like you and I, who like to think we know a little bit about sports, can break down a bracket then score lower than the geek three cubicles down from us.

    I’m not sure which pisses us off more, losing, or losing to that guy.

    One of my favorite stories from back in the day is how one of our friends, when Seton Hall made their run only to lose to Rumeal Robinson’s Wolverines, had picked SELTON Hall to go all the way.

    Nice, huh?

  8. Snake…

    I like how you totally glossed over the C’s woes.

    I know there’s plenty of season left but right now you guys rest squarely in the seven hole right now.

    I think you know what that means. Heat in the first round.

    Not something you want, brotha.

  9. I gave up on this season way before the all-star break. I’ll always be a fan but I know the reality of the Celtics situation. What ever happens can’t be changed by my worrying about it.

  10. NCAA Tourney ? I’ll take “the field ” over the top four seeds ! Well my heart tells me one thing but my head tells me something different . I don’t really believe that there’s a clear cut favorite !

    tophatal ……….

  11. I’m fired up for March Madness now. If y’all get a chance to do so, check out the box score from the Marshall-Tulsa Conference USA Quarterfinal played Thursday afternoon. Two teams just trying to survive and advance. Looked like punch drunk fighters by the third OT. Marshall won out 105-100 even though I think half of their team fouled out. Always have a mixed feeling about the games this weekend because some teams are just trying to stay healthy and get on to the NCAA’s in one piece, some teams are clawing and scratching and will fight to the death for one more win…and some teams just don’t give a hoot. People want to believe all these top teams bust a gut to win these money-making, made-for-TV tourneys. But don’t be fooled. Think upon how these teams played down the stretch and don’t get too carried away with an “upset” loss in their conference tourney. Can’t wait for the bracket to be released!!! Let’s do this baaabbbyyy!

  12. Okay, Snake.

    Say you’re Ainge.

    Who do you build around? Do you at least hold on to Rondo or blow everything up entirely and start from scratch?

  13. Oh, Al, I don’t know about that.

    College basketball, similar to the NBA, is really top-heavy.

    The top seeds might be able to pull it off.

    If you’re going to give me UNC, UK and Syracuse, I might just have to take that bet.

  14. SA…

    Let me know what brackets you’re entering. Are you jumping into Dub’s?

    And that boxscore reminded me of the old Loyola-Marymount days.

  15. It’s funny, because I usually set up at least one bracket as my upset bracket with all kinds of crazy stuff happening. I think that one usually last the longest too haha!

  16. My anticipation, excitement mode was dialed in on something different. It’s NHRA Gatornationals, baby! Nothing like the vibrating speed of 314 mph in 3.89 seconds and smell of nitro! We spent the day enjoying it all, even Yaz joined us this year.

    And you poor guys…I was that chick last year who won the bracket first time ever playing! No, I have much more sense than to make the selections based on mascots, but rather the name of my dog (UConn) and my favorite team – Florida Gators! 🙂 We will see how I defend my championship in the coming weeks.
    Good luck in your brackets.

  17. Does this mean there will be no 3rd annual Bracket Bonanza contest? I enjoyed it, despite the mixed results and wanted to test my theory that I would win the tshirt in even numbered years. 🙂 That’s ok, you deserve a break.

  18. Well the Orange bowed out and the Jayhawks are nowhere to be seen in their conference tournaments . A sign of things to come , possibly ?

    If at all interested ?

    It’s All In The Details

    One And Done …….. Who Says ?

    It’d be crazy if they (USF Bulls) didn’t make it but when you consider the conference they play in it’s not necessarily a given to begin with . Stan Heath has done a tremendous job all season to get them this far !

    tophatal ………….

  19. I agree with you on Heath, Al. Big East Coach of the Year.

    And I was concerned, or at least Syracuse fans should be, that their team was a paper tiger.

    We’ll see what happens come tourney time.

  20. BS….

    Florida’s a solid squad, man, and they STILL can’t beat Kentucky.

    A team that can present some pretty serious mismatches against ’em is going to be the only type of team that can take ’em down.

    How sweet would a UNC-UK championship game be?

    Can you say ratings? I knew that you could.

  21. Wow! I can’t believe you have never been to Gatornationals. It was Yaz’s first time going this year! My husband and I started going 23 years ago- on our honeymoon! Pretty cool, huh? My husband sure loves telling that story…We may have missed only 3 of them through the years. You’ll have to look into it next year! DeeDee

  22. I know, Dee.

    Even more ironic is the fact that my uncle also went to UF.

    As a kid, he bought me this really cool drag racing Gatornationals poster that I hung in my room and I STILL haven’t gone.

    May be a good idea for a post. Keep me posted.

  23. Al…

    It’s March Madness so it’s anybody’s ball game but if you offered me Kentucky, Duke or UNC or the field, I might have to take those three. They’re just that talented.

    And you’re right about Ireland. Everybody had Manning basically already in Miami. Not sure how they couldn’t close that deal, or why they wouldn’t want to.

  24. Chris

    With regard to Ireland I’m going on the premise of the interview he conducted with Dez Bryant ! The GM has the temerity to ask the kid if his mom was ever a hooker solely because she’d been arrested as a teen for a minor drug incident . Nice of him to show his (GM) true colors don’t you think ?

    I’ve just looked at the NCAA Brackets and let’s just say as much as I love Sudoku and crossword puzzles this ” bracket-buster “ will be a bi#ch to work out ! Your thoughts ?

    Is it true that Jordan is petitioning Stern to have the Bobcats moved to the WNBA and make that league co-ed but with only one male team ? That way the Bobcats can have some of semblance of success in the future .

    Manning want’s an easy road to the Superbowl and the AFC East doesn’t guarantee that . Look at the teams there and then look at the teams in AFC West and NFC West and then let me know where he’s liable to end up ? It’s that simple man !

    tophatal ……….

  25. Al…

    Still working out a few pools with the clock ticking.

    As much as Calipari never seems to get it done, I find it hard not picking them to get to at least the Final Four.

    And do you honestly think the Bobcats would make the WNBA Playoffs?

  26. How comfortable are you feeling with Fla’s 1st round match up with Virg? I’m sorta leaning with Virginia, can you swing me the other way?

  27. You want madness???? I just filled out a bracket that has an all Big 12 Final Four. Let’s talk about a longshot :o)

  28. DHS…

    Of course I’m biased.

    I haven’t watched much Cavalier basketball this year but Florida definitely has the talent to win this game.

    They’re under-seeded at 7, only because they finished their season, not necessarily on a cold streak, but against tough teams.

    Keep in mind, this Florida team was ranked anywhere between 8-15 all year.

    Florida should take this one handily.

    Hope that helped.



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