The morning after Selection Sunday

Peter Cavanaugh

Bracketology

Technically it's been March for over a fortnight. The weather's not cold, but we've tasted spring and we're turning bitchy.

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Because watching amateur athletics simply isn't enough, today is more or less a national holiday. League play and conference titles are decided, and today is the day we all log on to ESPN or Yahoo and create the bracket to out bracket all brackets. It's Monday, March 18, and you're just now realizing wearing your one good pair of pants to the St. Patrick's Day bar crawl wasn't a good idea, and that despite your inability to notice any difference in taste, green beer does leave a more noticeable stain.

But no matter. You divined the NCAA winner in your sleep last night. You saw, despite their occasional disappearance in big games, Indiana hoisting the trophy over Michigan State. You also dreamt up the lesser games: a solid run from SLU, Gonzaga turfing out early, and UCLA playing nothing that looks like basketball.

The funny thing about the NCAA Tournament, the madness of March (ugh, sorry), is the amount of work people put into making a bracket. That the word bracketology exists. And people specialize in it. The real artist knows it's not who you pick, but what you name your bracket.

It's Monday. No one does any work before noon. At least you shouldn't be. Get some work files loaded up on your screen to satisfy your boss, and pull out the pad of paper. Start with some word association, think of favorite ball players from years past. The NCAA is a horrible institution, but it's your duty to bracket. Bracket on.

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