My Bracket Challenge: An Exercise in Madness


Screenshot by Anderson Graphics

Ms. Goodman’s bracket from the Capital One website.

Z Goodman, So Not a Sports Reporter

If you didn’t know or hadn’t watched the news lately it’s March Madness! March Madness is one of the most exciting events in basketball all year. It began in 1939 and begins the second week of March through the first week of April. These tournaments go to determine who wins the NCAA championship. (Entertainment)  March Madness is an exciting time of year… for people who actually watch basketball.

Capital One began sponsoring something called the Bracket Challenge, where if you created the perfect “bracket”. Creating a bracket is pretty much guessing which teams will win what games. If someone could create the perfect bracket Capital One was offering the winner one billion dollars.

So just like any other person, one billion dollars sounds like you have to give it a shot, right? I mean the things I would do with a billion dollars. I would pay my entire college tuition, buy houses, donate to charity, start a company the list is endless. So early Wednesday morning before the tournament I decided to create a bracket. Keep in mind that I have watched one basketball game in all of my 15 years and 9 months on this planet, confuse the foul line with the three-point line and only have a general idea of what a “center” is. Due to my lack of knowledge and understanding of the sport I had to resort to other methods to create my perfect bracket.

When I watch sports games the first thing I look for are colors. If I like your colors I like your team, simple as that. Next, I look at your team mascots if I like your mascot that’s a plus for you. Lastly, I look at your popularity, meaning if someone who does not watch sports (like me) knows who you are and knows that you’re a good team, you’re bound to win right?

I went on to make this bracket and I was hopeful. With all of my “expertise”,  I really thought that my bracket would be the perfect one. I had Duke winning the entire March Madness championship.

We all know how THAT worked out.  And Michigan State…and Kentucky…

The next day I logged onto the computer to check my bracket. Maybe if I had actually watched the basketball game the previous night it would have potentially saved me some heartbreak. I checked my bracket (still hopeful) and it was a mess. Red “X”’s were everywhere, I no longer had the perfect bracket. I was ranking in the millions and I was distraught. I was already thinking about my plans with my one billion dollars and just like that I was no longer winning a billion dollars.

I felt a bit better knowing that a classmate of mine who frequently watches basketball also did not have a perfect bracket and number one of the leaderboard right now doesn’t even have a perfect bracket. My experiment proved pretty certainly that you were more likely to win the mega million lottery back to back then have a perfect bracket. So I guess things weren’t that bad.

On the bright side, the right side of my bracket isn’t completely terrible and my rank is only 1,235,322, so I guess things aren’t too awful. Right?