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March Maaaaadness

Ok, again, what do I know about sports? Mostly nothing. But I know this: when the buzz and bracketology swept my college campus this year, I got the fever.
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Something just happened.

Ok. I've never been a complete "girly girl."

When I was younger I was always into sports. My older sister played softball and basketball, while my older brother played baseball and basketball. I went to sports camps, played on teams, and to be quite honest, I thought I had a career in sports. However, that has since changed. My ability and my age grew in an inverse relationship and I think for the benefit of sports and any team, amateur or professional, it would be best if I grab a seat in the stands and cheer. After all, this blog is coming from a girl who, at my first college football game, asked when the jump ball was coming.

Nevertheless, I love basketball, I'm a die-hard Celtics fan (although saying that in L.A. is a sin, so I apologize to Laker fans now) and love watching the games. So it surprises me that I haven't gotten into NCAA basketball. Until now.

March Maaaaadness is real, people.

MM happens every year, but sadly I missed it before. It's embarrassing and I was clearly delusional. In high school, each spring, I watched sports-fanatic boys at my school field their pools and fill their brackets. Sweet sixteen, final four, terrible twos. What did I care? It seemed like every station lauded millions of hopefuls (including our POTUS) across the nation creating brackets, picking which teams will win, each round of the tournament leading up to the "magical" final four. This absurdity outrageously reached its zenith last year when gazillionaire Warren Buffet challenged America to create a perfect bracket and in doing so, win one billion dollars. I watched even more people all over the nation, rich and poor, men and women, young and old, put in picks and money to take a stab at their chances of winning the cash. By the way, the chances of this are in 9.2 quintillion to one. It was absurd. How could grown people...

Ok, again, what do I know about sports? Mostly nothing. But I know this: when the buzz and bracketology swept my college campus this year, I got the fever. Like Scarlett Johanssen in Lucy, all of a sudden I could hear March Madness talk from across the quad, distinctly. From third floor classroom windows, my eyes honed in on brackets peeking out beneath backpacks on lunch tables three stories below. I couldn't help it. I began planning my days and study sessions around campus venues set aside for the games. I am in the tournament, I am March Mad, I am get-out-of-my-way competitive, and I am all in.

If you haven't caught March Madness, don't miss it. It's not too late, even for the clueless. Lessons learned so far:

1. I DID A LOT BETTER THAN EXPECTED. (so yay me, for guessing).

Some people have techniques to picking their brackets, but I just went with my gut and for teams that I had heard had done well in the past. One of my friends picked based on the mascots. Either way, whatever you do works. You do you.


I found myself watching the games, screaming with strangers, planning with friends, becoming so engaged with each team, following their journeys, and hoping that my bracket was perfect or as close to perfect as I could get it. We've even had to regulate our breathing to get through a few final seconds and games are just getting better and better. Kentucky? Duke? The Spartans? The Badgers?

So if you aren't in get in!

One thing that's really awesome is that my college has designated venues across campus and is hosting a viewing party in one of our lounge spaces for everyone to come together and watch the final games. This has been a great way to connect with other March Madness fans and celebrate one of our nation's treasures, college athletics.

To any college folk out there, I would strongly suggest getting involved as a way to meet people, immerse your self in the excitement of the tournament, and just have fun! As the Final Four carry us into the exciting peak of March Madness, the NCAA championship, hosting a viewing party or creating a final bracket together as a dorm, floor, etc. is a great way to create community and embrace the madness! I did.

By the way, Mr. Buffett, get out your pen now. I will be seeing you in 2016.