You Make Me Feel Like Dancing: March Madness Edition

I was raised on a steady diet of college basketball. More specifically, UCLA Bruin Basketball.  No big stretch- my parents met over 60 years ago while my mother was a student at UCLA. It was easy being a fan in the John Wooden years- 10 National Championships, long undefeated streaks, a roster of future NBA Hall of Famers. Coach Wooden retired in 1975, ostensibly when Bill Walton graduated. Since I graduated from High School the same year, I suspect that was the real reason.  New chapter for me and for the Bruins.  Fast forward a few decades and I’ve rekindled a passion for the madness that March brings. I’m not alone. NCAA Men's Basketball Championship is big business. Really big business.  Millions of viewers watch the televised coverage as well as the mobile internet feeds. Productivity goes down and doctors have noticed an uptick in the number of vasectomies performed as men figure recuperation in front of the TV isn’t such a bad thing. As the regular basketball season winds down I find myself listening to sports shows and reading the blogs to get some insight into the teams that will play in the Big Dance. This year was especially tough as my home division, The Pacific 12, was barely represented. I diligently fill in my brackets, trying to use both my head and heart. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that my Golden Retriever could do just as well. I got real lucky back in 2008. It was the only time in Tournament history that all four # 1 seeds reached the Final Four. Had I known that, I never would have picked those teams. Ignorance can be bliss- or maybe my dog whispered the picks to me. A lucky Cinderella pick can be helpful too. Michigan State was my sleeper 2009. I remember in 2006 reading about someone who picked 11th seed George Mason to go the Final Four. Why? He thought it was Georgetown. Lucky guy.  Last year my brackets were busted early in the tournament. So far this year, going into the Sweet 16, I’m doing pretty well. I’m in the 87th percentile of my pool.  The chances of anyone having a perfect bracket are way less than infinitesimal. ESPN reports that of the over 6 million brackets filed, not one was perfect after just the 2nd day. As I write, we’re just a couple of minutes away from tipoff in the 2nd weekend of play. Fortunately I have a team in each of the games keeping the madness alive.

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