My Bracket is an Absolute Trainwreck

My Bracket is an Absolute Trainwreck

Jack Larson, Staff Writer

Kicking off the Big Dance, the NCAA March Madness tournament’s first round began on Friday, March 19, and took a short hiatus after the end of the second round on Monday March 22.

After only two rounds of the tournament, it is impossible to stress how ridiculous this tournament has been. Two of my final four picks were eliminated by incredibly low seeded schools, and my favorite school in the tournament, and my tournament runner-up Illinois was eliminated by the only other Illinois school in the tournament, Loyola-Chicago.

There are definitely some positive aspects about this mess of a bracket though. First, I got to learn who Oral Roberts was, after they beat my final four pick Ohio State in the first round. Next, a lesson I have learned many times before, never pick the popular final four. Last, always research the #15 and #14 seeds, because if I have learned anything from this tournament, it’s that anything is possible in March.

One thing that basketball fans have to be mad about besides their horrible picks this year, is the treatment that the players of the women’s tournament have been receiving, compared to those of the men’s. Leaked photos show the size differences in their weight rooms, the food, and the quality and quantity of their gift bags.

The treatment they’ve been receiving really will make you wonder who’s responsibility was this, and why are the higher-ups of the NCAA following the stereotypes of online trolls who say things such as “Women’s basketball is boring,” or “Get back to me when one of them dunks.”

All in all, the standards set by the NCAA are incredibly low, and the differences in treatment are nothing if not blatantly sexist.

Madness is in full swing this March for multiple reasons, but for the men’s sweet 16 was incredibly unpredictable, and all perfect brackets were eliminated as of the second day of the first round.

The sweet 16 includes multiple dark horses such as #12 Oregon State, #11 UCLA, #11 Syracuse, #7 Oregon, and of course, giant-slayers in Loyola-Chicago and Oral Roberts.

As a March Madness enthusiast, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t made some horrid picks this year. However, I was lucky enough to pick #6 USC in my Sweet 16 over #3 Kansas, who had lost to the Trojans by 34 points at a final score of 85-51.

Fellow college basketball fan, yet also a die-hard Kansas Jayhawks lover Aiden Krup, has also not had his way during the tournament.

“Really nobody’s bracket has been good this year,” said Krup. “I obviously wanted Kansas to win, but I picked Gonzaga to win it all in my bracket, so at least they’re still going.”

Krup, alongside myself, and nearly 70% of all brackets had picked the Bulldogs this year; a pick I have become growingly concerned about.

As I’ve previously stated on multiple accounts, my predictions have not went smoothly this year; but just for the hell of it, I’m going to once again do what this tournament is all about, push aside everything I’ve learned about college basketball, and make predictions I’ll live to regret.

Therefore, my updated final four contains #8 Loyola-Chicago making miracle run to the semifinals, #1 seeds Gonzaga, and Baylor, and the #2 seed Crimson Tide of Alabama. For my championship, I will have the Baylor Bears beating the favorited Gonzaga in the final, just because what would March Madness be, without one last slap in the face for everyone who made a bracket this year?

Frankly, this tournament can be absolutely infuriating for me. Yet, I cannot wait to watch this tournament conclude, and watch my bracket collapse next year, in the form of some of the best basketball I’ll ever get to watch.

Sweet 16 games will begin on Saturday, March 27.