The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Forget the brackets


Last updated 3/22/2018 at Noon

I think a lot of people live to fill out their brackets for the NCAA tournament. It’s a fun thing to do and most people live for that day that they can pick the final four teams and the national champion to win the office bracket pool.

For those of you that filled out you brackets prior to last Tuesday’s first game what does your bracket look like now?

Maybe the question that should be asked is how do you fill out your bracket? Do you look at the mascot for each team and choose the one you like best?

This year that might have been a pretty good idea. Personally I like Retrievers better than Cavaliers and the Bulls sound a lot tougher and cooler than Wildcats because there are too many Wildcat teams.

Well those criteria won’t work forever for a lot of different reasons. What if you hate both mascots? Okay, so now you decide that you will only choose the teams from the states you like until you find out both teams are from the same state.

For a person to have a clean bracket you would have had a better chance throwing darts at the board. This year we saw a Number 16 seed knock off a Number 1 seed. Up until that happened it was unheard of and scoffed at.

UMBC or the University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers not only beat the Virginia Cavaliers they hammered them by 20. Again, we may have thought it could happen on a buzzer beater but not by 20.

The Buffalo Bulls defeated the Arizona Wildcats in the most lackluster game I’ve ever witnessed by a Wildcat team.

Was the reason because of the FBI investigation or because several Wildcat players will be turning pro next year and they thought the other team would be scared to be on the same court with them? This was another 20-point win by the so-called underdog.

These were first round games and I think this is important. I believe that the underdog has an advantage in the first round games because both teams are trying to adjust to shooting in a different arena than where they usually play.

But more importantly the underdog typically has seen the favorite on TV several times while the favorite probably has never seen the underdog play once, even in the conference championship games that were played the week before.

There are so many “one and done” freshmen playing on high profile teams they know their team will be in the NCAA tournament.

Many of these underdog teams come in with upper classmen that have played together for two or three years and guess what, they have dreams of winning the National Championship tournament too. Their dreams may not be about playing in the NBA. They may actually be student athletes.

One of the things that I love about this tournament is how the true emotions flow in these young kids. I have seen so many tough, physical, intimidating kids cry like a five year old after they scraped their knees on the playground. There is nothing wrong with that.

It tells me they put their heart and soul into the season and playing in the big spotlight of a great tournament.

I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. A few years ago I heard someone say and I’m sorry I don’t remember who said it, but they said, “Losing hurts worse than winning feels good.”

Let that sink in before you watch the next game. You don’t get those emotions watching an NBA game but you do when you watch a high school or college tournament game. And please appreciate those emotions.

A couple of side notes before I sign off. First of all can we please stop with the man buns? They really don’t look good at all in my eyes. I’m sure that if you have one it looks great. Right!

Lastly, after watching Nevada rally to beat Texas in overtime it was exciting to watch the Nevada players and coach show their excitement for the big win. I’m sure a lot of people turned the channel and started watching another game while the cameras went into the Nevada locker room.

The Wolf-pack coach was dancing with his players and smiling. Then he started to tell his players what a great game it was only not in those words. Let’s just say he had a Joe Biden moment and leave it at that.

My advice to you when you watch the sweet 16 is to forget the brackets and start enjoying the games.


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