Friday, March 20, 2009

NCAA Tournament and a Dilemma

Now that finals are wrapping up I can spend much more time watching TV and reading about stuff on the internet.

In a nice coincidence, the NCAA man's basketball tournament just started, and that provides a ton of stuff to watch and a ton of stuff to read.

I'm like just about every other guy out there, entered into a couple NCAA bracket pools. But, I've definitely changed methodologies since I started filling out brackets, which must've been in middle school.

I used to pore over the Inquirer's special extra section on the tournament and carefully analyze all the information. Among the things I looked for...

- Schedules
- Height of starting lineup (under my theory that some team with a big guy would obviously be good)
- 3 point shooting

and other random crap. I'd spend a lot of time on it, and have varying degrees of success (but mostly failure)

That all stopped with a work pool in 2005, when I did exceedingly well in a large group, nailing tons of predictions and coming in second by just one point.

Of course, the group rules paid out all the money to 1st place.

After that, I stopped putting a lot of time in it.

So I was spending a quick 3 minutes making my picks this year, and the only trouble I had came in the first round, Illinois vs. Western Kentucky.

To start, it was a 5 seed vs. a 12 seed. Everyone knows that one of those little 12 seeds always wins, it's a fact like the world is round or Commando is one of the best movies of all time.

Beyond that, Illinois' starting point guard was hurt, and the game's betting line was so close that it seemed WKU had an obviously decent chance to win.

But then, my gf went to Illinois...

Ordinarily I would just pick with my head, but the problem is we had talked about the NCAA tournament and brackets and such and she asked whether I would be picking (and rooting for) Illinois.

Well, I really thought WKU would win. And I didn't think I should be forced to go against my instincts.

That wasn't the best explanation, apparently.

The conversation ended with me being asked to pick Illinois

And so when it came to actually filling out my bracket, the game sat there, waiting for my decision.

I really wanted to pick WKU, I really thought they would win.

But for some weird reason, it was very important that I support Illinois.

Then I wondered, my gf would never actually see my bracket...why couldn't I just pick WKU and SAY a picked Illinois???

Because if I picked Illinois, wasn't I really lying to myself?

And I wouldn't just be lying to myself, but also this guy...

The WKU mascot...the Hilltopper!

Look at him and his goofy eyes! Who could be against such a lovable guy, or hill, or whatever that thing actually is?

Of course, lying to my girlfriend...that would probably be worse...

And it wasn't like I had any dates scheduled with the WKU Hilltopper in the future.

So I gave in, and picked Illinois, feeling better about myself for the confirmation that I'm not a jerk.

And then as if on cue, Illinois lost to WKU

So if I lose my pool by one point this year, the girlfriend's feelings will join the Inquirer special section in the group of things I completely disregard in NCAA tournament prognosticating.


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