Bracket busters cause chaos

Parker Fox, Staff Writer

After the Super Bowl when football season comes to a close, sports fans turn to basketball.  But what makes the NCAA tournament unique is that not only sports fans pay attention.  When March comes around, everyone is an expert.  Not filling out a bracket would be socially unacceptable in high school.  Some have been paying attention to the action all season and others determine their winners with the flip of a coin.  No matter your strategy, you can’t help but to get worked up with the upsets and buzzer beaters knocking out the team you had moving on.  This year’s tournament was filled with more parity than in past seasons, causing the hairs on the heads on the kids at East Lake to turn just a little gray.  

            On Selection Saturday high seeds enjoyed being superior to the lower ones, but not for long.  Upsets allowed the likes of Butler and VCU to make it to the Final Four.  VCU was one of the “last four in” teams to the tournament, and next to no one picked them to get out of the first round.  When a team like VCU goes as far as they did, people are picking teams to go on and picking games that will never happen, starting in the second round.  By nature, this can be more frustrating than choosing a winner for other sports events.         

            “My bracket was ruined from the start.  It’s unbelievable how bad it was.  I didn’t correctly choose a single one of the Elite 8 teams.  Of the Final 4 teams the one I had going the farthest was UConn, and I had them losing in the Sweet 16,” says junior Cameron Lay.

            Trying multiple combinations in different brackets has become a common practice.  This way you can call a few upsets and still have another bracket to watch.  But if you’re in a pool, it can become expensive.  “I spent $20 on four brackets and only one of them was decent.  It was the one where I flipped a coin and I had Butler in the Final 4,” said freshman Cooper Coughlin.

            Total frustration has led some to quit picking the brackets.  Sophomore Conner Hutchinson says, “Next year I’m going to pass out NIT brackets to my friends.  Or maybe even women’s NIT.  I’ve had it with the NCAA tournament.”

            To put it lightly, the finals game between Butler and UConn was dry.  Butler was seen as the underdog, but in reality UConn was actually unranked to start the season and picked to finish 10th in the Big East. Although it can be agonizing seeing your brackets get busted, not knowing who will win is what makes the NCAA Tournament one of the best sporting events of the year.