Another year of bracket-busting Madness


March Madness is the most-known basketball tournament in the USA, with millions of people tuning in to CBS, ABC, TNT, and other networks to watch the games and keep up with their brackets. 

Oh, the good ol’ “March Madness Bracket”. This bracket holds all fortune for a basketball fan in the month of March. 

Some fortunes? Favorable. Others? Failing. 

For most spectators that take the time to pick and predict each game in the 64-team tourney, their brackets are toast by the first few days. 

There is a reason why the biggest college basketball tournament is called “March Madness”. 

But the “madness” doesn’t just come from one team losing. 

It can also come from a “Cinderella” team making a run. 

This year, if you have been following the tournament, the Tigers of Princeton University, as of March 20, have won two games (the first over No. 2 Arizona, the second *advancing to the Sweet Sixteen* over No. 7 Missouri). 

They have become the second team from New Jersey (within that same number of years) to make a special run in the tournament. 

Last year, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks made it all the way to the Elite Eight before losing to North Carolina. 

A Chicago-based team did something special one year, too. In 2018, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers made a crazy run as an 11 seed, getting themselves all the way to the Final Four before losing to Michigan. 

The three runs I mentioned prior certainly caused fan’s brackets to be lit on fire. Toast. Finished. Busted. 

For yours truly, however, THIS March Madness tournament caused me growing pains from day one, hour three. 

I chose (GET THIS) Virginia to win the whole dang thing. Yes. The SAME Virginia that lost to 13-seed Furman in the first round. 

Not a great selection. Choosing freaking UCONN would’ve been at least somewhat competent. 

(They are getting set to play in the Sweet Sixteen as of March 20, by the way). 

Anyway, I was told during Geometry class on Thursday of last week that Virginia and Furman were in a close game (so, as the sports guy I am, I opened up a new tab on my Chromebook and tuned in to the battle on the NCAA website). 

The few minutes of that game I watched on that screen will be a memory I won’t soon forget. 

I watched free throws being missed by Virginia, and Furman getting themselves closer to a dagger shot. 

With 10 seconds left in the contest, the dagger shot, little did I know, was about to happen. 

The Cavaliers were leading the Paladins (what the heck is a Paladin?) 67-65 with the aforementioned 10 seconds to go, and Virginia got a rebound. 

Guard Kihei Clark grabbed the board, and two Furman players were about to foul Clark. 

However, a very *baffling* decision, the *worst* I have witnessed in basketball, occurred. Kihei chucked the ball down court, and the orange circle landed into the hands of Garrett Hien, a Furman junior. 

Garrett passed the rock to J.P. Pegues, a sophomore. He received the pass, threw up a three, and drained the shot, giving Furman a one-point lead with 2.2 seconds left. 

I was stunned. I threw my Bears hat down onto my desk with rage, and I just couldn’t believe what I had just seen. 

Moments after that shot, and after the final shot of the game from Virginia fell short, I asked: 

“What was he (Clark) doing?!?!” 

I was taken aback. Flabbergasted. I. Couldn’t. Believe. It. 

Yes, the team I picked to cut down the nets lost on the first day of the tourney. THAT’s bad. 

However, the pill I swallowed was even MORE bitter because the Cavaliers lost on one of the most exciting but also idiotic plays of all-time. 

The call by the legendary broadcaster Kevin Harlan, however, made me smile and chuckle when I saw the “commentating cam” CBS Sports tweeted out March 20th. 

KH never ceases to amaze me with his energetic calls. 

Overall, March Madness can bring up a bracket, and it can also break one. 

And remember: There is no skill involved with picking teams in your bracket. It’s all about luck. FDU knows this. 

Kind of ironic that the “Madness” happens during March, right?