Mike Wise Hates Your Brackets
Your weekly March game-o-chance update.
* Remember the Vegas bracket, filled out by the geniuses at Las Vegas Sports Consultants? They would have gone 25 for 32 in the first round--well above average, from what I can tell--and 11 for 16 in the second round, which probably also beat the average. In most normal scoring systems, that'd be good for 47 points. In the two main strictly voluntary pools I entered, Vegas would be tied for fourth (out of 65) and tied for first (out of 29). Man I love Vegas. And no, I didn't enter these picks anywhere.
* My best bracket, by far, is in the entirely voluntarily Washingtonpost.com Tourney Tracker Celebrity pool, in which I rate second, behind Kevin Harvick and just ahead of the aforementioned Wilbon. Ben Olsen is comfortably in last. NASCAR just sent out a release touting Harvick's first-place status. He does have an exceedingly fine bracket, although Georgetown in the Final Four isn't gonna help much.
* As of this writing, here's the best five-team parlay you could have entered in the Atlantic 11 March Challenge: Coppin State (four wins, 40 points), Mount St. Mary's (four wins, 32 points), William & Mary (three wins, 24 points), Virginia (two wins, 18 points) and either American, George Mason or UMBC (three wins, 15 points). Virginia Tech would become the fifth team with a win tonight.
* Mike Wise, playing Mike Lupica on Sports Reporters, did a Washington Post Live "Postscript" last night in which he solemnly railed against the simple minds who fill out more than one NCAA bracket and then boast that they "picked Davidson over Georgetown," or whatever. An excerpt:
These are the same people who fill out five brackets and simultaneously play five NCAA pools at the same time. Please, tell them they're not Nostradamus and that they shouldn't be Vegas book makers or palm readers. In fact, they're no better than the clown hugging his friend at the roulette table, the clown who plays all 36 numbers and gets excited when one comes up. You didn't win. You just covered your bases, because you didn't have the guts to commit to just one pool. Admit it: you didn't want the heartbreak and the disappointment that the kids feel when they get eliminated, so you played the field and made sure you had options.
So Michael Wilbon doesn't want us to have fun playing fantasy football, and Mike Wise doesn't want us to have fun filling out brackets. Thanks, guys. I'll take another serving of "Breaking down the motion offense in 413 simple steps," please.
As someone who's pledged annually to just fill out one bracket, but who always winds up with at least four, I'd argue it's less about playing Nostradamus than acknowledging that predicting a Western Kentucky-Drake winner involves neither guts nor palm-reading. Dude hit a desperation shot at the buzzer. Total coin flip.
If part of the fun of this event is rooting for your picks, and if some brackets can arbitrarily be dashed against the pointy yellow sticks of highlighter despair--not by a lack of wisdom but by pure chance--why not make every attempt to survive such twists of fate, through a second bracket if necessary. Or even a third, or twelfth?
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