Friday, March 28, 2008

March Madness

This is the time of year I test my guessing ability more than any understanding of NCAA basketball. I competed in quite a few sports at college, high school, and club level - but basketball was not one of them. I join in the March Madness to the extent I fill out a bracket and pick my selection of upset winners, and follow the results in the morning paper (and watch a very little bit of a few games on TV). My guessing skills are pretty good, though, and I actually 'predicted' the success of Villanova, West Virginia, Xavier, and several other upset winners.

Of the four teams that won their third round games, University of North Carolina, Xavier, UCLA and Louisville - only Louisville was not on my bracket. I picked Tennessee to beat Louisville, but I remember agonizing over whether to pick Tennessee or Louisville (on team mascot, or jersey color, or past associations with the city or state or whatever guided my decision). In fact, in the interest of complete disclosure, I picked Tennessee to win the whole tournament so there is now a big hole in my bracket.

When it comes to doing pubic policy decision analysis and planning I read news articles, rules and regulations, court cases and reports - but for NCAA basketball I am happy to get my bracket and fill it with my choices in about three minutes with little thought.

I am going to enjoy my success in NCAA men's basketball 'bracketology' and be hoping for my selections of Texas, U. of Wisconsin, Memphis, and Kansas that were my original bracket picks to win tonight. I have not watched any of these teams play this year and I don't even know the jersey colors for all these teams, but being lucky is a good thing. Hard work and research clearly has its rewards, but picking 7 out of 8 teams to reach the 'elite-8' (if my luck continues) would be a treat - and much better than my usual success in picking winners.

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