Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Embrace and Love Basketball's March Madness!

This is the time of year when college basketball fans go crazy and our favorite television show is pre-empted for a monumental tussle between someone named Gonzaga and Slippery Rock. This is March Madness.

You can rage against the gargantuan college basketball machine, or you can become friends with it and have some fun in the process. To do this, you have to get yourself a stake in the outcome. The following are some pointers on how to embrace March Madness.

Find a bracket to fill out. If you are employed, there may be a bracket going around your workplace. Take one, fill it out, turn it in (usually involves a very small sum like $5.00 or $10.00 to enter) and wait for the games to begin. Major sports sites like or Fox Sports generally have free contests where you compete against others for prizes. Sometimes a local newspaper will run a contest. It doesn’t matter where you get the bracket, just get one. Brackets generally start appearing the day after Selection Sunday in mid-March.

Now that you have a bracket, it’s time to get down to business and fill it out. For this, you do not need to be a basketball guru. Having access to a computer is all you need, and if you are reading this, then you have everything required. Your local newspaper will generally have the information you need as well.

You will need to find the odds of each game. Major sports sites like or Fox Sports have these, as well as about a bazillion other sites. Don’t pay for any of this information, it is all available at no cost. Your local newspaper sports section will generally publish the odds for each game, too. You’re not going to bet on these games, but the odds will tell you which team is favored in each game. This knowledge is essential.

Make your picks. Pick mostly the favored teams, but also a few upsets. Use anything to pick your upsets – Favorite state, favorite mascot, whatever, but don’t choose too many upsets.

Turn in your ballot and wait until the games start. Then pull for your teams to win.

Even if you don’t complete a March Madness ballot, you can still choose your four favorite teams to make the Final Four. Watch their games and become their fan.

Any sport is enjoyable if you have a stake in the outcome of the game.  Embrace the enemy and be happier and healthier......So, let March Madness begin!

Photo by Salvatore Vuono

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