March Madness has started. In olden times, before the Internet, everyone in America picked up a newspaper and clipped out the bracket and started to fill them in like crazy. Invariably, people would join a betting pool for the tournament. Gamblers with a real madness would also bet on the NIT. This all still happens, but now with the Internet, which makes it easier. Ain’t life grand? You can bet a grand on that.
The beauty is everyone becomes a basketball expert at this time of year. Syracuse always loses. Kentucky always moves forward. Don’t bet against Duke. The Big Ten stinks, etc., etc., etc.
For the second year in a row, the Upstate is agog with the Tournament. Last year, it was because Greenville hosted two rounds. This year, it’s because Clemson and the University of South Carolina are playing.
Some words and phrases to know at this time of year:
Secretary’s Pool: This means it is too tough to figure out who will lead so everyone has a shot. Translation, men are dumb and want to demean women by saying even they can pick a winner by luck.
Sleeper: A team that could win a lot of games, but likely won’t. Translation, maybe someone there is just talking about their love for Woody Allen movies.
Cinderella: This is the team that comes from nowhere (aka, lower than a fifth seed) or a non-major to make the Final Four or win the tournament. Translation, remember Cinderella’s stepsisters? They are more apt to show up.
Instant Classic: Great game with a great finish. Translation, no one will remember this game expect preteens and diehard fans.
Dick Vitale: ESPN basketball announcer. Translation, you should be offended if someone calls you this.
First Four: These are the games before the tournament that no one watches or cares about because the winners go on to get beaten quickly in the next round. Translation, in the real world this would be price gouging. Alternate take: These games are great and are a breath of fresh air in a stale event. Alternate Translation: Syracuse was in the First Four and won. Our boss, John Boyanoski, is a Syracuse guy and, clearly delusional.
Any other questions? Too bad. We are watching a bracket blow up.