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The Daily Tar Heel

Satire: How I made a winning March Madness bracket


The entirety of my sports knowledge is limited to soccer and football. For years, I have spat on basketball, wondering how people could possibly be entertained by 10 guys running up and down a sweaty, slippery indoor court.

However, once I was exposed to UNC basketball, the stubbornness I harbored slowly began to drain. I went to almost every home game this season. I caught a T-shirt, bought a $13 hot dog and got free rally towels and posters. But somewhere deep inside the Dean E. Smith Center, I also garnered an appreciation for basketball.

At the games, I screamed until I lost my voice. I called B.S. even if I had no idea why a foul was called. I jump, jump, jumped around until my legs ached. I wiggled my fingers until I felt the early onset of arthritis. And when the regular season ended, I felt in my Dean Dome bones that I was ready for the madness in March. My bracket would be glorious.

Deciding who won each round was based on three main things: how aesthetically pleasing the uniforms are, the agility of each team’s sweat-wiping towel boys, and whether or not I can correctly pronounce and spell the name of each team. 

Normal bracket-makers consider statistics, season records and team dynamics. Not me. Those things are obvious. Everyone always glosses over the importance of uniform aesthetics, for example. How pretty the players’ garb is determines how many people will root for that team. It’s rudimentary psychology. If a team’s jerseys are uglier than the other teams', the lack of crowd support will surely influence the game. That means an immediate goodnight to Tennessee, Clemson, Kansas, Baylor, Illinois, Oregon and Duke.

Second, the towel boys are a reflection of each basketball program’s work ethic and drive. How quickly and efficiently they soak up sweat streaks on the court is a direct indication of what the programs value; the better the towel boys, the better the basketball. So, more easy goodbyes to UConn, South Carolina, Houston, Kentucky, Yale, BYU and Arizona.

The last factor is crucial. If a team has a hard-to-spell or weirdly pronounced name, it will never have what it takes to win a natty. The NCAA will stress about carving their name into a glossy trophy (that all the towels boys from every program combined have shined) and broadcast journalists will worry about correctly shouting their names into sports network shows. Sorry to Crayton, Purrdew, Gonzava, McNiece, Duquain, Markette, Awbern and, once again, Dook.

So with these ingenious tactics, I have constructed the most promising bracket every basketball bro wishes they had. 

Based on this logic The Elite Eight should include UNC, Stetson, Colgate, Morehead State, Longwood, Western Kentucky, Samford and Akron. UNC, Stetson, Longwood and Akron will advance to the Final Four. 

And Marquette my words, UConn’s first round opponent WILL win. I know a lot of people who predict they’ll go all the way. But, with my niche, underground understanding of this sport and my intense four-month immersion in the Dean Dome, I know I’ve created a winning bracket.

You just don’t know basketball like I do.


@dthopinion |

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