The Madness behind 2014 March Madness

It’s that time of year again where everyone has put forth great effort to strategically create the ultimate NCAA Basketball bracket. This year has drawn even more buzz and even more participants due to the ever-popular $1 billion dollar bracket challenge sponsored by Warren Buffett. The “Wizard of Omaha” created his own little challenge completely opened to the public for entry with the winner receiving $1 billion dollars.
The stakes are higher than ever with such a pot of wealth on the line like that, so strategy is key when creating your bracket. However, basketball is still a game of chance. There is no way of knowing whether or not the team you feel you have strategically selected due to their past season or seasons will live up to your expectations. It all boils down to which team not only wants it the most, but executes it better than the other.
Perhaps the biggest upset for the NCAA basketball bracket challengers this year was the unanticipated and astonishing loss of Duke to little old Mercer. This was an incredible upset for the vast majority of bracketers this season! Mercer came out on top and beat Duke 78-71 in the first round! For most basketball fans, this loss was one for the books and a complete upset to the entire tournament.
The Blue Devils are well-known for their active and consistent participation in the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament and have taken home four championship titles with the most recent in 2010. Mercer, however, has not only never won the NCAA tournament, but has only participated in the Division 1 tournament once! There are many speculations as to how this tragic loss could have come about and one scrutinizing factor is Duke’s very own Coach Krzyzewski, or Coach K. Many are taunting Coach K in their claims that he is too distracted with his other duties to focus enough on forming a championship-winning team. This of course is a bit silly to think about because the team wins the game, not the coach.
That is the complexity of March Madness, it’s simply mad. The results can be crazy and come out of left field, but that is the beauty of the madness. The teams are in the tournament to play to win and they take no prisoners in their fights. So in reality, its questionable whether or not there can truly be a strategic way to create your perfect billion dollar bracket. The number 14 team can just as well end up beating the number 1 team in the blink of an eye without anyone anticipating it coming. More like a game of luck and chance, than a game of strategy.
Due to this terrible upset, as of Friday night, March 18, no one will get the opportunity to win Buffett’s billion dollars. All runners in the bracket race have been officially eliminated and will just have to wait until next year to try again at becoming America’s next billionaire. The unseeingly quick demise of everyone’s bracket in such a quick amount of time has caused a bit of an uproar from those who participated in the bracket challenge, but there is no defending them, for they willingly chose to participate in the madness of the March Madness. They made their bed, or in this case, bracket, and now they must sleep in it soundly and hope the Bears don’t come for them too!

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