Mark Richards


Monday, March 27, 2006

I Am The Bracket Master

I may be the best NCAA Tournament bracket picker of our generation.

Over the past 8 or so years, I have finished in the top 3 in at least one pool that I have participated in. I have to admit that after the opening round of the 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament two weeks ago, I was fairly confident that I was about to have my worst year on record. So many teams that I was counting on just let me down. The most notable defeats were that of conference tournament champions Kansas, Iowa, and Syracuse. Nice job losers! Those teams really just blew my chance at continuing my streak...or so I thought.

The number of bracket crushing losses I took in the first round was so bad that I conceded to my fellow co-workers that I was no longer going to look at my picks after the first weekend. The last time I looked at the leaderboard in my 36-person league, I think I was 29th with one bracket and 35th with another. "Great freakin' job, Mark!" That was enough for me.

As the tournament progressed, favorites like Duke, Boston College, and Gonzaga began to fall earlier than expected. After the Sweet 16, I thought that I'd take a look at my brackets one last time (I needed a good laugh going into the weekend). I knew that my bracket sucked, I wanted to see just how much everybody else's sucked as well. To my surprise, almost everybody in the league bombed their picks for that round and a good portion of my remaining teams actually won. Only 2 people scored more points than me in the round. I was back in the ball game!

Fast forward, to the Final Four. No #1 seeds are left and #11 George Mason is still alive and kicking, which only means good things for Mark "The Master Picker". With only 3 games remaining in the 2006 season, my brackets have risen all the way up to sixth and eighth place. I would be very proud of this finish knowing how far down the charts I was after the first weekend. But the game is not over yet. My sixth place bracket is one of only three left that can still score more points!

After three agonizing weeks of college basketball, a UCLA victory in the Final Four will get me my all-important top 3 finish and second place overall. Unfortunately for me, the guy in first place also has UCLA in the championship game so I cannot win the pool. That's slightly disappointing, but I have no room for complaints. Keep the streak alive!

Let's go Bruins!


  • so, who are your sleepers this year?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:42 AM  

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