It's what all the cool kids are doing, so I decided to get in the office pool. I kind of feel like Ty from "Caddy Shack". He said that he doesn't bet on golf... for money... and I kind of feel that way about basektball. I really enjoy the sport and frankly don't want to have to think about it in a way other than watching teams battle, coaches coach, and miracle shots bring sheer joy and deep despair. Having money riding on it changes it. If I'm true to my breacket, I'm now going to actively root against teams I otherwise would just watch and enjoy... and I'll be rooting for teams to which I have no attachment. I hear guys in the hall sharing their strategy... you know the guys... the ones who say you have to pick at least one upset on a five seed, you can't rule out another Butler type run, you have to park emotional attachment to you home team because they might not be the better team. I mean the president picks his bracket and some seem incredulous that he has OSU going to the Final Four for the third straight year. Give me a break... he picks OSU because he wants voters in Ohio to like him... nothing more, nothing less. I don't want to be that kind of picker. What I really want is to enjoy the competition. Delight in the smaller schools with almost no hope get close and maybe even win one or two. Get drawn into a game that I really don't have any connection to, just because the team who's star fouled out has a kid off the bench who's lighting it up. I flat love the highs and lows and I'm pretty sure having money down in the office pool isn't going to make it any more fun or exciting.
Having said all that, I'm going to consider more than mascots and colors. Give me the stats, the conference tournament records, and the best free throw shooting teams... it's time to get busy on the bracket.