the passion of information was on him

March 16, 2007 at 2:20 am | Posted in basketball, brian | Leave a comment

people (myself included) use the strangest methods when filling out their brackets but how can you blame us? there’s no way an average bracket buster is even familiar with a quarter of the 65 teams participating. so we watch espn’s college gamenight and read a bunch of so-called experts’ picks hoping to gain some insider information that will lead us to the perfect bracket (the perfect bracket only being contextually perfect; my perfect bracket would be the one where i pick just enough games right to beat the x people i’m in a pool with and win the 5x dollar pot [x being equal to the number of people participating in the pool]). but after a while of listening to these experts do we realize that they have no idea what they’re talking about. so we’re left alone and in crisis; left to sift through these waves of college-basketball-related information and bet our hard earned 5 dollar bills on picks chosen from this mess.

but this is why i like the ncaa basketball tournament. it’s almost like a science experiment. we’re observing the interactions of all of these different (yet similar) elements in a fixed environment. we also hypothesize about the outcome of the events based on a limited amount of data related to the entities participating in the experiment (how the teams performed in the regular season and their respective conference tournaments, how teams performed against similar teams as their opponents) and the history of similar experiments (how soon number one-seeds were eliminated last year, how often to expect upsets). but unlike scientists, we bet on our hypotheses. the beauty of the ncaa tournament, like in most scientific experiments, is in the observation. not in the ways the experiment fulfills our predictions but in the ways it surprises everyone.

whatever. the point is nobody knows anything when they fill in their brackets. how many people picked george mason in their final four last year? like 37 out of 1 billion. and if any of those 37 were in your bracket you probably had a conversation with them like this when you first saw their bracket:
“you picked george mason to go the final four? were you high when you filled this thing out?”
“yeah and then i forgot to switch my bracket before the tournament started.”

if there’s one thing i’m pretty sure of it’s that the best way to sabotage your own bracket is to over-think it. but how do you not over think it when you got 5x dollars riding on your decisions?  i used to like just going with my gut; picking what feels right even if i’m at a loss when it comes to reasoning through my decisions.  i think this is because i used to think that god would communicate to me through my feelings.  if i could just have enough faith in my feelings, which were maybe coming from god, i could pick nearly every game right since god can tell the future (or he makes the future the way he wants or time is different for him so it’s already happened or whatever).  but i don’t know anymore.  i think god is always trying to trick me into believing in him and having me win a bracket pool seems like a miracle i could get behind, but i think he knows that i’d just give myself the credit if i won.  so i can no longer trust my feelings since they’re just chemical reactions and chemical reactions can only accidentally predict the future.  but accidentally winning is the only hope any of us have.  does this qualify as a paradox?

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