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From the sidelines: Will you be a part of March Madness?
Mar 19, 2014 | 1168 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shane Gillet
Shane Gillet

The play-in games for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament have already come and gone, and have led to a complete 64-team bracket that is sure to see some upsets.

Weber State, which is looking to be the first 16 seed to upset a No. 1 in tournament history, is sure to have a tough time facing one of the top teams in the country. 

They will likely be a one-and-done team, but as an alum I can’t help but watch at least the first half just to see what happens.

Another Utah team, BYU, is also set to start its tournament against Oregon. 

The Cougars are a 10-seed in the West region going up against the seventh-seeded Ducks.

All in all, it should be another fun tournament for everyone.

And this year, there’s more of an incentive to fill out a tournament bracket.

Warren Buffett, who many simply know as a billionaire and nothing more, has offered $1 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) to the person who can fill out a perfect tournament bracket from start to finish.

Pick all the winners. Make zero mistakes. Get $1 billion.

Not only has this caused an absolute frenzy, but it’s likely to cause an increase in the number of forms being filled out and turned into the official website,

Many stories have followed suit since the beginning of the announcement, ranging from topics of “here’s why you won’t win $1 billion” to “don’t fill out a bracket just for the money,” and so on.

I’m on the bandwagon of not filling out a bracket, and only because I don’t follow college basketball as much as I do other sports.

I enjoy the tournament for what it is. A 68-team field to decide which one is the champion of all college basketball just sounds like a lot of fun at face value, and the stories of upsets and “Cinderella” teams leads people to believe that no matter where a team came from or how they got to where they are, there is a chance they could pull off a national title run.

Last year all eyes were on Florida Gulf Coast University, that upset a No. 2 seed and made it to the Sweet 16 before being knocked out by Florida.

They didn’t make the tournament this year, but they can still be seen in the National Invitational Tournament with the University of Utah and Utah Valley University.

Upsets can happen, and have happened, in the tournament more often now than ever. I think it’s the main reason why Buffett is so sure he can put up so much money to find the one person who could fill out a perfect bracket.

Because it will not happen.

Every year there are stories of people who know nothing about basketball that fill out a bracket and win their office pool. That person’s picks are based on a number of things: team colors, team names, mascots, etc. 

They don’t know anything about the sport, but win the office bracket, still getting one or two games wrong in the process.

Personally, I’ve filled out two brackets my entire life: once in 2007 when Weber State was last in the tournament, and three years ago on a small wager with the in-laws.

I did horrible on both.

So am I going to take on Buffett’s challenge? No way.

I’m going to watch the games and enjoy the tournament for what it is.


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