The Madness Of March
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The Madness Of March

March Madness as Told by Marshall Eriksen.

12
The Madness Of March

As the months have passed, we have finally reached the season that many Americans patiently await each year. No, we do not look forward to March because the promise of spring and warmer temperatures, but rather for the ballet of emotions that is March Madness. There’s not a more painful and rewarding time of the year for any college basketball fan nation wide. I would go on to explain it in terms of my own persona experiences with March Madness, however, I think that Marshall Eriksen from “How I Met Your Mother” does an even better job than I could hope to.

End of February to Early March

This is the period, which consists of you becoming the most qualified and unrivaled sports analyst this world has ever seen. You are sure that you are going to be able to pick every single upset that will surely happen in this year’s tournament, despite the fact that we haven’t event reached selection Sunday yet.

Selection Sunday

The day you have long awaited is here. You're fully prepared to ignore any responsibilities and sit in front of your TV in high anticipation of where your favorite will be placed and fully ready to have several shouting matches with the 42-inch piece of technology that has captured your full attention and shows no sign of releasing it anytime soon.

Play-In Games

There are only four of them, and they don't exactly decide who even gets a solid seed, or has a strong shot at going far in the tournament. But that doesn’t stop you from live-streaming every minute of those games and acting as if they decide your entire bracket’s future. You can even still change your picks after this point, but hey, I guess everyone needs a reason to sneak-stream games while at work or while attending to some other responsibility. No matter what the reason you watch, you’re ready to see who is in this thing for real and who’s not ready for it.

Lock-In Day

The day is here. You didn’t sleep well last night. When you did sleep your dreams were filled with upsets and buzzer beaters that you can’t identify as either a gift from the March Madness gods, or a devil’s omen ready to rip up all your hopes of beating your buddies in this year's tournament pool. Regardless of what you decide, the first few hours of this day, which are simultaneously the last few before your bracket locks and your picks are final, are sure to have you feeling all sorts of twisted. Who will end up making the cut, and who will end up missing out?

The First Minute After Lock-in

Picks are submitted and locked, and there is no chance anyone can beat you this year. You might as well take all the money the winner is to receive right now because your bracket is flawless. I mean, nobody has done the research you have and nobody has this year figured out better than you.

After the First Round

At this point, you’ve laughed, cried, swore, cheered, danced, yelled, and maybe even thrown up. Why do you even participate in making a bracket? Your sure-in has lost in the first round, the upset you changed last minute actually happened. Why is God doing this to you? You feel defeated. Hell, you even look defeated. But don’t worry; there are still 4 more rounds until the championship game. There’s no way this is good for your health.

After the Round of 32

You’ve somehow become a mathematician at this point. You’ve studied every single possible scenario and ensured you still have a chance at winning your pool and attaining the long sought after prizes of bragging rights and probably some cash. You’ve also started backing some random team you couldn’t have cared less about before the tournament started; as they hold the key to your success. However, you’re still not confident.

The Sweet Sixteen Ends

“Oh who even cares anymore, I’m just watching the tournament for fun now.” You’ve given up. It doesn’t matter. You knew this would happen all along. You sit in front of your TV and watch highlights from the completed games and you feel offended.

The Elite Eight is Over, Time for the Final Four

You find yourself in a spot that isn’t winning, but isn’t far off it. Somehow, three of your teams you had making it this far in your second, or “back-up” bracket have gotten here. You’re all in now. These teams need to pull this off for you. You’re not concerned though. You know they will. They have to. This year, it’s your year. You’re feeling in the zone.

The Championship Game

It has all come down to this. You have now started bragging to everyone and anyone you have the opportunity to. “Yeah, I mean not to brag but I did call it. They pull this game off and the only decision I have left is how to spend the money. Most people count these guys out but I’ve been a long time fan, I knew this was our year.” Blah. Blah. Blah. This is the only way you know how to hide the worry you are experiencing inside as you sit down to watch the game.

During the Game

Up. Down. Yelling. Silent. Left. Right. Cursing. Cheering. Who even knows.

After the Championship

“At least I get my money back for being a runner-up this year, that game was insane. A lot of people complain about this tournament, but hey, I think it was good basketball, and as always, March Madness has been the best time of the year. Only 365 days to prepare for the next one.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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