The time is upon us once again — the time when I cling desperately to a crumpled piece of paper, when I am anxious and nauseous and can’t control my emotions, when I make everyone around me wallow in my misery too. “March Madness” is so alliteratively angelic, but I prefer to call it “March Sadness” instead.
Year after year, I make my picks. I create a mix of Cinderella stories with longtime favorites. I agonize over one singular matchup to the point of red-faced frustration. I am convinced when all is said and done, that this is going to be the year: I will not fuck this up.
And then it happens.
This year’s dream-killer award goes to Pittsburgh. I put all my balls in one bracket, and I thought that pushing a fellow Big East team to the Final Four would be a cause for celebration. Oh, me of little faith. Pitt screwed the pooch … rather, the pooch screwed Pitt. The Butler Bulldogs came in and crushed all hopes of salvaging my first round’s 22-10 record.
I huffed and I puffed, and all that fell down was my miserable excuse of a bracket selection. Down to the floor it dropped, along with any hopes of winning my pool’s sweet, sweet pot.
This isn’t new for me, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Every year, I do relatively well in the first round. Last year, I was 26-6. Then the second round will come, and all is shot to hell. My championship picks get pulverized, and I curse myself for what could’ve been.
I know I’m not alone here. Which team has made you sad this March? And which teams do you still have left, that you’ll be cursing come Thursday?
Note: For anyone reading who is sitting on winning picks, you know what you can do … and how to get there.