2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Important Observation 39 Richmond

39. Richmond 65, Morehead St. 48Even though it’s worth the same number of points in you bracket, picking the big surprise team is way more satisfying.

So what if you're bracket is hopeless. If you picked Richmond in the Sweet 16, you feel untouchable.

What I like about the NCAA tournament is that everyone has a bracket, so when we watch the games, we all have a dog in the fight. People everywhere talk about what teams they picked in each game and it becomes a personal competition between people who have 0.00 influence on how the games will turn out. No one brags about picking Kansas to make the Sweet 16 or Ohio State to make the Elite 8. When the tournament is over, you won’t remember picking the chalk wins. What you will remember is being the only one in your bracket to correctly pick the 12-seed or 13-seed that makes a little bit of a run and ruins everyone else’s bracket.

That’s why we play the bracket game. I’ve been playing it for something like 15 years, and I never remember the chalk that I pick. But I can tell you the teams like this year’s Richmond team that I correctly picked to go several more rounds than they were supposed to. Does it matter that there was a set of four games yesterday that I missed all of? No. because what I’m going to remember about this year is correctly having Richmond in the Sweet 16. I picked Utah State to be there too, and hey didn’t even win one game, and the points I gain from Richmond will be equally offset by the points I lost from that pick, but that’s not important. These first few rounds are all about picking the upsets, and even if you swing and miss a few times, that one home run is exactly what the bracket contest is all about.

You want to know the crazy thing about Richmond? I’m pretty sure the Spiders were everyone’s high seed sleeper this year. I found out last night that my brother also picked Richmond to be in the Sweet 16 and I’m sure several other people in my bracket contest did as well. But that’s not what it’s about. It doesn’t matter if everyone doing a bracket picked Richmond. What matters is that this team should have lost twice already and I put my faith in them and they rewarded me.

That’s the true reason to do a bracket. You’ll never remember the chalk you pick, even if they win it all. You will remember the Cinderella you picked in the upset spirit of the Dance, and the way you felt when that 12-seed ended up n the Sweet 16 and you check your bracket and said “I told you; I knew this team has what it takes.” And even if everyone else is checking the same bracket and saying the same thing, you’ll remember it because that’s what this is all about. I’ve never been in a bracket pool that was won in the first weekend, but I have been in a bracket pool where my sleeper pick made me feel like a superhero, and that’s why we play.