That’s the sound of your NCAA basketball tournament bracket – which you spent half of your Monday painstakingly completing – hitting the bottom of your trashcan. You didn’t expect Notre Dame to fall to Old Dominion and you listened to all those ESPN screaming heads and put Richmond in the Sweet Sixteen. And you don’t even want to think about how you wouldn’t take the advice of your coworker, who said Murray State would defeat Vanderbilt.
You're done. Your bracket is worthless now.
You’re probably frustrated. Don’t be. This is why the NCAA basketball tournament is unequivocally the greatest thing left in sports. It’s unpredictable, heartbreaking, awe inspiring and joyous – and that’s just the first day. And believe it or not, it's more fun without that damn bracket in front of your eyes the whole time.
The first two days of the tournament is, without question, my favorite holiday, even if this damned country refuses to recognize its greatness with some days off work. Hell, if we’re not going to do any work anyway during the day, we might as well stay home, right?
For college basketball obsessed weirdos like myself, the tournament also affords one the opportunity to transform an obsession that no one gives a damn about into perfectly acceptable behavior. And it makes you look smart – like when you tell everyone who will listen that Murray State will win.
But mostly, the NCAA tournament – if only for a few weeks out of the year – lets us see the rightness of American sports. It’s incredibly democratic (if you exclude the assbackwardness of the selection committee) and arguably the most populist sporting event we have left and that’s because, at least hypothetically, anyone can win. And it lets the George Masons and the Loyola Marymounts and the Davidsons of the world leap from small college obscurity to the public eye and remind everyone why, again, this is the best damn thing in sports.
So forget about that bracket. Leave it in the garbage. You’re already screwed anyway, so just let yourself enjoy this.