Let me start by saying I really don't know anything about basketball.
It's not just that I don't know anything about March Madness or college basketball or brackets (though that's all true as well); I straight-up don't know anything about the sport of basketball. Like once you go beyond the ball-in-hoops thing, I'm lost.
In retrospect, I don't know why I thought playing in Elite Daily's March Madness pool would result in anything besides disappointment.
Last month, our sports writer sent out a message saying there would be a friendly company-wide March Madness competition, and anyone was welcome to play. Even though I have no interest in basketball, I do have a lot of interest in competition and being included. So, I handed over $20 and signed up, and I immediately started tweeting about it, of course.
I went to fill out my first-ever bracket on CBS Sports and was shocked to discover March Madness is not for professional basketball. It's college basketball. Why aren't these teenagers in class?
This meant I knew even less about the teams than I thought I did — I hadn't even heard of most of them — so I filled out my March Madness bracket based on my initial reaction to each school name.
Look, it's not like I expected to win, but for some reason, I thought I might do OK. I thought maybe I would beat, like, one bro dude in the office who tried really hard on his bracket, and it'd be kind of funny.
This did not happen. I did not do OK. I came in dead last. The only person who did worse than me was an account made by accident that didn't even have a bracket.
My biggest mistake was probably failing to notice the little numbers next to each team name, which, as it turns out, tell you each team's ranking for the season.
For your amusement, I jotted down some notes while I made my picks. Here are a few of the more notable/questionable decisions I made.
Oregon (1) vs. Holy Cross (16)
My pick: Holy Cross
My reasoning: Holy Cross sounds like something Robin would say to Batman if they were on a mission for the Catholic Church. So, that one.
Virginia (1) vs. Hampton (16)
My pick: Hampton
My reasoning: Is Hampton like the Hamptons? I always wanted to visit the Hamptons, so I'll pick that.
North Carolina (1) vs. FGCU (16)
Winner: North Carolina
My pick: FGCU
My reasoning: OK, swear to God, how many damn teams does the state of North Carolina have?! This seems really unfair, I'm starting to get angry. So, I'm going with FGCU, even though I don't know what it stands for.
California (4) vs. Hawaii (13)
My pick: Hawaii (This was one of the only times my inability to notice the rankings actually worked out in my favor.)
My reasoning: This is a tough one because both of those states are sunny and awesome. I'm a New Yorker, so I hate LA on principle, therefore I'll go with Hawaii.
Maryland (5) vs. South Dakota State (12)
My pick: Maryland
My reasoning:I have no feelings about either of these states, so I looked up the mascots, AND THEY ARE LITERALLY THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE!!! How crazy is that?! So, of course, I had to choose the tortoise.
I actually had the highest "Best Possible" score of my office. I assume because my choices were so absolutely bonkers, they were weighted to be worth more points.
Unfortunately, most of those crazy predictions did not happen, so I didn't get any of those points. Instead, I finished in 16th place out of 16 people, with a grand total score of 146 and 19 correct guesses. That was about 10 less correct than anyone else who played in my pool.
I honestly don't think I could have done much worse.
Here's my final bracket, which was totally dead by March 25.
As you can see, I had zero teams in the "Elite Eight," as I'm told it's called. I feel secure in saying this is probably one of the most miserable brackets out there this March.
I hope this helped all the people who had terrible brackets feel a little bit better about themselves. Hey, at least you're not as bad at this as me!
I guess I'm not getting that 20 bucks back anytime soon.