Breath it in

Bracket of Integrity

Posted by mvetack on March 16, 2010

Mike and Mike made famous the term on their daily radio station,  but it is a practice that is dwindling each and every year.

Every March the 64 (65 with play in game) team tournament bracket is released and people across the country fill in what they beleive will be the correct winners.  Now that just about every website turns it into a contest with room for multiple entries per person, the Bracket of Integrity is very uncommon.

Ask someone who they have in their final four and they will tell you, “Well I have Kansas winning it all in this one.  In this one I have  Temple coming out on top” and so on.  While ESPN’s Mike and Mike are adamant about the single bracket per person, ESPN itself guides people towards the multi bracket concept.  One of their very own commercials shows a guy with filled in brackets posted all over the walls of an office.  One being his gut, one with research, one with under dogs, and another with over dogs.  Once you fill out another bracket all credibilty you have and your rights to bragging to friends is gone like a 16 seed.  Bragging about how you called the 13 over 4 seed upset on one of your 8 brackets means nothing to me.  Thats like predicting at the beginning of the NFL playoffs that the Colts will win the Super Bowl and then predict again that the Saints will, and again that the Vikings will win it.  You can not seriously think that it is impressive if any of those teams wins it all.  Just like the multibracketeer, this means nothing.

Stick to one bracket.  It is good for you and those around you.  If you finish watching the Richmond Spiders take down Villanova in the second round and quickly look through your booklet of brackets like a 92 year old playing BINGO, your not truly enjoying the NCAA tournament.  Watching a number 3 seed that you have going to the Final Four on your Bracket of Integrity struggle in the second round adds so much to the NCAA Tournament experience.  Although it sucks, it is fun to worry through moments where your bracket can blow up as a 10 seed throws up a prayer from half court.

The joy that comes out of a semi successful Bracket of Integrity is so much more than having one near perfect bracket out of the 15 you filled out.  If I see you in late March and you try telling me that you chose three of the four Final Four teams correctly, you better pull out that Bracket of Integrity and not a filing cabinet of your brackets.

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