With the unveiling of the NCAA tournament bracket this afternoon, it's time for that time-honored tradition of making a fool out of yourself by trying to pick the results of the games of the Big Dance.
Or maybe that's just me. Whatever.
Without a doubt, that's the thing I both love and hate the most about the NCAA tournament. On the one hand, I like looking smart. I mean, who doesn't like looking smart? But the NCAA tournament will almost inevitably make you look dumb. When you consider the fact that Yahoo! is dangling $5 million for anyone who can come up with a perfect bracket, that alone should let you know what a seeming exercise in futility this is.
But every year, like clockwork, I fill one out. Why? Because I might nail it this year! When that bracket sits in front of me, perfect in its blankness, the possibilities for glory are endless. Sure, $5 million is great -- I certainly won't turn it down when I my perfect bracket comes to fruition this year -- but even just having some bragging rights on the line makes the tournament a heck of a lot more fun to watch.
My recent track record, though, hasn't been strong. Like a Cougar basketball player trying to make a free throw in the last five minutes of one of the last five games of the season, I tend to overthink it. I look at every piece of data I can find, waffling back and forth, eventually settling on a pick.
And then I change my mind. Maybe twice.
The hardest part for me is finding the upsets. You know there will be some -- but where will they be? And when do you cut bait and let the higher seeds carry you into the Final Four?
See -- there I go thinking again. Maybe I'll just resolve not to think this year, because thinking clearly hasn't gotten me far.
If you're ready to try your hand at potentially looking very smart -- or equally dumb -- join the CougCenter Bracket Challenge. We don't have any prizes at CougCenter, but you will be eligible for the two prizes Yahoo! is offering: the $5 million grand prize and a $10,000 prize for the best bracket out of all the entrants.
Here's how you participate:
Click on this link and fill out your bracket. (If you don't see a link, disable your adblocker.)
- After you click "Save Bracket," please name your bracket with your user name at CougCenter -- this helps us all keep track of who is doing what. Join the SB Nation group if you so desire. (You'll be joining the CougCenter group momentarily.)
- Click "Register" and sign in with your Yahoo!, Facebook or Google account. (Or get an account if you don't have any of those.)
- Optional: Click "Enter Contest" where it says "$5 MILLION." (But why wouldn't you?)
- Move your mouse over "My Brackets And Groups" at the top of the page. Pull down and click on "Join A Group."
- Enter group number 99960, password rpisucks.
- If you want to do a brand new bracket, fill it out. If you want to use the bracket you've already filled out, go to the Autofill option on the right and pull it down to your previous bracket.
That's really it. Looking forward to competing against all of you -- and remember to name your bracket with your CougCenter username. Makes it more fun for all of us.
Yahoo! Tourney Pick'em supports SBNation and the best college sports tournament of the year. Join the bracket pools of Drew Brees, Michael Phelps, and Lil Wayne-- all while competing in the $5 million Perfect Bracket and $10,000 Best Bracket Sweepstakes. Be part of the best and biggest Yahoo! Sports tourney game yet – sign up today!