NCAA: My First Bracket EVER... How I Won it ALL



Firstly, I would like to thank the academy, the Bleacher Report, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and Google for providing me with the statistics, charts, predictions and information on past NCAA games.


Secondly, I would like to thank my boyfriend for not only urging me to get in on the bracket, but also for putting up with my gloating. I’m sure you  understand that this was a pretty big deal.

A little background: I’ve always kind of liked sports...whether it be just because two rival teams are playing, or because I’m in or have lived in the city where a team that’s kicking major ass is from. That being said, shout out to the San Antonio Spurs for woopin up on almost everyone and being third in the Southwest division (San Antonio-current city), and a very special shout out to the Atlanta Hawks for being first  in the Southeast division (Atlanta-last place of residence. ATL! Show the Suns how it’s done in Philips Arena!).
Anywho, I played sports as a kid...soccer and baseball to be exact. I lived in Puerto Rico...so...obviously these were my sports of choice. I TRIED OUT for the school basketball team. But that was only because my best friend Yadira wanted to be on the team and didn’t want to try out alone. Mind you, she shot up to about 5’7” in or around the 5th grade...and I...coming in hot at 5’1”, have been at or around the same height since 4th grade. Needless to say, I did NOT make the cut. But on the bright side, she DID. You go girl.

So technically I have a sports background. We’ll say I do. However, this whole bracket thing-never touched it. I just learned how the NBA bracket works in terms of who’s playing who a little over a year and a half ago. And fantasy football COOKS. MY DAMN. GRITS. I still don’t fully get it and it seems way more complicated than an NCAA bracket-mostly because you have to choose individual players instead of entire teams. That equals a LOT of research for moi.  Furthermore, that season feels like it lasts FOREVER. So we’ll see where we are when football season rears its extremely large head.

But back to the present college basketball season. I was encouraged to get in on creating a bracket, and got a text a few days before the games that count started, which registered to me as ALERT! ALERT! GET YOUR BRACKET DONE TODAY OR YOU’RE OUT! So...I did. I had about 5-6 windows open. One with the email containing the link to fill out  the bracket, one with my empty CBS Sports bracket, 2-3 with the Bleacher Report, 1-2 from ESPN and 1 with Google for new searches. I only had an hour and a half to get this whole thing done, and I knew NOTHING about who to choose. All I knew was that I was going to put Georgia State to win over Baylor, because I went to GSU. (That loyalty paid off as most of you now know.) Everything past that was based on listening to pretty much EVERY prediction from the Bleacher Report, looking at percentages of who is more likely to win, reading stories on past match-ups, and looking at rankings for each team. From that research I built my bracket, veering away from some of the more popular choices but staying on course with sure fire winners.
That formula clearly worked, because come Saturday night, I was ranked #1 out of 47 in the bracket I was part of. Surpassing the boyfriend who didn’t do bad at all, coming in at #4. There was actually only 1 person between us-but they had two brackets.

Regardless. I ranked #1. BRAGGING. RIGHTS.

Anywho, once he was out after the Wisconsin game, I remained at #1 and contemplated how I would get my Monday workout in before watching the game to claim it all. If I go to Tae Kwon Do, I’ll miss an hour of the game, easy. If I run instead, I may not miss any of it, but I hurt my ankle during TKD training last week soo...which one will cause the least amount of strain?...Also, do I really want to be stressed out for an entire game or just come in on the second half?...Decisions decisions. The workout was happening one way or another.

Cut to the the game. At halftime it was all tied up...

The boyfriend's father sent him this text once Duke was in the lead in the last few minutes. HA!

...and then...the moment that made everything worth it...DUKE. TOOK. HOME. THE. WIN.  
68-63 DUKE.

In other words…

THE BRACKET. IS. MINE.  

Ranking #1 for the FINAL count, I chose the NCAA champ. This first time bracket-builder swayed in, did some research, chose the teams and walked off with the winnings...and a smile. Also a good day of bragging. So to all the girls who don’t think they can create a bracket and compete with their co-workers or their men, or to anyone who feels a little intimidated by the whole ordeal. Just try it. Aaaaaand you might just come out WINNING...to include a side of bragging rights. Ha!

Great games were played by all teams in the Final Four, and Duke made me proud in the final game.

I do think I should win a special award for choosing the NCAA champs and receive a scholarship to Duke’s Master’s degree program. Talk about pre-attendance school spirit. Just a thought. HI DUKE!






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