Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 27, 2013

March just might drive me mad

The Register-News

---- — You know your NCAA Tournament bracket has gone off the rails when you’re in 3 millionth place.

That’s right 3 million people have done a better job so far than me at predicting this year’s NCAA Tournament in an online poll I entered.

How could that happen?

It’s pretty easy. I’m terrible at forecasting the future in the month of March.

I filled out my first March Madness bracket when I was in junior high. It started a run of unprecedented ineptitude. The first year I had North Carolina going all the way.

They lost in the second round to Boston College. Since I started picking, I have never successfully chosen the tournament champion. This year I have Indiana winning it all. It’s a worse kiss of death than the Sport Illustrated cover jinx or the John Madden video game cover hex.

I’m just waiting for something terrible to happen to my beloved Hoosiers. Give it time.

In the mid 90s, I picked Massachusetts all the way. Fans might scoff at this selection, but you must remember it was the first stop for the now Kentucky coach John Calipari. They were loaded with talent.

Massachusetts looked like a good pick. They won a couple games, and then their starting point guard got hurt. My bracket got ripped up before the Elite Eight even started.

I’ve tried everything from picking a ton of upsets to picking just a couple. I’ve tried a blend of both.

Nothing works.

My eureka moment came a couple years ago when I simply stopped.

The games became fun. I enjoyed the upsets in the early rounds and then rooted for the traditional powers in the later rounds.

Everything was fine.

Then I went back to the brackets.

I was tempted and filled one out this year. I went online and clicked through my picks as fast as possible. My strategy this year was to put as little thought into my selections as possible.

If you’re wondering, that doesn’t work either. I’m currently ranked 3,079,773. Not good.

The West region is in shambles. I had Wisconsin and Ohio State in the region final. Ohio State is about the only team

I got right. Gonzaga, Wisconsin and New Mexico all fell prey to shocking upsets.

Somehow I sit here with six of my Elite Eight teams remaining. All of my Final Four teams are still alive.

It might be too soon to hope, but maybe this year my championship predication will happen.

Let’s go Hoosiers.

Paul Hines is the sports editor at the Register-News.