Madness Descends Upon the Sea Dogs
By Ben Altsher
Yes everyone, it’s that time again. March Madness, otherwise known as the men’s NCAA tournament is here. While in the office we’re as focused on getting ready for Opening Day April 7th vs. Reading, get your tickets), I’d be lying if I said we weren’t paying attention to the tournament.
Like so many other workplaces across the country, we too, are filling out our brackets, hoping to have year-long bragging rights over everyone else. And, just like in your workplace, every person has their own method to March Madness and how they fill out their brackets.
Some who rarely follow college basketball, simply go with most of the top seeds with a few upsets sprinkled in for variety if nothing else. Some just look at the names of the schools and say, “I’ve never even heard of Belmont, no way they stand a chance against Wisconsin.” Still others who’ve seen a good number of games this season consider themselves to be the next incarnation of Jay Bilas, breaking down matchups Ron Jaworski-style thinking they have every little detail accounted for.
Then there’s me. See unlike most of the other people in the office, I bring a unique perspective to college basketball. I’ve seen the game from just about every angle. I’ve seen it as a fan, both from up close and personal, and from afar. I’ve also seen it from inside the locker room, as a media member during my days at Syracuse. Basically, the only perspective I don’t have is that if a player (if only I had 10 more inches on my vertical).
Aside from that, my knowledge on the game is endless, which teams will keep trending the same way they have, and which teams will turn a losing streak into a surprise run or a winning streak into a quick exit. I know which teams are prepped and ready for the pressure, and which teams seem most likely to wilt under the spotlight. I know that UConn’s Big East tourney run was remarkable (five wins in five days), but Kemba Walker’s got some tired legs as he heads into Missouri’s “40 minutes of hell” defense. Point is, I know what I’m doing. I know where to look for the upsets and where the real contenders come from. In three weeks, everyone here in the office will know too.