Final Four: Seeing red

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By the time you read this, the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four will be set – and I can unequivocally assure you I will have picked exactly zero of those four teams correctly.

I like to think I’m a pretty good bracketologist; I’ve got a sporting background, I follow college basketball and I’ve traditionally done well in office pools and the like.

Not this year.

Oh, it all started off well enough, as I picked the outcomes of the initial four games correctly. After that, to say the wheels fell off is an understatement – the wheels not only fell off, the car was keyed and its taillights were smashed with cinder blocks before being set ablaze by the likes of Ohio and Lehigh Universities.

Virginia, one of my upset specials, merely lost by 26 points to Florida. Another would-belock to win, Texas, was down 16-2 to Cincinnati when I flicked on the TV to stay abreast. Cincinnati moved on to the Sweet 16 while Texas – and my bracket – went into witness protection.

Even the minor miracles I accurately predicted (let’s hear it for North Carolina State!) were offset by unseen occurrences of greater magnitude. Much like you, I thought there was Norfolkingthe way the Spartans would beat Missouri.

By Sunday night of the tourney’s first weekend, my bracket – normally a white sheet aglow with multiple green dashes –looked more like the gauze you take out of your mouth after dental surgery. In the world of NCAA picks, red is bad.

I suppose there is one positive to take from this experience, and that is I didn’t have any money riding on my selections. That was a great decision in retrospectbecause had I wagered this year,my bank account would greatly resemble thatcar: wheel-less, beaten and charred.

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