Dipsy Doo Dunkaroo, it is March Madness baby! (I really hope you have read my other college basketball posts or you know about Dick Vitale. If not, you are thinking I am insane.)
The 2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament is only days away, and I am beyond dipsy about it! I do not get excited about the NBA playoffs. And until this year, I only cared about the Super Bowl for the party.
But when it comes to March Madness, look out, I get obsessed! I love filling out my brackets and watching as many games as I possibly can!
I had such a hard time coming up with an Elite Eight list of why girls should watch March Madness because I love it so much. I cannot imagine needing actual convincing reasons.
Even girlfriends of mine, who are anti-sports get into the madness. I have also already done a post with Reasons to Love College Basketball. But the tourney is totally different ballgame!
Well, okay, that was a poor choice of words. That was confusing. It is still the same ballgame—basketball—just kicked up a notch!
But, I do know that not everyone is like me! More relationships break up during March than any other time of year because of Madness! The obsession takes over one partner, and the other partner just does not get it or refuses to watch.
After much deliberation with the Stiletto Sports girls, we have created some Elite Eight reasons to make even the girliest, anti-sports girlfriend want to watch March Madness:
8. If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em
You know how many times you babbled on and on about America's Next Top Model or Project Runway to the annoyance of all the males around you? Well, payback is a bitch, and it's name is NCAA March Madness.
March Madness is almost inescapable. It dominates workplace water-cooler conversations more than American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Bachelor drama combined. Some places even allow office pools and online/television access to the games!
And if your company passed a memo prohibiting the tourney, then for the last month, your fellow co-workers—men, women, CEOs, mail room clerks, teachers, doctors—have been trying to figure out a way to get the games while at work.
I do not recommend scheduling a surgery until April.
People will do anything to partake in the madness from adding services to their Blackberries and iPhones that allow all-game access to breaking down any company firewalls to get online. Also, you could smuggle in a radio or television or just call in sick until April.
Oh, and by the way, be forewarned: The opening round kicks off on St Paddy's Day with the wild-card game. So, if you are planning on going out to paint the town green, you better believe you will be surrounded by the tourney!
7. Even with 65 Games in the Tourney, You Don't Have To Invest Much Time
That's right, there are 65 games to watch. But unlike the NBA playoffs (potentially 105 games stretching over like three months), the NCAA tourney lasts less than a month. It's actually compressed into only 11 game days.
The first rounds of the tourney can be super-intense as games run almost round-the-clock! In Round One, there are 32 games in two days; in Round Two, there are 16 games in two days. But, no one actually watches all of the games.
CBS will show you the most local and relevant games and then, when something exciting happens somewhere else, they show you!
Besides, you really only have to tune in for the last 30 seconds of most of the games. Anything can happen in that final-minute stretch. That's what adds to the madness.
Teams are known to come from behind to win the game with a beautiful buzzer-beater. Granted, 30 seconds in college basketball can last longer than some baseball innings.
Some people (including myself) will disagree with me and say that watching just the ends of the game is not getting the full tournament experience.
I definitely feel that March Madness is so much better as an all-you-can-eat stuff-yourself-silly buffet than as a tapas restaurant where you are basically sampling little bits of appetizers. (Can you tell that I'm hungry?)
However, I am giving you a big heads-up warning. The final game is on Monday, April 6, at night. That means major conflict with Dancing with the Stars and Gossip Girl/One Tree Hill. Prepare now.
6. Hot Boys
I have said it before and I'll say it again: College basketball = big crop of young, muscular, virile hotties! I'm just saying, if you are going to sit down and watch 65 basketball games in 11 days, a little eye candy wouldn't hurt! And whatever, there are hundreds of college cheerleaders. You don't think that is an added perk the male viewers are looking forward to?
5. Any Sporting Event That is Secure Enough in Its Manhood To Call Its Championship Game The Big Dance Is Good by Me
Plus, you will never again see this many grown heterosexual men running around excited about a Disney Princess. Male players all over the country are desperate to be Cinderella, and male fans are excitedly talking about her. It's great!
4. "You Have No Idea How Hot It Is When A Girl Can Speak March Madness"
To protect the (not-so) innocent, I won't say who said that to me. Just know it is true.
Like I said, March Madness is almost inescapable. It is so much fun to be all dolled up all girly-girly rocking the stilettos and then casually interrupt the group of guys talking about the tourney by telling them who you picked to win on your own brackets.
Watch "draws" drop. And if you are at the bar, well, watch the free drinks and phone numbers come flying your way.
3. More Plot Twists Than a Reality TV Show Staring Jason Mesnick
You swooned. You fell in love and were swept away by the fairytale. You gasped. You recoiled in shock. You cried. You threw things at the TV. The Bachelor, who? Come April 7, you'll be saying you did all of that during March Madness.
The drama on The Bachelor this season totally pales in comparison to the plot twists and excitement of a march madness game.
Like I said, teams that were losing the entire game are known to rally back in the final minute. The unknown underdogs defeat top-rated big-name teams. Some dreams are shattered—and other dreams come true. Millions of dollars are won and lost!
It's reality TV at its absolute finest! Watch hundreds of grown men cry as their entire brackets go to hell in the final 30 seconds of a really close game.
2. If You Have a Fave Idol, Star, Model, Chef, Loser, or Apprentice, You Will Love Having a Fave Team!
You may not be able to call in and vote for them after the show, but you will be able to scream and cry and celebrate along with the team—and millions around the country. It doesn't matter if you had never even heard them before the Tournament started. You didn't know of David Cook before last February either; did you? Like I said, this is reality TV at its finest!
1. You Don't Have To Know a Damn Thing about College Basketball To Fill Out a Bracket and Win Lots of Money.
Come March Madness, everyone is an expert—or at least acts like it. And trust me; half the time they don't have any more expertise than you do. Okay, well you do have to understand the bracket structure just a little.
I'll get into it in more depth in another post, but here it is real short:
- There are 64 teams selected on the bracket.
- The teams are divided into East, West, South, and Midwest with 16 teams in each "region."
- The teams are ranked in order from No. 1 to No. 16.
- That means at the start of any tourney there are four No. 1 ranked teams.
"But, Stiletto Sports Jen, if they are ranked No. 1 doesn't that mean they are the best? Shouldn't I pick them to go to the Final Four?"
Ah little Stiletto, that is a very wise question. Yes, since 1985 (when the tourney expanded to 64 teams like it is now) the championship has been won by a No. 1-or-No. 2-ranked team 18 out of 24 times.
However, there are four No. 1 teams and four No. 2 teams. It's pretty much a crap shoot on which one of those eight is going to be the best that year.
And the only time all four No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four was in 2008!
But guessing which No. 1 is really the best is only a very tiny bit of what makes brackets so fun.
I'll get into more bracketology later, but really, there are so many factors that go into these games besides just a random ranking and team record.
These teams are driving hard to win, and they are fueled with skill, passion, and a whole lot of luck. You can analyze the hell out of it and know all the stats and figures of every player on every team and not win a penny.
Or you could pick Gonzaga because it, for some reason, it reminds you of Gonzo from Muppet Babies; Arizona because you are still upset that Kurt Warner and company did not win the Super Bowl; and Siena because you thought you were the only person who knew of that little school in upstate Albany, New York.
(Warning: If you do pick your team based on this and you do win; people will hate you. But who cares? You have their money and look better than them anyway!)
Just one little tip: In the first round: A No. 16 ranked team always plays the No. 1. Sadly, No. 16 has never beaten a No. 1. So you might really hate North Carolina (UNC), but if they are ranked No. 1. Um, don't pick them to lose in the first round!
Still not convinced? I'm going to give you a link to one of the best "why we love march madness" articles I have ever read. Forgive the long paragraphs and the references you may not understand.
It's well thought out, well-written, and really captures the excitement and love that we feel for this time of year! Why We Love March by Doug Enzler
Stay tuned. Want to learn how to fill out a bracket? Or what's the difference between the NBA and the NCAA? Stiletto Sports will be getting ready for the Big Dance all week! More Girl's Guides to March Madness coming soon!