Bracket Dilemma: How Much is Your Team's Championship Worth to You?

Jacob NitzbergAnalyst IMarch 30, 2009

I am a huge North Carolina Tar Heels fan. My Dad went to grad school there and brought me up rooting for the team. Now that they have made the Final Four, and are just two wins away from the title, I can almost taste the championship.

I, like many Americans, entered into a few pools for the NCAA Tournament. In order to maximize my chances of winning, I diversified my selections, including my pick for which team would win the tournament. Now, if gambling were legal. I would have a chance to win a sizeable amount of money in one of these pools.

Enter the dilemma.

The bracket in which I have a chance to win the hypothetical cash has the University of Connecticut Huskies as the national champion. If my Tar Heels win the title, I drop down and out of the money. If the Huskies cut down the nets in Detroit, my favorite team has lost, but in these tough economic times, I've nearly earned a month of free rent.

This brings me to the burning much is a championship worth? What is the price to root against your favorite team while they play for a national title?

It feels like asking what the price is for your soul.  

For me personally, it would cost more than any amount I could win in a standard NCAA pool. Getting to see the Heels win the title (again) and be called champions for a year is worth much more than the monetary prize for me.

However, if we start talking about the prize for winning the overall challenge on major websites like, then I would have to think about it.

So, readers, I leave it to you.  Name your price.