No, I’m not talking about the current presidential primaries. That’s more like lunacy or a clown show. I’m talking about the best time of the year for a sports fan, the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament. The time when more than $1.7 Billion in worker productivity will be lost while we all fill out our brackets, watch the games on our computers and generally ignore the rest of the world.
As you might guess the String isn’t your normal bunch of degen gamblers, we, as in all things, like to take it up a notch. So in addition to your run of the mill bracket challenge, ho hum, we also participate in a Calcutta Auction that . . . Hmmm, how do I say this on a public forum without alerting the feds? Let’s just say that it involves a little more money than your average bracket challenge. In a Calcutta teams buy each of the teams in the tournament and then a percentage of the pool of money is disbursed to the teams when one of their teams wins a game. 1% of the pool for winning a first round game, 2% for winning a second round game, 5% for a third round win and so on. It makes things a lot more “interesting” in my view. At least until Villanova, who you put big dollars on because they were a fooking 1 seed, decides to bow out in the second round. When that happens you are less “interested” and more “extremely fooking pissed off” and ready to fly to Philly to tell Jay Wright to his face what a moran he is. But I digress.
In addition to the Calcutta, Kool and I have decided that we are going to wager head to head on every game in the tourney. Yes, even the First Four. There is an old adage that says that a guy will watch any sporting event if there is money at stake. While that is not entirely true as a few years ago we all bet on NASCAR to see if that would get us to watch it and after about the first 10 laps with no crashes we all bailed, I think it may actually get me to pay attention to the First Four this year. Usually I just wait until Wednesday to fill out my bracket once the field is narrowed to 64, but this year there is money at stake on those games and I’ll be watching. Kool and I did a similar thing during the regular season where we each got to pick 4 games a week against the spread and the other guy had to accept. We also allowed for additional wagers, but those required consent. We ended up betting on 108 games and I ended up with a slight advantage 55-53. I know, you are saying what a waste, but let me tell you I never thought I could care about a Siena/Monmouth game and I totally crushed that thought. (Monmouth was jobbed by NCAA tournament selection committee by the way.)
So here we go. In the First Four Kool picked Wichita State -3.5 over Vanderbilt and I picked Fairleigh Dickinson +5.5 over Florida Gulf Coast.
Let’s Go Commodores and Metropolitan Knights!
I will try to keep you updated as things progress, but obviously the first couple of days, with 32 games, may be a little hard.
I hope you all win your bracket challenges. Don’t forget about those 12 seeds.