The pool's posted and the games have started. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. All is right with the world.I hemmed and hawed a lot about it last night, writing things in, then erasing them, then rewriting what had been there because every time I change something it turns out that I shouldn't have. Brackets are HARD. They were much easier when I didn't know anything about basketball. I am not really much of a pool veteran. I filled out my first official bracket in 1997 for a friend's office pool. Miraculously, I tied for second that year. Credit my hometown, feel-good pick of the Minnesota Gophers to get to the Final Four. Sure, all the sports veterans laughed, until that unknown snooty chick grad student from Northwestern beat nearly all of them. The next year, I was more motivated but also not very informed and I won the whole thing. I've been in a more or less steady decline ever since. Ironically, as my knowledge of college basketball and "bracketology" has increased my success has decreased. There's a lesson in that somewhere.
This year I'm focusing on, as Will Ferrell doing George Bush likes to call it, "STRATEGERY." Sure, I still applied some rules (no 16's ever beaten a 1, always pick a 5/12 upset, etc.). But after cruising the web and this week's newspaper previews I decided that the best strategy is to make oddball choices that *could* happen. Ohio State over Villanova to reach the Final Four? It *could* happen.