Just an hour ago, the attention of much of the nation was turned towards Indianapolis and the release of the pairings of the 2012 College Basketball Championships euphemistically called “The Road to the Final Four.” Perhaps the most influential man in America for about the last 72 hours has not been Barak Obama or John Boehner or Bill Gates or Peyton Manning or any of the dueling field of Republican presidential candidates. It has been a quiet man who has invented a new field of science tied to NCAA basketball called “Bracketology.” His name is Joe Lunardi. For more about Joe go to BRACKETOLOGY. After nearly five months of athletic contests, Joe assists tournament chiefs and office pool participants first try to make sense of those most deserving to play for all the marbles on the hardwood and then who is likely to win it as “brackets” are created everywhere that will consume our sports-infatuated nation for the next three weeks. Only Peyton Manning’s odyssey to a new football home and perhaps Major League’s Opening Day will manage to wrest the headlines on ESPN away from NCAA Basketball.
My beloved Buckeyes lost more games than in recent memory and yet still managed to capture a three-way tie for the Big Ten title with a win over Michigan State (at Ann Arbor) on the final day of the regular season. They made it to the Big Ten tournament finals where once again they faced Michigan State, only to come up short 68-64 in a hard-fought contest. Often a front-runner for a number one seed in the Big Dance, they had to settle for a two seed.
Like millions of Americans I have done my own brackets. I have a sentimental bracket and a realistic bracket. Sentimentally my Final Four will be Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas, and Baylor with the Buckeyes triumphing. Realistically I see Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, and Syracuse–with the Wildcats winning the prize.
Now have done this prognostication, I will reaffirm the biblical affirmation: “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11.
forgot to publish this Sunday night. However, note that Monday morning, given the disqualification of a key Syracuse player, I changed my formal REALISTIC BRACKET to the Buckeyes. Still pick the Wildcats overall. – STEVE