You may have noticed it is March Madness again, the annual College Basketball Tournament. Sixty four teams winnow down to the Sweet Sixteen, the Final Four and, ultimately to the National Championship. Ever the Fantasy sports enthusiast, my son, sends out his annual “Hauser Invitational” email inviting family members to fill out their brackets predicting who the championship winner will be. Some of us actually have knowledge about team performances (I don’t fall into this category); others research pundits’ predictions; and still others rely on geography or school loyalties, choosing from the heart rather than the head.
Probably most brackets this year predicted that the Number 1 seeded team, the University of Virginia, would go deep into the tournament. (There are more seeds in this process than are sold at a lawn and garden store) Even I, knowing little to nothing about the current rankings, managed to check a couple of sites for guidance and included UVA in my final four. I actually think everyone but one person in our league selected UVA to make the finals. That one person happens to be my adorable daughter. Unlike her sports obsessed brother, she takes only a peripheral interest in all things sports, but given how game obsessed our family is, she happily participated in the tournament.
So who did Tracy pick to outright win the tournament? UMBC. (University of Maryland Baltimore County) a school in her hometown- Baltimore. Late Friday night as I lay sleeping, my iphone began chirping as multiple text message alerts started coming in. The following is a transcript of the text thread involving Tracy, my son David, and their Dad Jim:
David: Are you watching your beloved UMBC Retrievers??!
Tracy: The Who?
David: The team you picked to win the NCAA tournament. University of Maryland Baltimore County (mascot the Retrievers). They’re actually winning.
Tracy: Oh, uhhh yes! Absolutely! Hats off to UMBC.
Jim (Dad): You are a genius nobody in the country has done as well as you. You picked the two biggest upsets: You are in the top one percent of the country. (emoji smiley face)
Tracy: Dad, you are so nice! I wish I knew what you were talking about.
David: I think this is the coolest thing you have ever done.
Tracy: I frankly had no idea, lol.
Jim: Tracy, you have the best record in America.
Tracy: Yeah, right.
David: Your bracket. You picked University of Maryland Baltimore County to win the NCAA tournament. They just beat the University of Virginia who was hands down the best team in the tournament.
Tracy:Hmmm, interesting. Go UMBC!
David: (sharing a tweet he had read) The best description they could come up with for UMBC on the broadcast was that it was near BWI (Baltimore Washington International) airport. That is the school that the number 1 seed UVA lost to.
Tracy: Speaking of games, it’s your turn to play Words with Friends.
My husband and I were in stitches reading this conversation thread the next morning. Of course once Jim (my current husband, not to be confused with Jim (Dad) above. I only marry men named Jim) realized he had chosen the University of Virginia as his pick to win the tournament the text thread became a little less comical.
See, sometime choosing with your heart versus your head works out (although UMBC promptly lost two days later to Kansas State. But it was fun while it lasted.