This Is My Year

I’ve been looking forward to this month for some time now. Not only did our nation just celebrate “Fat Tuesday,” for Mardi Gras, but the NCAA Basketball Tournament is just around the corner. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, the research I’ve done over the past couple of months needs to payoff. I couldn’t bear to have another disappointing bracket. Hell, I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother beat me last year. I’m positive there’s a granny somewhere waiting to fill out a bracket upon request from her grandson. She’ll probably pick out winners according to the way the jerseys look or what she thinks the “cutest” mascot is, and her grandson will somehow come out victorious. Not in my bracket pool though, not in 2014. This is my year.

Photo courtesy of http://www.totalprosports.com/ ^ I’ll have a better bracket than Barry O. in 2014
Ever since Fantasy Football ended, I haven’t known what to do with myself. Second place, that’s all I can think about. The thought will be imprinted in my mind until I make a change. I was never in it to win the money in the first place, it was only a bonus. I wanted the bragging rights, the pride, and the glory. I wanted to know I had earned it. I wanted to feel I had the ability to organize and manage something successfully. The thought of being runner up puts me in a really bad place. I wanted to win then, but I need to win now. I have a second shot, the 2014 bracket season could be my chance to make a statement and redeem myself!

Louisville ousted Michigan in last year's March Madness Tournament but can the Cardinals repeat in 2014 with tough conference games

Photo courtesy of http://www.pbbracket.com            ^ Me after Fantasy Football in 2013

In 2014, I plan to stray away from the analyst’s opinions. The “Big Dance,” is a place where miracles happen. First round upsets are inevitable, and the analysts never seem to get them right. Who would’ve thought that teams like Florida Gulf Coast and La Salle could make it as far as the Sweet Sixteen? I can assure you none of the analysts thought so. I may not be able to sniff out both of these types of upsets in 2014, but my bracket will definitely have a couple of surprises on it. I always play it safe, it’s time to go against the grain and believe in the unimaginable.

Photo courtesy of xfinity.comcast.net  ^ George Mason’s miracle run to the Final four in 2006

My biggest hope is for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs have won eight of their last nine games, and look determined to claim a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve really looked hungry as of late, maybe the “40 minutes of hell,” could be here to stay. Let’s not count out the North Carolina Tar Heels either, who have won 12 games in a row. They’re playing well at the right time, look for them to be a contender down the stretch of the tournament.

I’m still not sold on Wichita St. as a number one seed, or even a contender. Their best wins have come against Saint Louis, Tennessee, and Missouri St. Sure they’re 31-0, but if you don’t have quality wins on your resume why should you be considered one of the best teams in the nation? You can argue with me all you want, but don’t be shocked when the Shockers take an early departure from the tournament.

I really hope I don’t eat my words, I’m feeling good about my predictions in 2014. Let the countdown to March Madness begin! Soon we’ll be hearing “One Shining Moment,” with past tournament moments being shown on the television screen. It gives me goosebumps every time. I am determined to conquer, this is my year.

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