More information sources also source of more panic


Well, here it is — March 1. If there are any words to follow this sentence, enjoy them. If not, then you'll know the rest of the column was sequestered. And, to think, up until a few weeks ago I didn't even know how to spell sequester.

Is that the deal?

Some, no doubt, irrelevant words, likely on an off-the-wall topic that you hope, only slightly, makes sense.

Well, normally, I could say you’ve come to the right place. But this week? I’ve got to tell you this isn’t a good time. I’m busy. I’ve got things to do here.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that as this is written, it’s just a little past midnight Wednesday night — or is it Thursday morning? Just take your pick — and I still haven’t figured out what’s tougher: A Lobo or a Buckeye?

Or how would an Orange fare against a Grizzly? Plus, where is Belmont, anyway?

And are they the “11” that are going to make some noise?

That’s right, I don’t have my bracket filled out yet. And you expect a column with that priority looking me in the eye?

It’s the sports culture phenomenon that I can’t resist. It’s predicting how you think the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will play out. Sixty-eight teams, 67 games, nine-gazillion (or something like that) possibilities. How can you turn your back to that? I can’t, so I’ll be back … (Imagine elevator music playing in the background as you look at a blank space while wondering when is that hack writer going to finish this thing up.)

Here I am, I’m back, and my bracket fever’s worse than it’s ever been. I didn’t fill in one bracket but five. Yes, five different contests, five different brackets with four different teams picked to win.

I’m the kind of guy who drives purists nuts.

They think you should fill out one bracket and one only. If you’re going to enter multiple contests, then fine, go right ahead, but use the same bracket for all of them.

I like to be a little more flexible. I have Kansas to win it all in one contest, but there’s another where I know that a majority of the participants are Jayhawks fans. So I better not pick them. That way if they lose, I’m only out once, and they’re out for good.

That’s about as analytical as I get. In this age of instant information, there are plenty of people and formulas out there to guide you.

I heard some guy on the radio the other day saying how you need to look at the defense ratios of points allowed while wearing white uniforms as compared to that same team’s points scored per game, or something like that, to really make a smart selection.

No, thanks. I’ll just wing it.

That’s why my alma mater Creighton is picked to beat Duke in four of my five brackets. That’s the heart making picks over the head. But, you never know. It could happen.

It could happen might be the three words that make taking part in March Madness brackets so much fun.

Sixteen-team regionals have participating teams seeded one through 16 in the manner that
the selection committee thinks they should be ranked. Since doing it this way, a 16 seed has never beaten a one, but it could happen.

A team seeded higher than ninth has never won it all. But, it could happen.

Again, my favorite team, the Creighton Bluejays, have never been to the Final Four. But, it could happen (And before you snicker at that last idea, don’t make me remind you what team in Lincoln has never so much as won an NCAA tournament game. You know which one.)

Therein lies the goal: I just have to figure out a few more it could happen outcomes than the other entrants. And when the dust all settles three weeks from now, we’ll see who is the master of prognosticators.

Actually once you read this, I’ll probably already be out of the running. Second-round games started Thursday and the 32nd and final one will be played tonight. Usually it doesn’t take longer than that to rain on my parade.

So, tell me, did Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown?

It could happen.

Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

Copyright © 2014