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5 Easy Steps PDF Print E-mail
Written by Giles Weaver   

5 Easy Steps to Winning the NCAA Basketball Tournament
(Without Actually Being on a Team),
Getting the Girl (Without Any Effort Whatsoever),
& Surviving March Madness (Without Being Incarcerated).


ImageIt’s that magical and mad time of year again.  Dreams will be realized.  Hearts will be broken.  A champion will be crowned.  College girls will throw off their clothes.  But enough about me.  Let’s talk basketball.

 First, no whining.  I don’t want hear any more whining about your team’s seed, their bracket, where they have to travel, that they have to play at night, that your star player is injured, or how the committee gave them the shaft.  There will be absolutely no more whining of any sort.  The rules are simple.  Six games in a row in March no matter what your seed, who you play, or where you play.  Six games and your national champions.  It’s that simple.  Don’t ruin it with your petty ways.

ImageSecond, everything I say goes.  Here is why.  For years and years when I was a kid everything pretty much shut down on ACC Tournament weekend.  School was like a ghost town on that Friday.  Half the parents, one or both of whom were alumnus of one or more of the colleges, pulled their kids from school and headed to the games in Greensboro.  Teachers were also missing, and those that remained could be heard going at each other in the teacher’s lounge – “Does N.C. State have a prison abroad program?”  The tournament always brought out the kind of good-natured kidding that quickly escalated to violent blows.  Ahhh… the South.  Classes were pretty much suspended.  TVs were wheeled into the classrooms and everybody watched basketball.  No, I’m not sure that’s legal, but it was the ‘70s so I don’t think anybody noticed.  So there we have it.  While you were learning important stuff I was watching basketball.  Those are my credentials, which qualify me to be your proctologist as far as I’m concerned.  I am a Renaissance man after all. 

Step One: Make An Immediate Contribution to Your Local Police Department

I don’t care if they’re a bunch of jarheads that are one misplaced mustache comb away from going postal; donate to your local police department.  You have car insurance, right?  Home insurance?  Health insurance?  Okay, don’t answer that.  Some of you may even have legal insurance.  So what’s wrong with a little March Madness Insurance?  A well timed stripper gram bearing a check to the Policeman’s Auxiliary Ball can work legal wonders if, for example, your team suffers an ignoble defeat and you take out your rage on the nearest Duke fan.  Basketball is like life.  It’s all fun and games until you’re being fingerprinted.  And this is very important – get a receipt. 

Step Two: Drink Lots of Beer

ImageI know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking that’s self-evident.  Of course you’re going to drink a lot of beer – it’s a college tournament, and what better way to celebrate the old character building tradition of competitive collegiate sports than the drinking of unholy amounts of beer?  Huzzah.  But you would be shocked at the varying definitions people have of “lots.”  The other day somebody actually tried to convince me that a 12 pack is “lots.”  I know, I know.  Crazy.  In order to educate basketball fans, separate fact from fiction, expose the misinformation that’s out there, and get rid of any confusion on this subject, I have created this easy formula:  you are allowed to drink a beer equal to the number of teams playing in a given round.  First Round = 64 teams/beers per day.  Second Round = 32 teams/beers per day. Sweet Sixteen = 16 teams/beers per day.  Final 8 = 8 teams/beers per day.   The ImageFinal Four & National Championship games are “lightning rounds” where you divide your age by 2 and multiply that by 100.  So in my case that would be 1600 beers.   It’s so easy a child could do it.  You may drink as much liquor as you want.

Step Three:  Enter Your Office Pool, And then Forget About It

No matter what God you pray to, you are not going to win your office pool.  You are not going to win the $10,000 online prize.  You will be out of the running by Saturday.  You will lose like last year, probably to the same girl.  Remember her?  She turned to you when she was filling out her sheet and said, “I have an ex-boyfriend from that state, so Kansas is out…” You scoffed.  You laughed out loud and quite possibly in her face.  Then fate kicked you in the crotch (for more on this fascinating new science please read Crotch Kicking Through World Literature – approved for all ages).   But do not let this deter you from filling out a bazillion brackets with a bazillion different scenarios, one of which you are sure will be the winner that will allow you to experience the confident glow of glory for about ten minutes.  Oh what a moment that won’t be.  Do it.  Fill them out, and then forget about them.  The glory is on the court, not in your online bracket manager.  Don’t let a measly $100 you’re not going to win make you pull for one team or another.  Just sit back and enjoy it.  See Step Two.

Step Four:  When In Doubt, Pick The Team From The Red State

In the past week, I’ve read the entire Internet (and boy are my arms tired).  It seems that every major sports writer has an informed opinion on what could maybe possibly perhaps be a huge upset.  With confidence, they offer their picks – “Watch for the Purple Eagles to be the big surprise of the first round!”  I’m already surprised there is a team called the Purple Eagles.  I have no idea why, but it just sounds dirty.  But I digress.  What I’m trying to say is that with all these sportswriters trying to have different opinions, every single game being played this weekend has been called a potential upset by somebody, but nobody ever gives you any practical advice on how to choose teams on your bracket so you can enter, but not win, your office pool.  Once again, me to the rescue.  Choose the team from the red state.  Sure there will be some major upsets that nobody can really predict, but it works. 12 of 16 of the most likely Sweet Sixteen are from red states, and if that number goes in any direction it will go up.  Teams from the red states.  Do it. 

Step Five:  Getting The Girl

I know.  You are one of the legions of exceptionally beautiful yet chaste Asian women who make up my secret under ground fan club.  Yes.  You worship me, it is true.  But you’re feeling gypped that you only get Four Steps.  Surely you know me better than that, my sweet and sours.  It is my gift to you that you do not have to endure any more steps.  You can pour yourself an extra strength Shark Attack, kick up your feet, and go to

ImageMarch Madness Warning: Women know the difference between a winner and a person wearing a T-shirt with the name of a winning team on it.  This is a most unfortunate component of the cruel natural world not unlike an earthquake or a cute fuzzy bunny being ripped to shreds by a pack of jackals.  I’m assuming most of you are following the all important Step Two, thus it is essential that everyone make a concentrated group effort to remind one another than you are not actually playing in the game.  You are in a bar or in your living room.  You do not play on a team, and if you were on the court you would have to be rushed to the hospital after one play.  Remember these facts when speaking to the fairer gender.  However, it does not hurt to become an instant alumnus of the #16 seed that just knocked out Ohio State if you are sitting next to a girl wearing an Ohio State shirt.  This is important.  Always back the team that is playing against the team of your future love slave.  Are you writing this down?  Help me help you. 

Here is the upside.  March is the month of the underdog.  People love the underdog.  Women are people.  Thus women love underdogs.  Not as much as the team with the trophy, let’s not get crazy, but if the guys from Camp Mohawk aren’t around they love the underdog.  This is your month to strike.  Let’s say you’re a Winthrop kind of guy.  The only time you’re ever going to reel in a Gator girl is March.  That’s where the second part of the tournament’s name came from.  “Madness” is not some kind of slogan developed on Madison Avenue. It is an actual medical condition during which women get nekkid.  The New England Journal of Medicine really has some groundbreaking work on this but the summary is that it’s March.  Dreams will be realized.  Hearts will be broken.  A champion will be crowned.  Madness will ensue. 

ImageBonus Step:  If Undecided, Why Not Pull For The University of North Carolina Tarheels?

If they’re good enough for Antonella, they’re good enough for me.

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