We’ve talked about knowledge. We’ve talked about luck. Now, let’s talk about things you just simply know to be true — your gut instinct. Every year I fill out a bracket in which I feel super confident. “You’ve watched the games TH,” I say, “you’re gonna make everyone your bitch!” Rarely do I use internal exclamations in my internal monologues, but I wanted to convey to you all how sure of myself I usually feel.
And yet, this confidence often times goes unrewarded.
In my 23 years of life I’ve filled out March Madness brackets 14 times. In those 14 times, I have only won one, maybe two times. This was all until sophomore year of college, when a far too inebriated Tommy Hollywood stumbled home from a St. Patrick’s Day party and decided that 3:00am would be an appropriate time to fill out his bracket. I picked Wichita St. to win it all, they got knocked out in the second round.
However, despite the early adversity, I ended up tying for first that year and making a profit in my tournament pool. That year I learned two valuable life lessons. 1.) Sometimes, you need to drown out your instinct and just trust your gut. 2.) If in order to do lesson 1 you need to be drunk, that may be considered alcoholism.
But to number 2 I say alcoholism, shmalcoholism.
Let’s drink some beers and win some money. Therefore, in order to give you my most uninhibited and honest takes, I’ve done my duty and slammed a few IPA’s (including an IPA from a gas station, which feels like juxtaposition) and present to you all the third and final bracket, the gut bracket.
The rules of the Gut Bracket were that I had to be drunk and that I only had 3 minutes to fill the entire bracket out. I was able to get through all of this in 2:37 after a few “pints” of IPA’s. Here are the key highlights that I acknowledge with my gut and not with my head.
- Kansas is a good basketball team. They’ve screwed me in the past but this team is really balanced and I think they make it to the Final Four.
- Duke is also a good basketball team. Ever since I first started filling out brackets in ’03 when UMD beat Duke I’ve refused to pick Duke as my champ until now. Tatum is too good and stretches teams out. You have to guard him beyond the arc and in the paint. If teams don’t have a guy that can match up with Tatum (spoiler: most don’t) then Duke has a solid chance of winning it all.
- I put aside my cynacism that sports are a fix and have Northwestern losing in the first round. Then again, I side heavily with my favorite college sports team, Notre Dame, by putting them in the Final Four. So my heart pick makes up for my brain here.
- I genuinely think Duke, UNC, Kansas, UK, UCLA, Arizona, Notre Dame, and ‘Nova have a shot of winning it all, but the way the matchups were presented and after seeing Duke dominate the ACC it’s tough to pick against them.
If you still have yet to make a bracket by now, I highly encourage you to use this as your guide.
My gut usually doesn’t fail me, and I genuinely feel really confident that this may be the best bracket I make. Then again, that could be the IPA’s talking. At any rate, remember what I’ve taught you over these last three days revelers, and go win yourself some undetected IRS money.