Always Cheer for Upsets Over Your Bracket

By Ryan Patterson

If you have a perfect bracket right now, congratulations, you are a sorcerer. If you have an awful bracket, don’t feel bad, plenty of others are right there with you. You probably still have a decent bracket, though, like most people. Despite Iowa State and Baylor losing, no extremely outrageous upsets happened that eliminated popular Final Four picks. So, you are likely feeling pretty good right now, and thankful that Belmont, North Dakota State and Harvard, among others, didn’t get their one shining moment as major upsets.

This is the wrong way to look at this year’s NCAA Tournament, however. Instead of being thankful that your Final Four pick Virginia survived, you should feel slightly disappointed that Belmont couldn’t pull off the unthinkable. This is an important part of experiencing March Madness: always cheer for the upset instead of your bracket.

The United States of America exists thanks to one of the greatest upsets in all of history. The fact that basically George Washington and a bunch of farmers defeated a highly trained, world-class military is at least the equivalent of Norfolk State over Missouri, and probably more like a 16-seed beating a one-seed. So I’m just saying, cheering for your bracket because you picked all higher seeds to advance instead of rooting for upsets probably means you hate America. Or that you cheered for Christian Laettner and Duke in the ’90s. Come on, is that the kind of person you want to be?

How incredible was it when Georgia State knocked off Baylor with an insane comeback that included their head coach falling off his chair when his son made the winning 3-pointer? I’ve seen that video approximately 246 times, and still laugh every time. How cool was it seeing the Blazers of UAB celebrate wildly after they somehow knocked off Iowa State? These moments are what make March Madness great and wholly unique. And yet, I still saw a fair amount of people talking on Twitter about how mad they are because their bracket’s already busted. Please. Stop that nonsense right now. March Madness is not about your bracket, it’s about teams like UAB coming out of absolutely nowhere and knocking off a powerhouse. I had Iowa State in the Final Four in one of my brackets, and was cheering for UAB every step of the way. That’s just what you do this time of year.

I know most people cheer for upsets and generally disregard their bracket because it’s demolished after the first weekend anyway, but not everyone does. This is a simple message to those people who wanted Baylor and Iowa Sate to win on Thursday because they have a 1.4 percent shot at winning their big tournament pool: Why do you hate America? If I haven’t made my point clear by now, there’s obviously no help for you. Always root for the underdog during March Madness, regardless of bracket affiliation. Always, always cheer for upsets to happen. If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself this: Which day was more fun to watch? Thursday, with upsets and near-upsets all over the place, or Friday, where 15 of 16 higher seeds won? The choice is obvious, as it has been all along. UPSETS. OVER. BRACKET.


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