It’s the time of year when brackets are flying fast and furious off of Xerox machines in offices nationwide, as well as popping up on every corner of the Internet. We here at Cuse Country have in the past added to the mayhem in our own special way. We ran our own NIT bracket challenges in 2007 and 2008. The first one was out of spite, as we (along with the rest of the thinking world) felt the sting of being snubbed off the bubble, and decided to boycott the NCAAs and focus our energy on the NIT instead. The second one was dubbed “March Sadness” and was more of an exercise in self-immolation. But hey, we got it linked by Deadspin… so there’s that. Anyway, last year we were free of bracket-related activity of any kind, but with the historic #1 seed that SU has achieved, we have decided it’s time to get back into the game. So we are going to hold our own bracket contest, but unlike other online contests we are going to do this one Syracuse style.
There is always some difficulty this week for those of us who bleed orange — we want to win our pools, but we don’t want to root against Syracuse. (I’m sure fans of every other school face this same conundrum.) We’ve all been there, feeling like we have to choose the team we expect to win rather than the team we desperately want to win. From this existential quandary are born the two rules of the Cuse Country “Pick With Your Heart” Bracket Challenge:
1. It’s free to enter.
2. You must pick Syracuse to win it all.
Thus freeing you from any angst derived from picking against your favorite team. (Unless you are a closet Vermont fan.) Any brackets not choosing Syracuse to win will be summarily disqualified.
The bracket will use the normal 1-2-4-8-16-32 scoring system, with one alteration: if you pick Georgetown to lose in the first round you get 10 bonus points, regardless of whether they actually lose or not. Picking them to lose in the second round gets you 5 bonus points. Because it’s 11:48 PM and Georgetown still sucks.
There will be fabulous prizes for the winner, maybe for the top 2 or 3, depending on what sort of fabulous prizes I can find on the internet for cheap.
We’ve set up our bracket on CBSsports.com, so you will have to create a user account on there to participate (though I imagine many of you already have one). Follow this link to join our bracket group. The group password is “douglas20″ in honor of the one and only Sherm. You have just about until the games start on Thursday to join and enter your picks. Welcome to the Challenge and:
LET’S GO ORANGE!!!!!