Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Dunnevant Method

While a 777 Malaysian jet is still unaccounted for, and Ukraine teeters on the edge of the abyss, this morning I turn my attention to the most pressing issue of this day, March 19, 2014. Yes, it’s time to fill out my NCAA bracket for the office pool. ‘Merica.

Each year, I mostly ignore college basketball except for the occasional contest between the University of Richmond and VCU. It’s strange really how this came to be since I used to follow the sport religiously 20 years ago. But somewhere along the line the sound of sneakers on hardwood started to get on my nerves, and I lost interest. Nevertheless, like all red-blooded men I am expected to fork over my fifteen bucks and fill out a bracket. So, here I am staring at this thing wondering when in the world did North Dakota State start playing basketball?

My process and strategy, such as it is, is to look at each match-up for no more than ten seconds before making my pick. Just like putting, the longer I take, the worse I tend to do. Don’t think too much Dunnevant, just go with your gut. But what happens when because of inattention all year, you have no gut feeling about say, San Diego State vs. New Mexico State? Well, I then look at the seed. San Diego is a 4 seed and New Mexico a 14, so clearly the powers that be think that San Diego is the much better team. However, this is the NCAA basketball tournament. Upsets are what makes this thing what it is, the Cinderella story, the underdog. So, then I look at their records. San Diego was 29-4 while New Mexico was 26-9, begging the question, how in the world did New Mexico State entice 17 schools to travel all the way to Las Crusas to play them?? Still lacking clear guidance, I ask myself, “Which one of these places would I prefer to live in if I had to choose between them?” San Diego State it is!

The serious basketball fan will scoff at this technique, but I won my office pool three years ago using this exact same method. Remember that they call this event March Madness, not March Method. There is madness to my method, I freely admit. So, what were the results of the Dunnevant Method, you might ask?

I’ve got Florida, Iowa State, Arizona and Louisville in the final four, with the Gators beating the Wildcats in the title game.