20 March 2008

Five-Minute Posts: Five March Madness Thoughts

Editorial note: First off, I realized today that my titles for the first three of these short posts contained a common error. I wasn't planning on writing five minute posts, but rather posts that took me five minutes to write (by the way, it's usually been more like ten, but I haven't done too bad so far). Please accept my apology for the absent hyphen.

On to the list:

(1) I'm terrified of the Badgers' draw. Who am I rooting for in the K-State/USC game? Well, O.J. Mayo is 6'5'', and Michael Beasley is 6'10''. Michael Flowers is 6'3''. I'm rooting for USC. That's who I picked as well, even though LRMC gives the edge to K-State.

(2) For me, Tyler Hansbrough is the new Tom Brady. The annual UNC love fest is driving me crazy. I've got them losing to Kansas in the Final Four, but I'd gladly sacrifice the points for an early Tar Heels loss.

(3) A statistical quibble: Just because it seldom happens that all four one-seeds make it to the Final Four doesn't mean that configuration is a bad bracket pick, even though it's not a daring one. Unless you're playing in a huge pool that will have most of the likely Final Four combinations represented, your best chance to win is to get as many of them as possible (well, depending on how your pool assigns points, I suppose). If you think the top teams have been seeded correctly, then of course it's a good idea to pick those four teams. I usually don't take all the one-seeds, but I usually get burned for that choice and only get one or two teams in the Final Four. You've gotta decide if you want to win or if you want to have bragging rights if something extremely improbable happens. I think either choice is legitimate, of course, but just like in writing (and design), it's important to be aware of the choices you're making. They may not be the ones you think.

(4) I love the way the tournament takes over our lives for four days (two of them workdays). Don't we all need to be reminded that there are more important things than work? I'm not saying college basketball is necessarily one of them, but I'll take any reminder. Plus, there's another issue, although I suspect this is more true in academia than in at least some other fields: productivity rarely scales linearly with time spent at your desk not reading joke emails, checking out hilarious videos, or watching basketball. Some days I'm totally focused with my nose to the grindstone for ten hours and accomplish next to nothing. Other days I'm in and out of meetings and totally distracted and yet get a ton done in the four hours I'm actually at it.

(5) OK, I'm way over time on this post, so I'm gonna have to call it quits here. Check out this Badger love from Seth Davis.

Go big red!

No comments: