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Old photo of Roger Chadwick making one of many college basketball shots.

Maxine Chadwick

Old photo of Roger Chadwick making one of many college basketball shots.

Busted Brackets, Broken Hearts

March 30, 2018

The perfect NCAA men’s basketball March Madness bracket has never been filled in. It is as close to the impossible as the San Diego Padres winning a World Series. There are the experts. They get it wrong. There are the diehards. They get it wrong. There are the casual fans. They get it wrong too. And yet, they all keep trying.

March Madness in 2018 has been even more challenging than past years because of several upsets. For the first time in the history of the tournament, a 16 seed (UMBC) beat a number 1 seed (Virginia).

For senior Matthew Pisacane, the UMBC victory was especially heartbreaking because he selected Virginia to win the entire tournament. “I was super excited for March Madness this year, confident in my bracket and everything,” Pisacane said. “Then UMBC had the incredible upset and I lost all hope in humanity, and my bracket too.”

Despite failed predictions, senior Ciro Valdez learned a valuable lesson by filling out his brackets. “Pick Villanova. Always pick Villanova,” Valdez said. “But in all seriousness, as a first timer, the connection I built with my friends throughout the tournament, regardless of success, was a huge gift for me. I had a blast.”

“I had Virginia to win it all, so I’m out $15 just like that,” junior Edward Garvey said. “I was so mad, throwing my hat against the wall throughout the game.”

Most people have a more positive experience, even despite a loss. Sophomore Griffin Zitko, owner of seven different busted brackets, said, “It can be very frustrating, but it’s still exciting to watch all the games and keep track of your team, especially when you have multiple brackets.”

Another year of failure for NCAA fans across the country in 2018, but a lot of fun nonetheless. Maybe 2019 will be the year someone beats the 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,777,808 odds. At least March Madness fans can hope.

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