Basketball takes center stage

Amber Hatten Sports editor

LAURINBURG — After a very long high school basketball season — almost five months of basketball gets to be a bit much towards the end — I didn’t think I could get into the spirit of March Madness.

Turns out I was wrong.

With football still months away — other than the NFL Draft next month — March Madness will have to do as a stand in to fulfill my sports needs. Before filling out my brackets I look through the stats for the teams, but for the most part I’m flying blind when it comes to Division I basketball.

So some of my bracket picks are a bit unconventional — No. 12 Middle Tennessee beating No. 5 Minnesota in the first round or No. 10 VCU topping No. 7 St. Mary’s (Calif.). I also picked No. 10 Oklahoma State to beat No. 7 Michigan because as Buckeye fan I can’t in good conscious root for the Wolverines in any sport.

The upsets are going to happen, it’s just picking the right ones and as Lefty Gomez said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

That’s the mantra I go with when filling out my bracket because it’s like playing the lottery, the probability of correctly picking the winner of every game are astronomically unlikely. In fact, your chances of winning the Powerball are higher than having a perfect March Madness bracket.

The odds of winning correctly picking all five lottery numbers plus the Powerball are 1 in 292 million, the odds of having a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion — that’s 18 zeros. That’s why companies are happy to offer up a $1 million bracket challenge, because it’s a sound business investment with no chance of losing money.

Despite the low odds millions of people fill out multiple brackets and spend their days watching the games because they love the upsets, cheering for their favorite team and revealing in seeing their rivals fall — it’s all the things people love about sports.

So as the madness gets underway may the odds be ever in your favor.

Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.

Amber Hatten Sports editor Hatten Sports editor
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