Hey, pal. How’s it going?
Did that busted bracket of yours become a Kleenex? Has a hatred for basketball choked out the excitement that initially filled your veins when March Madness began? We get it.
We know all the stuff you were gonna buy with the winnings, not to mention that pride felt when flexing a big win over office mates and high school friends. We also wanted you to shut down your annoying brother-in-law who seems to get lucky every year even though he makes his picks by flipping a coin and can’t tell a basketball from a hockey puck.
But the roads to New Orleans for the men and Minneapolis for the women just got shorter as the Sweet 16 has arrived.
Without further ado, we present 16 mostly totally serious reasons for fans to keep watching even though your bracket is busted.
There’s still plenty to see
16. Commericals. Super Bowl season and March Madness provide two times during the year when our love/hate feelings for advertising swing closer to love. After all, people spend top dollar to make us laugh (and want to buy). To Michiganders reading this, I think we all know which commercial tugs the heart strings this hoops season, even if you don’t need that AT&T phone a certain former Lions quarterback is hocking as sweetly as he tosses no-look passes.
15. Maybe once the bracket breaks, you prefer to bask in the glory of NFL free agency? Why not keep supporting the college kids in between fits of rage/euphoria as headlines trickle in and aging stars retire and un-retire on a whim?
14. Busted brackets mean smooth sailing for viewers at home. Now that money isn’t on the line, think of the calm, relaxing experience of simply appreciating the games?
13. No? This is not you, Mr. or Mrs. Thrill-seeker? Does wagered-watching remain the preference? Well, the big-prize possibility may have sunk with the men’s team from Saint Peter’s or those scrappy Creighton women, but online gaming apps still offer myriad ways to responsibly wager on one or more games! Besides, we all know you bet the bracket with your heart. Now let your brain take over.
12. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Listen. ’Round here, especially for those prone to East Lansing, the name “Duke” hits the same as anything Ohio State Buckeyes. Especially after Sunday’s Round 2 men’s game between Duke and Michigan State brought on the heartbreak. Still, the next Duke loss (or championship) will spark Coach K’s retirement after a historic 40-year career. Whether that win/loss will inspire cheers or tears, it’s history, so why not watch?
What else are you going to do?
11. Because I said so. Sure, I’m not your Mom, but I am a Mom. And when mothers flex that phrase, it becomes law. Also send money to my Venmo account, please and thanks.
10. Even non-sports fans know words like “March Madness” means must-watch. What does that mean for fans with those “honey-do” lists? A one-month “get out of work” pass! April will come soon enough, friend. Fix that cabinet door then.
9. Everybody’s doing it. Even friends who make picks based off the cuteness of mascots and the like. Don’t get left out.
8. What else have you got to do? Seriously. The weather’s still weird, especially for us Pure Michigan dwellers. So throw on your bathing suit under your snowmobile suit, fire up that heater in addition to the air conditioner, and turn on the games.
Seriously, these games are important
7. It’s crunch time!! Maybe March Madness starts off too slowly for your liking? Fear not. The Sweet 16 beckons, and things will move quickly now. Can you even keep up?
6. The upsets. We already touched on the Saint Peter’s men and Creighton women, but there’s also the No. 10 South Dakota women making a run, as well as the men from No. 11 Iowa State and No. 10 Miami. We can’t forget that the Michigan men’s team counts as an underdog with that No. 11 seed as it faces No. 2 Villanova for its Sweet 16 matchup.
5. Adding on to reason no. 6: Support your state. Watch the Michigan women and men while you can, even if you bleed Green. Nobody likes a grinch. Also, feel free to make up a drinking game anytime a non-Juwan Howard member of the Fab Five pops up at a game. Drink twice if they dole out heart-tugging hugs.
4. The Michigan women made history so many times this season that scribes will soon run out of words to describe each new height. Now heading into the Sweet 16 round for just the second time in their history, the Wolverines women will look to avenge last year’s Sweet 16 overtime loss for a shot at a first-ever Elite Eight matchup. First up? The South Dakota women who are coming off a 61-47 upset of Baylor. The Bears needed overtime to send home the Michigan women in last season’s Sweet 16 round.
3. Speaking of No. 4: Naz Hillmon. Enough said.
2. Two for the money. That’s right. In case you didn’t notice, the NCAA took a giant leap into an equitable future by extending March Madness branding to the women’s NCAA tournament this year. That means two times the Madness fun, even if it means two busted brackets burdening a broken basketball heart.
1. For love of the game. Nobody likes a fair-weather fan, so don’t stop supporting the college kids just because you make horrible choices, Brenda and Brian Bandwagon!