Thursday, March 26, 2015

Heart vs. Head: Top Seeds Collide

Gearing up to watch some more basketball this evening, further energized to do so because (1) my UNC Tar Heels are still in action, playing a Sweet Sixteen game tonight against the West region’s top seed, Wisconsin, and (2) I’m still alive (I think) to cash in the tourney pool.

Of course, if I’m going to be at all realistic regarding both of those points, I’d have to admit that the prospects for Carolina aren’t so sanguine (they are six-point dogs) and my prospects for getting into the money in the pool aren’t so bright, either. That’s because I have Dook losing this weekend, undefeated Kentucky getting knocked out in the semis, and Arizona winning the sucker.

That is to say, I have a chance not unlike the player with nothing but an inside straight draw with one card to come can still win versus an opponent’s two pair.

If I could redo my bracket I would have Kentucky beating Dook in the finals. They are the two strongest-seeming teams right now (by a lot), and in truth if I hadn’t been more governed by my heart than my head when filling it out originally, I’d have done it that way in the first place.

But I don’t want to see Kentucky run the table. And it goes without saying what my feelings are about the Blue Devils.

I used to enter a pool each year with a lot of fellow UNC grads, most of whom every single year would pick UNC to win it all and Dook to lose in the first round. It was a fun pool to play because of the huge edge many who played automatically gave the rest by picking according to what they wanted to see happen as opposed to what they thought might actually play out.

If you think about it, though, all NCAA pools are probably affected similarly -- if not so severely -- by participants’ being overly influenced when picking games by their desire to see a certain outcome in the actual tournament than by the desire to win the pool.

Incidentally, I picked the Heels to lose last round, but since I have Wisconsin winning tonight, it’ll be a win-win!

Says my heart, anyway. My head insists it’s a lose-lose.

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