Are there patterns to The Madness? Not really. It is The Madness, after all. But you will need a guideline for survival. For the couch, at least.
1. You'll fall in love with one team's jersey...
You'd think it would just be Marquette every year. Their uniforms are so cool and attractive in an ugly way, but you can't not dig them. It's like reading The Guardian.
"There are so... many... colours... I LOVE IT!"
It doesn't even have to be a crazy-type get-up to catch your attention. Sure, Baylor's Tron-inspired tunics are sweet, but you could easily fall in love with North Carolina's classic teal blue, UCLA's California prep look, Arizona's modern American maroon-white-and-navy, or Louisville's simple red with that intense Cardinals logo.
And, hey, how can you not leave a team called, The Orangemen?
(*NOTE: Arizona and UCLA are not on this year's tournament.)
Pick one, and then read GQ.
2. You'll fall in love with one team's fans...
West Virginia's are always strong (and now, they're gone). Missouri's raise the bar, especially since you can all them "MIZZOU!!!" Duke's are dicks. North Carolina's, too. Ohio State's have a false sense of accomplishment. Michigan's are just happy to be relevant again. Syracuse's are worried. Michigan State's are patient. Kentucky's and Kansas's are full of themselves. San Diego State's and UNLV's are always excited.
Hey, chances are you'll join one of these nations come March 18.
3. St. Patrick's Day is the best day of the year...
It has nothing to do with the Irish. Well, maybe a little.
But, St. Patrick's Day is that day a year when every dude's favourite corporations' financial ambitions come together to serve you perfectly. You've got every liquor store working double time, because they know you want what they've got. You've got the owner of The Colour Green shelling out whatever he can so you can wear it and disgrace the country to the west of England. You've got ESPN, CBS Sports, and every television network giving you 24 hours of coverage. You've got Charles Barkley. You've got restaurants and sports bars breaking their backs and not kicking you out when you're wildly wasted because, hey, it's St. Patty's Day.
It's the perfect storm... for men.
4. Coaches from small, overachieving schools are comparable to U.S. military heroes...
It's a two-week phenomenon, when a mid-major school rallies to shock No. 1 seeds and climbs into contention for an improbable NCAA championship (before falling short, of course), and there's always a young, inexperienced coach with a genius system who is leading the way.
He's probably got glasses, or a yellow, short-sleeved dress shirt with a dark tie.
He's probably had to fight for a bigger budget, and he's probably had to fight for respect against the Ivy League of college basketball - Duke, UNC, UCLA, and Kansas, etc.
To hear CBS talk about him, you'd think he served his country in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Germany, and Germany.
Come April, you'll ask, "Who?"
5. The worst player in your pool will think he's a genius...
The guy (or girl... equality) will get almost every one of his picks wrong. He'll pick every 14th seed to win its opening game. One will. He'll never stop talking about it.
6. People will lie about things...
The first official one this year was a study I saw on Twitter, which read, "Study shows March Madness helps employees work harder."
(*Study not found.)
Oh, really? Well, guess what. I wrote this at 10:44 a.m. on a Friday.
Other lies include (not in proper order):
1. "I'll call you on Patty's Day."
2. "Yea, babe, we should totally go for dinner tonight."
3. "I can't do it now, I'm studying."
4. "I don't care anymore. I just don't care how my bracket does. I don't care."
5. "Honestly, I could live in Ohio."
6. "I'm on a diet."
7. "I don't gamble."
8. "My bracket's doing well."
9. "I didn't copy Obama's bracket."
10. "I can drive."
(*This "article" was originally "published" on White Cover Magazine.)
Follow Kolby Solinsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KolbySolinsky