Ryan Burns: Brackets Ruin NCAA Tournament

Ryan Burns, Sport Editor

March has always been the time of year that we can expect David to slay Goliath. We all look forward to March for the, well, Madness.

The NCAA Tournament guarantees excitement and rightfully gets its month in the spotlight in the sports world, but for the wrong reason.

The problem is ESPN and the Bracket Challenge.

Admit it. You made a bracket. You were watching a close game and rooting for a team because you had them in your Final Four.

The team you were cheering for was Georgetown and they were playing Florida Gulf Coast.

FGCU catapulted to the top of the sports world in a matter of three days by knocking off Georgetown and San Diego State in two colossal upsets. If you say that you had Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet Sixteen, you are a blatant liar.

But while you were cheering for Georgetown because of your bracket, I was enjoying one of the greatest tournament runs of all time. Andy Enfield led the cocky “underdog” fifteen seed to the Sweet Sixteen.

If you switch to the New Mexico v. Harvard game, I was able to laugh at Jeremy Lin’s celebratory Instagram post while you tore up your last perfect bracket.

Almost nobody had Harvard, La Salle and FGCU winning their first games. Even fewer correctly guessed the Sweet Sixteen, all of which most likely are friends with a Sherman

Brown or another Florida Gulf Coast player.

With those examples in mind, allow me to get to the point. I did not make a bracket this year. Call me crazy.

I was rooting for upsets and was in awe with the spectacle of FGCU especially. Dunk City impressed me endlessly, at least until the Eagles’ season was ended.

La Salle overcame the odds to win the play-in game in addition to its next game.

Harvard put that last corner of your bracket into the paper shredder.

March Madness has become just a game, but for the spectators rather than the players. Actually, it has become less than a game. It is just an activity now.

That brings me to my proposition: ESPN deletes its hugely popular online bracket in order to allow more people to enjoy the games and the Madness they bring.

So next year please do not make a bracket. Trust me from first hand experience. It really does make March Madness better from a fan’s standpoint.

It will be the same David vs. Goliath, and a few trees will be saved in the process.