Warren Buffett has given away more money that one thousand of us can give away in one thousand lifetimes, but now he’s just getting bored. Buffett is offering one billion (with a b) dollars for a “perfect NCAA bracket”. Apparently, a perfect bracket has never been accomplished in the 64 team era. The odds of achieving the perfect bracket are in the quintillions (with a q, and a lot of zeros). That’s not stopping tens of millions of people from filling out Buffett’s bracket – hey it’s free! I’ve got mine in there and I’ve got a pretty good feeling, at least until about 2:30 pm EST today (after the first four games) when I and my bracket will be exposed for the well-intended but misguided little bundles of imperfection that we are. Where’s John D. Rockefeller standing on a street corner and passing out shiny new dimes when I need him?
However, it won’t be for lack of information available to me to make informed choices. Did you know (for example) that Steven F. Austin plays a style that will give a “run and press” team like VCU fits? At least that’s what I heard Dan Dakich say on the radio yesterday. So you heard it from me (and Dan): take the “12” seed Steven F. Austin over the “5” seed VCU – and thank me! (or curse me!) If you don’t trust the “experts” that played and/or coached in the college game, you can put your faith in “Bracketology” , a term coined and trademarked by ESPN that actually has some “science” to it – complete with “Good Will Hunting”-sized chalkboards full of formulas and permutations.
So while none of us are likely to be perfect and get rich, we can all participate in the “Big Dance” vicariously through our brackets. We can also find our favorite story lines and underdogs, or pull hard for our alma maters and against their rivals.
I’ve got no dog in the fight, so I’m going to be pulling for a few story lines that have emerged with two of the favored (1 seed) teams. Patric Young, University of Florida All-SEC center, was quoted as saying last week, “It’s the post-season, and it’s my last one here, so I’m going to play every minute of every game like a walk-on freshman who is trying to make the team.” It’s wonderful when the all-league performers play hungry and not entitled. I’m rooting for that guy.
I’m also pulling for Tony Bennett and the University of Virginia, who won the ACC this season for the first time since Ralph Sampson was there in the 70’s. Bennett has 10 guys that no one (outside of Charlottesville) has ever heard of playing like a team – it’s a root-able bunch.
It’s a fun time of year, full of buzzer beaters, busted brackets, and by-the-water-cooler bragging rights…..it’s also a small reminder that there’s a Dance coming one day that doesn’t require that our resumes include a win over Duke in order to participate.
If God was unipersonal, there would have been no love until he created the world. However, if the world was created by a triune God, then relationships of love are what life is all about. The Godhead is characterized by mutual self-giving love as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit orbit around one another in a dance. It is impossible for us to join in if we focus on ourselves, but through Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross, we can be brought into the dance. – Tim Keller