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You picked Duke and Missouri to be in the Final Four. Or maybe your epiphany of South Dakota State as this year’s Cinderella story was proved false after you remembered they’re South Dakota State. Perhaps you were the optimist who chose Colorado to go all the way.
Any way you cut it, your bracket is garbage, and now you’re pissed. The hours of algorithms, probability and statistical comparisons you made were for naught. Your hopes and dreams of winning a million dollars from ESPN are shattered. You might be so disillusioned that you’ve sworn off basketball altogether. Either way, the CU Independent is here to help. Here is a list of five ways you can try to cope with your losing bracket that probably has some sort of clever name like MArChmAdnEsS!!!111!LOLZ.
1) Blame it on someone else
That you’ve picked only 50 percent of the winners correctly and have no one left in your Final Four is not your fault. That asshole from Yahoo! Sports whose bracket you copied team for team really led you astray. Not to mention those ingrates at ESPN that had the audacity to tell you that this year a 16 seed definitely had a chance of going all the way. You can see those fat cats now, sitting at their cubicles laughing at people like you for actually listening to them. But just know that it was definitely not your fault. It’s a bigger conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, and you’re just a faceless victim.
2) Project, project, project
Remember that floppy-haired show-boater Brady Heslip? Yeah, that guy who put on a clinic during the Colorado versus Baylor game on how to shoot 3-pointers and act like a total baller while doing it? Screw that guy. You totally don’t even care about your bracket anymore, you just want that guy to lose and get kicked off the team for being a total dick. You hate him on a personal level that transcends the emotions of your defunct bracket. Take that hate, forget about your failure as a sports analyst and ignore the fact you made a bracket altogether as long as Heslip gets his comeuppance.
3) It’s a rebuilding year
So your team and every other team you picked lost. No worries, bro. It’s totally a rebuilding year. You’re just glad they made it this far and that they got some attention in the national spotlight. You’re right, they are going to go back to practice, hit it hard this summer and come back next March guns blazing. Never mind that it’s a rebuilding year for every team in your bracket, the effort was astounding and you’re just proud of them; all of them.
4) Play it off like you didn’t even have a bracket in the first place
Take that strange combination of anger and depression and swallow it. Some people say that denial isn’t healthy, I say bupkis. Push that internalized loss to Lehigh deep into your subconscious. Take that Norfolk State victory and bury it close to your childhood. One day when you’re talking to your shrink it’ll all come out, but that’s a long way down the road, friend. At the CU Independent we’re looking out for your here and now. It might manifest as a hate tumor, but that’s nothing a little general anesthesia and surgery can’t fix.
Seriously, if you can’t bury it like a man, just let it all out and be done with it. Wipe your eyes with the five brackets you printed and pinned to your bulletin board and forget about March Madness 2012 forever.
This list is in no way meant to be exhaustive. There are plenty of other ways to cope with your losses, and these are just a few. If you still need help, feel free to shoot me an email. I’ll respond with something seemingly profound, but really it’s just me being snarky and inconsiderate.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ryan Sterner at Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org.