Why this Mom Loves March Madness

march madness

I’m not a basketball fan. I have no interest in going to a game, playing with my kids in the driveway or wearing high-top sneakers.

Yet I LOVE March Madness.

But again, not because of the sport.

March Madness, the annual NCAA college basketball tournament that generally runs throughout the month of March, is a basket of life lessons all rolled up into one big bracket sheet.

To start, it is one of the last true sporting events where anything can happen.


It’s not rigged by over-inflated salaries (my words, not yours) or advertising dollars.

It’s real-time sport.

That means winners can lose and losers can win.  And I LOVE this.  Teams that were considered to have no shot at all have made it all the way to the championship round.

And teams that the experts predict to win the whole thing have lost after the first game.

I remember when Lehigh University beat Duke, a constant in the championships, back in 2012 (and that’s only because I went to Lehigh and I got all these alumni emails about the game).

Lehigh was seeded a #15 and Duke was seeded #2!  And yet we won in the first round of games!

It was only the second time in Duke’s history that they lost that early in the tournament.

Now granted, Lehigh lost in its next game but that win gave underdogs everywhere hope!

So there is no resting on your laurels in the event.  There are no guarantees – in March Madness  — or life!

Plus, there is always that hope that no matter where your team is ranked – or what mistakes you’ve made — you really do have a shot at winning and making it right.

But believe it or not, my favorite part of March Madness is that silly bracket sheet.

You can literally fill it out with your eyes closed and still have a shot of winning. Because you actually don’t even have to understand the sport to participate anyone can get in on the fun.  My daughters pick based on the school they may want to go to someday – absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the teams.  And ironically, their teams often make it farther in the series then my son’s picks – even though he reads every statistic and really attempts to make educated decisions about the winner.

So my kids and I all fill out those bracket sheets.

And from now until April 2, we all be intently following together as a family.  Not because we all care that much basketball – but because it’s something we can do together.

So we’ll watch the games, jibe each other about our standings in that silly bracket, and spend these final days of winter laughing a lot and maybe learning a little about the tournament that seems to captivate the entire nation each and every year.


Tracy Byrnes has what many might call a dream gig, matching a career as an experienced and well-respected business... More about Tracy Byrnes

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