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March Madness and the Bracket Conundrum

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This year, I finally talked myself into it... 

Now, this was something I've considered for a long time, but I've never been able to pull it off.  Each year, the temptations were simply too strong.  I mean, it always seems so harmless, but, inevitably, it turns into a self-destructive measure.   In recent years, it's even ruined the most perfect thing in my life.  So, this year, I finally decided  to stick with my convictions.  I preemptively wrote friends, family, and even some military colleagues to inform them of my decision.  It was a tough call, and I got a handful of angry or confused responses.  But I did it, and I'm happier for it.  In case you haven't guessed by now, I didnt fill out a single bracket this year.

More, after the jump...

Dont worry, I'm not going to spend 1500 words explaining this decision.  I'm well aware that this exact type of column has been written many, many, many times.  In fact, by running a quick search, I found an article that perfectly encapsulates some of the key points in this discussion.

I found myself in predicaments like those more and more over the years: Do I root for the underdog that has captured a spot in my heart, or for the traditional big-time program that I have going all the way in my pool and stand to make a few bucks if they continue winning?

So I decided a few years ago to stop playing pools and root for whoever I want to win a particular game for any number of reasons, not one of which is financially motivated.

I’m sure anyone in a pool is faced with similar dilemmas as the ones I mentioned. The only difference is I don’t have to give it a second thought anymore. I don’t know anyone who enjoyed Butler’s run to the Final Four last year as much as I did – except, of course, fans of the Bulldogs.

So this isnt a new topic.  But I still think it's a worthwhile conversation, especially since I've had such a positive experience during the first few days of the tournament.  Despite my current anti-bracket position, I'm fully aware of the value of brackets, and I think its fascinating how the entire country remains glued to the first four days of March Madness.

As we wait for Texas to take on Arizona in the 2nd Round--and, come on, it's the 2nd Round--I wanted to put this question before the BON Community.  Do you think brackets help or hurt your experience with the NCAA tournament?

Hook 'Em!