Babe, you know how I think it’s really offensive that people say men don’t understand sports, right? Because, I do think that. But I’m pretty sure that I’ve figured out a way to level the gender playing field (“playing field” is a sports term, babe), once and for all: let me tell you everything you need to know about March Madness.
As a woman who, like all women, enjoys an innate and extensive appreciation for sports, I’d appreciate it if you could make an effort to share my interests — just as I make an effort to share yours, whatever they are. Since society has left you, as a man, sorely uninformed about balls and ball-related activities, I’ll keep this as simple as possible.
The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship is a tournament of 68 college teams. It’s called March Madness because it happens in March, which is the month that it is now. No one is angry.
You probably have a lot of questions. You remember the Super Bowl, right? You know, with the commercial with the puppy who loves the horses? This is like that, babe, but it’s different. Instead of football, it’s basketball, which also involves a ball, but it’s different. A bunch of men, who are people, like you, with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, will throw a ball through a hoop to score points. Imagine a hula hoop, but smaller, and high above the ground. You’ll recognize the “ball” because, unlike the rest of the things on the “court” (not a court for lawyers, but a special room for basketball), it is orange and it bounces and it is not a human person.
There are two teams. If your team has more points — which, again, come from putting the ball through the hula hoop-like hoop — then you win. Both teams want to win, but each team doesn’t want the other team to win. The players on a team wear matching clothes, but only when they’re playing basketball, that we know of.
As I mentioned, babe, there are 68 teams, and I don’t really want to overwhelm you with information and break your brain or anything, so here’s just a few you should remember. Like I said, there are a lot more — literally 64 more — and while I do know essentially everything about them, it’s probably not possible at this stage for you to get on my level without a major time commitment and some serious lifestyle changes that I know you’re not prepared to make.
Florida: The Gators are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. I know what you’re thinking, babe, and no, not crocodiles. Gators live in Florida. Crocodiles live in Africa. We’ve been over this, like, three times.
Louisville: They won last year. No, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily pick them again this year. It’s — it’s a lot more complicated than that. Babe, are you even listening? I told you you should take notes.
Arizona: The Wildcats have the best defense in the country, which is super important. Defense is this thing that’s the opposite of offense, which is also important. Look, don’t worry about it.
Michigan State: Obama’s pick. You know, Obama. The president, babe. Of America.
I said “bracket,” babe. Not racket. Not tennis. Bracket. Good. A bracket is a form on which you choose which teams are going to win. Filling out a bracket will make you feel more invested in the tournament, and considering that you can expect to watch at least 20 person-hours of basketball with me in the immediate future, you probably should do it. I know this is going to be tough for you, being that you know virtually nothing about any of this and you are like a tiny man-baby who can only understand the world by mouthing everything you encounter, but you’ll have fun.
You should pick my school, and also your school, but if it comes down to a choice between the two of them, you should stick with my school. If you like a team’s name (like, the Wichita State Shockers), pick that team. If you like a team’s mascot (like, the Stanford Tree), pick that team. If you think a team’s colors are really interesting and aesthetically pleasing (like, blue), pick that team. If you think a player is handsome and cool and you wish you were as handsome and as cool as him, pick that team. That’s not what I’d tell everyone to do but I think this is appropriate given your lack of experience and limited capabilities.
If you fill out a perfect bracket, Warren Buffett — not Jimmy Buffet, babe, different guy — will give you one billion dollars. I’m not saying you’ll get a perfect bracket or anything (I mean, you won’t, because of statistics), but if you did, it would maybe be appropriate to share 60 percent of your winnings with me, because I taught you everything you need to know about March Madness.
Good luck, babe.