It’s that time of year again! Yes, it’s spring, and for wrestling fans, this means we’re on the road to WrestleMania, but for college basketball fans, you’ll know that the time of year I’m referring to is March Madness. The 2019 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Division I Championship 64-team tournament begins on March 21st and continues until a champion is crowned on April 8th.
Sounds exciting right? Maybe not tope suicida off the top rope exciting, but it’s a fun time of year to expect the unexpected, prepare for the unpreparable, and to not be shocked when twists/outcomes you never saw coming, occur. In that way, March Madness is kind of like WrestleMania season. Even though one event has scripted outcomes and the other doesn’t, both always end up offering surprises anyway, and that’s where the fun comes in. Well that, and filling out a bracket in the hopes of becoming the reigning, defending, undisputed bracket champion of the world!
The beauty of March Madness is you don’t have to be a college basketball fan in order to get into the spirit and fill out your own bracket. In fact, I’d imagine most people who join in the cultural event don’t know much about the sport and didn’t take much time to research why they chose the teams they did. And as it would turn out, your chance of filling out a perfect bracket, of becoming the one in millions and billions of previous entries to achieve such a feat, is the non-Scott Steiner math percentage of 1/9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (9.2 quintillion). Adjust that for a guy like Joe Lunardi, whose job is literally to watch as many college basketball games as possible in hopes of being able to provide the best bracketology analysis he can, only has slightly better odds, at 1/128,000,000 (128 billion). Moral of the story, perfection, may well be the unattainable holy grail, that one brass ring, that no one on Earth will ever achieve.
But it’s fun to try nevertheless, to go into each year thinking that this is the one, only to have your hopes dashed less than halfway through the first day of games. Filling out brackets is fun, but what’s even more fun, is competition. Sure, your bracket will most likely not be perfect or even all that close, but when competing against friends, family, co-workers, WWE superstars, all that matters is your bracket is better than theirs. And speaking of WWE superstars…
For several years now, WWE and ESPN have teamed up where several WWE superstars fill out brackets which are sent out into the world, allowing ESPN users to submit their own brackets to compete against them. In the past, these superstars have included the New Day, Ric Flair, Charlotte, the Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, Brie Bella and more.
This year, you can compete in a non-locked bracket pool (meaning you can enter your bracket at any time), against 10 WWE superstars and personalities, both old and new: Jeff Jarrett, Abyss Parks, Titus O’Neil, Xavier Woods, the Miz, Sasha Banks, Adam Pearce, Charly Caruso, Seth Rollins and Mojo Rawley.
Defending champion Adam Pearce, former NXT trainer and current WWE producer, is back in the field yet again, this time bringing with him Duke as his national champion pick after failing last year behind Arizona. But Pearce still had the most correct among his WWE colleagues (which ranked him somewhere in the middle of the pack overall) with 670 total points. The Miz, who is a regular for ESPN’s WWE Bracket Challenge, rode with Kansas as his national champion pick last year and finished second with 640 points. He’s also taking Duke, which is America’s top pick, with 70 percent of completed brackets betting on the Blue Devils as well. Sasha Banks, who is doubling down on Duke after picking them unsuccessfully last year, finished in third with 600 points.
Joining the field this year are Rollins, Caruso and Jarrett with Duke, O’Neil with Tennessee, Abyss with Kentucky, Rawley with his alma mater Maryland, and Woods with Purdue. It’s anybody’s to win or lose as backstage politics, merch sales and overall audience popularity have no impact on this one. It really comes down to who is the luckiest guesser or the most knowledgeable fan among this group of six. We’ll see who is standing when the dust settles.
While March Madness is underway, you can still enter your bracket in the WWE Challenge group, as well as see the full brackets of all 10 WWE superstars/personalities, by clicking here.