The University of Iowa University of Iowa

The Nature of the Bracket


Sports fans fill out brackets. If you’re interested in sports at all, you fill out a bracket. Ranging from the die hard season ticket holders, to the high school gym teachers who just want something to gamble on. Everyone suddenly becomes basketball fans in March, we all know that. Everyone revolves their life around basketball—it’s the nature of bracketology. .

And everyone hates upsets. But from November to February, we want every underdog to win. We loved when Duke, Michigan, or Indiana lost. Not because we hated those teams, but simply because we loved the upsets. We love to storm the court, and to stun the #1 team, and in basketball this happens every season.

It goes beyond just basketball season, highlights on Sports Center of a college football team upsetting another is loved by any fan. When Iowa upset Michigan State, it gave the Iowa fans something to celebrate, and it gave Sports Center something to share.

So why do we suddenly hate “upsets.” Because we play smart and safe when we fill out our brackets. We suddenly like to see games play out the way they should. We may fill in an upset here or there, but upsets ruin the bracket, and we simply don’t want that.

However, you can’t help but celebrate for those small teams like LaSalle and FGCU who made it further than anyone expected. It’s fun to watch an expected win turn into a major upset. We all cheer for the underdogs at some point. If you’re a Cubs fan, you do every day. So what do we like more: seeing the final four teams match our predetermined bracket, or seeing a team like LaSalle make it to the Elite 8?