Thursday, March 31, 2005

Gambling on Basketball

     This year, like every year, I threw money away joining pools for the NCAA basketball tournament. I never win. I always bet on the ACC and they always let me down. (except last year, when my Yellow Jackets kicked ass up until the championship game. Last year I came in third.)
     This year I decided that the poor NIT tournament was getting left out of all the gambling action. I have no chance winning the NCAA pool - I mean the odds are staggeringly against anyone coming away with a perfect bracket. How could an NIT bracket be any harder? I called a bunch of friends to see who was interested and only Dave responded. We decided to play for pride only.
     We both lost. Out of 1440 possible points, he scored 270 and I scored 410. Still, I did better, so I keep the pride cup for a year. And I really didn't do that much worse than I did in my NCAA brackets. However...
     Why was nobody interested? The odds of winning were no worse. It's the same gambling - betting on someone else's skill and luck. Sure, some of the teams were foreign to us, like Drexel, Fullerton, and Miami U (not really MU - I just can't stand that because of them, UM is always called, "Miami of Florida"). But some NCAA teams were no-names too, although in the NCAA they had no shot of winning. I guess in the end what people tell themselves - that they only bet to make the games interesting to watch - is a lie. They bet to win. They think they can win. If betting made the games all that much more interesting, you'd have bookies wandering the aisles of women's basketball games and certainly the NIT.
     Of course, as my performance indicates, you have a good chance of winning my NIT pool next year. See you for the 2006 pride cup!

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