Some call it March Madness; others, the Big Dance. Me, I joyfully refer to it as the one month a year when gambling on sports is not only legal but openly promoted. Pop the corks, and ransack your 401(k)--it's time to bet on basketball! If you work in an office or use this latest fad called the Internet, you've already been bombarded with a bevy of brackets. And the hook is so alluring: Simply pitch in five bucks or so, pick the winners of the NCAA basketball tournament and, voila, retirement! It's not quite that simple, but last year one of my girlfriend's brackets bested mine, and she still can't say "Duke" without giggling.
With the tournament tipping off at this very moment, and with me possessing (however tenuously) a day job, we don't have time to dissect teams one through 64. But how 'bout a Cliff's Notes version of the sure things and Cinderellas: Connecticut is the best team; pick it. Duke (giggle) always wins at least two games; pick it. Gonzaga's best player (Adam Morrison) has a really cool porn mustache; pick the Bulldogs. Boston College is the tourney's best-kept secret; pick it. Texas is good, but to win it all they'd have to beat a Duke team that blasted the Longhorns by 31 points in December; do not pick Texas. SMU is never good enough to be in the thing; don't pick the Mustangs. Good luck, and good night. —Richie Whitt