Bracket pools bring madness back to March

It all hit me at once. As I sat in Buffalo Brothers Pizza & Wing Co., reminding everyone in earshot that I picked West Virginia over Duke for roughly the 287th time, about to pull my bracket out of my pocket, it hit me, and my skin crawled.

I’m “That Guy” in everyone’s NCAA Tournament pool.

You know, “That Guy” – he’s the one who beats you over the head about picking Winthrop over Washington State as he rambles about RPIs and free-throw percentages, the one who sends out no less than one e-mail per day reminding everyone in the fraternity/office/truck stop NCAA pool where they stand and why their picks are superior and the one touting Stephen Curry like he’s his illegitimate son.

How did I get to this point? When did I become everything I hate? Maybe it’s a stretch to compare myself to Vader, but …

I think it’s because March is the only time the dormant-college-basketball fan in me gets to put on his face paint and hatred of Greg Paulus and get into a game. I mean I did wander into a couple of TCU men’s basketball games this season, but I was mostly driven by the free T-shirts and anywhere from four to 12 send-home hot dogs. So when I get to fill out a bracket and become a die-hard Western Kentucky Hilltopper fan for 40 minutes, I tend to go a bit overboard, even though I have no clue what a Hilltopper is.

So sit there and listen as I ramble about how Memphis led the country this season at 0.86 points per possession allowed. And don’t judge me if I live and die on every Xavier possession.

But you have full permission to kick me if I ever refer to myself as a “bracketologist.”

I’m “That Guy,” and for three weeks a year, I’m king.

At least until the guy who doesn’t watch basketball but heard UNC was pretty good wins my pool by a point.