It’s March 20, ladies and gents, the first day of spring. More importantly (I can’t believe I’m actually saying this) today begins the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

Now this is something I wouldn’t normally care about—basketball isn’t exactly one of my top interests. However, due to an extreme competitive streak and some good old-fashioned curiosity, I’ve suddenly enveloped myself in this phenomenon. Why? My buddy Nick brought some empty brackets into class one day. Long story short, I just HAD to fill one out; next thing I know I have an ESPN account. What a whirlwind of a day.

For those of you who don’t know how this works (which is totally okay because as of Monday, I didn’t either), I’ll explain it in layman’s terms: You join a group; there are plenty of them in our school. Once you join the group, you fill out a bracket, and basically predict the winner of every game in the entire tournament, all the way through the championship. Then all you do is watch the games, and hope you picked well. You get a point for each game you guess correctly. At the end of it all, whoever has the most points in your group gets the cash.

There’s something I feel I should mention. I know less than nothing about college basketball. Zip. Squat. I can sit through a game and follow it, no doubt. But team rankings? To be frank I didn’t even know half the teams existed. Did that stop me from filling out a bracket? Heck, no.

And now ladies and gents, I present to you the method to my Madness. I picked my winners on sheer intuition. Sometimes, I just liked one name better than the other. (Again, I did this all on a whim.) Yet here I am, three days later, competing against the minds of male sports fanatics (and my good friend, Jenny, who is in the same boat that I am). I’m told that for someone who knows absolutely nothing about college basketball, my bracket isn’t that bad. I have Iowa State taking the title, accompanied in the Final Four by VCU, Creighton, and Kansas State. Why? I couldn’t tell you. But I picked ’em.

So here it goes, one girl’s journey into complete and utter oblivion. I joined a group, paid my $10; I even downloaded the tournament’s app. Do I have a real chance of winning any money? Probably not, no. But in the spirit of adventure, trying new things, and a strong stubborn streak, I succumb to the great force that is March Madness. This is the one instance where using the “all the cool kids are doing it” excuse might just be okay.

And you folks, who had enough common sense not to spend money on something you know nothing about, get to have the weekly pleasure of reading about my trials and errors until…whenever the last game ends? I probably should have looked that up. Clearly, this is not my forte.

Oh well, here goes nothing. Wish me luck.

 By Marisa Dellatto