Senior Marisa Dellatto, a basketball novice, is chronicling her first attempt at a March Madness bracket in a series of weekly columns here at the Warrior Weekly. So far, things are…not going well.

Week One Standings: 240 points, 1.5%, 640 PPR

This week I’ve learned many lessons. None of which came from the fabulous school I attend. (Scratch that: a lot of them were, but that’s not the point to this article). These lessons were learned from a bracket — that godforsaken, evil, addictive bracket.

Proof that Marisa did indeed pick Mercer to beat Duke. Yes, we here at the Warrior Weekly were shocked too.
Proof that Marisa did indeed pick Mercer to beat Duke. Yes, we here at the Warrior Weekly were shocked too.

Lesson number one: Though it is fun and cool to pick teams to win that others are not, it is not always the smartest decision. Yes, in my convoluted mind it made sense for me to pick, say, I don’t know, perhaps a 16th seed team to win against a 1st (it almost happened too, if Virginia hadn’t come back against Costal Carolina), but in the realistic basketball world? Not so much. Though for some lovely reason, last Friday I somehow shocked the world (as well as myself): I picked Mercer against Duke. Basketball aficionados were stunned. I took it as a sign of my clear awesomeness, despite the rest of my failing bracket. In my mind, the win made complete sense. Duke? Really? Such a pretentious name. They’re a school, not an English dignitary. And regardless of my bias toward the letter M, Mercer just sounds like a winner. Honestly it reminded me of a virus — very dominating. I may only have one of my final four still in the game, I may be last in my group, but I do not care. I picked Mercer over Duke. Bow down to me, peasants.

Lesson number two: It is important to keep your ego in check. This is something I did not do (not in this bracket, not in this life). If anyone cares, I named my bracket “the BEST bracket.” I later took the time to change it to “the BE$T bracket.” And anyone with two thumbs could make the argument that it is that arrogance that cursed me to have the WORST bracket. Oh, the irony. You could also make the argument that I should have never even done this stupid March Madness fad considering I know nothing about college basketball, but that’s lesson number one. Follow along, gosh.

Lesson number three: Don’t spend money just on things that you have zero chance of winning. I spent $10 to participate in this. I could have bought a sandwich with the money I wasted on this bracket — a really nice, hearty sandwich. I could have bought a whole month of Netflix, and a pack of gum, together. I could have bought a lottery ticket; scratch that (pun alert): I did buy a lottery ticket. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Marisa, isn’t that the same thing? Just throwing more money away into something you have no chance of winning?” Yes, friends, you are exactly right. But that’s what I did. And I lost. I then spent more money on a bag of M&Ms, so I guess it worked out.

At one point last week, I was only doing better than .2 percent of all brackets entered through ESPN. Though it is often looked at as a “good” thing to try new things and expand your interests, I would not suggest approaching decisions as such without thinking about them, at all. Learn from my mistakes.