In starting this write-up, and pondering the shambles left of my picks, I imagined General Kevin Paul telling me to rally my bracket challenge for the Final Four, only for me to reply, “General, I have no brackets.”

Folks, I majored in political science and minored in history. References like this will probably happen from time to time.

Had I marked my brackets in red ink, they would look as though they had been on the floor of a trauma unit. Instead, they’re just covered in one result after another crossed out in blue ink. Let’s do the numbers, starting with the men’s tournament:

march madness logo 2016

March Madness is nearing its end and Darrell Harden wants to share his bracket challenge results

Darrell – 68 points

  • First Four – 3-1, 3 points
  • First Round – 27-5, 27 points
  • Second Round – 11-5, 22 points
  • Regional Semifinals – 4-4, 12 points
  • Regional Finals – 1-3, 4 points

Darrell’s Wife – 43 points

  • First Four – 2-2, 2 points
  • First Round – 20-12, 20 points
  • Second Round – 6-10, 12 points
  • Regional Semifinals – 3-5, 9 points
  • Regional Finals – 0-4, 0 points

Between my wife’s bracket and mine, we have exactly one Final Four team. I’d like to take a moment to thank Oklahoma for helping me out here. Kansas and Michigan State let me down. Indiana was always a bit of a stretch, and the logic was good, even if I should have had Syracuse instead of Indiana.

As for my wife’s picks, her run of good fortune in selecting teams based on mascots and personal preferences finally ran out. Given that her Final Four is devoid of teams she picked, our men’s bracket challenge is officially over with two rounds to go, and the latte is mine! In celebration, I played “Yea Alabama” very loudly, in no small part because that song usually doesn’t get played much during basketball season.

Well, that puts a downer on my celebration. Sigh.

Moving on to the women’s bracket, our numbers look like this:

Darrell – 50 pointsdarrell-bracket-fire

  • First Round: 21-11, 21 points
  • Second Round: 8-8, 16 points
  • Regional Semifinals: 3-5, 9 points
  • Regional Finals: 1-3, 4 points

Darrell’s Wife – 56 points

  • First Round: 21-11, 21 points
  • Second Round: 9-7, 18 points
  • Regional Semifinals: 3-5, 9 points
  • Regional Finals: 2-2, 8 points

Courtesy my miserable selections in the regional finals, combined with my wife’s unorthodox selection methods paying off (because of course they did), I’m somewhat less confident in my inevitable triumph than I was at the end of last weekend. Really, Baylor? That game alone would probably have left me in a pretty good place. As it stands, though, there’s actually potential for a tie here. I’m still assuming that I can’t do worse than a tie, because I still have UConn winning the whole thing.

C’mon, Huskies. Your avoiding the upset goes right along with my avoidance of an upset loss. Please help me out here.

Come back next week to find out if I suffer the ignominy of defeat.


As a child, Darrell Harden occasionally dreamed of becoming a sports writer. As an adult, he works a desk job and runs a little faster than the average half marathoner, but still occasionally dreams about becoming a sports writer, even if his wife really doesn’t like “sportsball.” You can find him on Twitter as @Darrell_Harden and on Instagram as @darrell.harden.