Filling out the perfect March Madness bracket is an impossibly daunting game of statistics, guesswork and risk. Predicting the winners and losers of this 68-team tournament is an unsolvable math problem. Sure, your cubicle mate Jeff says his cousin who got expelled from MIT has a perfect formula to predict this year’s outcomes, but let’s be honest. Nobody’s filling out a perfect bracket. Except me. I’ve done it.
I’ve taken everything I know about math, statistics, and even basketball, and thrown it out the window. In doing so, I’ve come up with the perfect bracket for the 10th year in a row. It’s completely unassailable and I refuse to hear any arguments against it. I have picked one winner to defeat every single team and emerge as this year’s NCAA men’s basketball champion: the Demon Sultan and the ruler of the Outer Gods, Azathoth.
I know you’re probably asking yourself where Azathoth is seeded on this year’s bracket. How can a Lovecraftian monster even enter the March Madness tournament, right? Well, an amorphous demon sultan doesn’t require seeding, nor does he require an official invitation to take part in the tournament. He’s just going to show up. He’s omnipresent and can warp reality, so once he decides to be this year’s men’s college basketball Cinderella story, you better believe he’s not going to be burdened by the fact that he doesn’t play basketball for any Division 1 NCAA schools. Meanwhile you’re sitting there picking the University of Kansas to win March Madness? Good luck with that. I’m sticking with the formless, unknowable god of doom.
Once Azathoth does show up, he’s going to cause some serious chaos in the tournament. Hell, he is chaos. I can’t even say his name without my lips melting off my face, so do you really think anyone from Duke’s team will be able to shoot a pull-up jumper in his face? His face is a cacophony of teeth and tentacles and eyeballs. I just can’t picture Grayson Allen maintaining his composure while being guarded by the master of all creation and destruction. And on the offensive end of the floor, Azathoth is literally untouchable. If you touch him, you will get trapped in the limitless void for all of eternity. The darkness will be your prison and you’ll never get to rest or die. Meanwhile Azathoth will be throwing down monster dunks on your end of the court, completely unguarded. I mean, come on! How is this even a discussion?
Fine, let’s address the elephant in the room. Even though conceptually it’s very easy to see just how mightily Azathoth stacks up against 14 teenage basketball players, he’s never actually shown up to a March Madness tournament. He certainly hasn’t shown up the last nine times I’ve picked him to win. That’s a fair thing to bring up. But, who’s to say he won’t show up this year? And if he does, do you really want to be the person who bet against an inconceivable mass of uncontrollable destructive power? I sure don’t.
That is why year after year, I lose the March Madness pool in my office and get laughed at by my coworkers. My online brackets are always 0% correct and result in concerned emails from the ESPN support staff, asking me if I’m confused about how the bracket setup process works. I know exactly how to set up a bracket. You have to ignore the 68 teams of teenage boys and instead put all of your faith in the Demon Sultan Azathoth. When he finally shows up to drill some three-pointers and cut down the net, Azathoth is not only going to destroy his basketball opponents; he’s going to destroy everyone who filled out a bracket betting against him. If you want to take that risk and pick UNC, be my guest. I’m standing by Azathoth, though. Shit, I just said his name out loud while I was typing that and my lips melted off my face.
Bob Vulfov is a comedian and writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. His website is way fancier than he is: bobvulfov.com.