March Madness! A Pop Quiz

1. You get an email from your college alumni association informing you that your school’s men’s basketball team is in the semifinals for their national championship. You are …

a) Not surprised, because you’ve been following them all season (and every season since your freshman year).

b) Surprised to learn that the school even has a basketball team, and delighted that they’re in the March Madness semifinals.

c) Not surprised, because the email went straight to your spam folder.

2. March Madness is:

a) The annual NCAA men’s college basketball championship tournament.

b) The annual NCAA Division 1 basketball championship tournament. Because the NCAA is divided into divisions, each of which has its own separate championship, and being in the Division 3 semifinals means you’re not even in March Madness, much less the semifinals, whose participants haven’t even been determined yet.

c) Similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in that both are afflitions in which a person’s mood is influenced by a spherical object — in SAD, under-exposure to the Sun contributes to depression; in March Madness, over-exposure to a basketball contributes to mood swings.

3. You would use a March Madness bracket to:

a) Record your predictions regarding who will win each game of the March Madness tournament.

b) Hang your March Madness curtains.

c) Determine what percentage of your March Madness income you need to pay in your March Madness  taxes.

It's the second from the left, right? (Bowling ball picture from wpclipart.com; all others from Wikimedia).

4. If I showed you a picture of a basketball, a bowling ball, a mothball, a hairball, an eyeball, and Lucille ball, the probability that you’d be able to correctly identify the basketball is:

a) 17%

b) 110%

c) No one told me there would be math in this quiz.

5. You discover that your office has a weekly pool in which people predict the winners of that week’s March Madness games. You decide to join in because:

a) You have a really good system for predicting March Madness winners.

b) The pool goes by point spread, so in theory you’d have a 50-50 chance of choosing each winner correctly just by guessing randomly.

c) If you don’t, other people will be having fun without you, and the idea of that happening is just intolerable.

d) All of the above.

6. In your office pool, you choose the Jets to beat their long-standing rivals, the Sharks, by at least 9 points. The final score is Jets 73, Sharks 66. The next day:

a) You’re happy because the team you picked won their game.

b) You’re sad because the team you picked didn’t beat the point spread.

c) You’re devastated by the tragic loss of life that occurred during the huge dance number / knife fight that broke out after the game. Although you think you might be confusing this with a movie.

Answers: 1-b, 2-a, 3-a, 4-a, 5-d, 6-c.

It’s Only a Game: Your Guide to the Super Bowl

On February 6, an estimated 100 million people will watch the Pittsburgh Sabertooths* battle the Green Bay Velociraptors* in Super Bowl XLV. I don’t usually follow football, but I’m a little tired of feeling left out of sports-related conversations, so I decided to do some research. Here’s what I found…
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