Michael Magazine is upending the logical world of math with a good dose of March Madness.
Magazine teaches a new class called Bracketology at University of Cincinnati, the home of the 10th-seeded Bearcats, where 33 business students are spending the semester trying to make sense out of what can feel nonsensical at times — the art of filling out an NCAA tournament bracket.
“The life lesson is that we make a lot of decisions that are the right decisions,” Magazine says, “but the outcomes don’t always come out the way we planned.”
That’s why picking the NCAA tournament is so fun.
Magazine says that, yes, he’s among the millions who take part in the country’s largest office pool — where all you need is a pen, a copy of the bracket and a few bucks to join the fun.
Real basketball knowledge? That’s optional.
“I always tell people to ignore where they went to school,” Magazine says. “But it’s hard to do.”
Tom DeRosa, an algebra teacher who runs a website that provides everyday lessons for classes, says there is no mathematically surefire way to figure out which 15 or 16 might break through this year. But you can’t completely ignore them, either.
“You look at the numbers and, yeah, it’s a pretty good bet a 1, 2 or 3 seed is going to win the whole tournament,” says DeRosa.
And, as any good math professor will remind you, being wrong doesn’t always mean you were, well, wrong — even if the scoreboard says you were.
“It just means it didn’t work out that time,” Magazine said.
BONE STILL EMPLOYED
Washington State athletic director Bill Moos said Monday he plans to meet with basketball coach Ken Bone by next week to discuss the program’s direction and, presumably, Bone’s job status.
“I communicated with Ken we’ll get together maybe as soon as tomorrow but probably next week and recap the season and talk about where we’re going from here,” Moos said on his weekly radio show in Spokane.
A University of Central Florida study said overall graduation rates improved among players at schools in this year’s men’s tournament, from 67 percent to 70 percent, and among African-American players, from 59 percent to 65 percent. Two USC players, center Dewayne Dedmon and reserve James Blasczyk, were suspended while police investigate a series of fights last week in Spokane. James Madison scoring and rebounding leader Rayshawn Goins is suspended for the first half of the Dukes’ game Wednesday against LIU Brooklyn after he was arrested Sunday on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing justice. - Howie Stalwick, contributor