Every year -- except last year, when the coronavirus pandemic sent everybody home to wear sweatpants for a year -- I am on the air during the NCAA tournament selection show when the bracket is finally revealed. Upon my first view of the bracket, our bosses demand that I provide my winners to each game. And I do it within five minutes of first seeing the bracket, so our fabulous graphics professionals can build my picks to reveal on screen, to serve the fan.
As my bosses demand my immediate selections for the 68-team bracket, smoking cigarettes and sipping cognac in the back of the control room while savagely barking out orders as if in a 1970s newsroom, I feverishly scribble my picks while pleading for more time like a Charles Dickens character.
"Please, sir, can I have some more time to think?"
The answer is a bellowing, "No, you overpaid but incredibly handsome and erudite analyst. Give us your picks and shut your magnificent pie hole. You can think later, while you are being pilloried on social media for making such unthinking choices under stress."
Well, what you have before you now is the result of leaving the smoke-filled studio environment. Away from my demanding bosses, I can now think and use my big brain and extensive basketball knowledge to provide you with the definitive bracket prognostication known to planet Earth. In this guide to riches and satisfaction through beating your friends in the office pool, I will provide you with locks, near locks, upset alerts and sure-thing upsets in this year's bracket. Use this and you will be popping bottles of bubbly after the games in the NCAA bubble.
The discussion of who is in and who is out is over. The complaining about seeding and selection, an annual fun fest, will go on for a few days but then wither away. Now, all we are left with is the bracket for this season so impacted by COVID-19. If you take the advice of this magnificent tome, you will win your office pool and then sit by the pool with a drink in your hand.
So here you have it, the "More than Five Minute" Bracket. You're welcome.