By Keith Kubisiak, for Wausau Pilot and Review

Did you know? It’s the second-most wonderful time of the year: the beginning of March Madness.

Now is the time when college basketball fans, non-college basketball fans, degenerate gamblers and guys who just had a vasectomy are riveted to college basketball for the next three-plus weeks or until the swelling subsides.

No, really.

In the last several years, urologists across the country have reported increases of as much as 50 percent in the number of vasectomies scheduled in the days leading to the NCAA tournament.

Along with the tournament comes the ubiquitous BRACKET POOL. You know it’s coming. Some of you have been researching for days. Weeks, even.

Whether is legal or illegal in the eyes of the law or your HR Department, consult your local district attorney or your employee handbook.  If you are one of those “whistle-blower” types, my advice to you is: LIGHTEN UP!

Office competitions, even those without cash prizes, can boost camaraderie and employee happiness. It’s a proven thing! Any attempt to shut down office pools and impromptu tournament viewing parties can have the opposite effect, and no one wants that.

For days, your office mates have been frantically filling out brackets with varying levels of “basketball prognostication acumen.”  Now, it might be the person that may be a fan or alum of a school that they are picking all the way to the Final Four. The only problem with this scenario is that their fandom is clouding their judgment when their team is a fifteen seed (otherwise known as picking with you heart not your head).

It might be the person that likes the color of the uniforms of a particular team that give them the impetus to have them move on in their bracket (I call this the “Color Wheel” approach, and sometimes, it works. Really.)

It might be the closet gambler who mulled through every possible permutation to come up with their version of a “perfect bracket” (A word of advice: paralysis by analysis is never good.) W

But whatever the motivation, the only “sure thing” is that there are no “sure things” when it comes to this annual rite of spring, the NCAA men’s college basketball national championship. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing, folks. So, what do you need to know?

Teams of local interest: Wisconsin is (controversially, by the way,) a number 8 seed and will take on the 9th seed, Virginia Tech, on Thursday night in Buffalo. Marquette is a number 10 seed and will take on the 7-seed South Carolina in Greenville, South Carolina on Friday night. This is interesting in a very “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” sort of way, sans Kevin Bacon, in that Virginia Tech is coached by Buzz Williams, who was previously the head coach at Marquette.

I know that it’s only two degrees, but hey, you get the idea.

So let the madness begin. It’s almost tipoff time. May your “Cinderellas” slippers fit, and may your brackets not become busted!

About the author:

Keith Kubisiak is a self-proclaimed sports junkie. He will have an opinion with a heavy dose of snark, and hopefully a bit of humor, on everything from local sports to the pros. Kubisiak is a lifelong Wisconsin resident, with the exception of one year living just outside of Cleveland that he still says is the worst winter of his life.

The author is a huge fan of the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers. Even though he is not a big fan of the NBA, the Bucks are very slowly starting to grow on him (it’s about time.) He played youth hockey for nine years with aspirations to play Division 1 hockey, but lacked two things on his quest: ability and talent, shortcomings which, sadly, are also evident in his golf game. His passion for sports will be very apparent as you read “My View…From the Couch.” Reach Keith at

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