by Jillian “YaMotha” Brooks

ANN ARBOR, MI – Each year when the clock strikes March the smell of sweat, rubber soled high-tops, and Gatorade enters the air: March Madness is afoot. And every year, as though nothing else would make me happier, I spend a night reading blogs, comparing thoughts, and watching ESPN, all in an effort to put together the most seamless bracket that ever hit my annual pool. Yes, we are all friends but this is not a friendly pool.

It’s six of us, all women, all college basketball players, and roommates through our four years. To say we’re a bit competitive is like saying Hitler was kinda racist. We’d all trip our grandmother’s to win anything. Case in point, I’ve eaten a large 1 topping pizza in 12 minutes. Why? Because my friend Ingrid did it in 15. We’re psychos when it comes to beating each other, and nuthouse in general because we’re, well, women. So each year I do my do diligence with droves of research that usually end in me drowning in the bottom of the pool. I suppose that’s the point of the madness, definitely the fun, the underdog victories, and last minute buzzer beaters, like Hoosiers just live and with longer shorts. But in the end all this time spent crafting the perfect bracket has served me up a whole lot of nothing.


So this year, I say, forget it all. I’m not picking with any kind of knowledge-based strategy. There will be no ESPN Bracket Comparisons, Player Reviews, Game Stats… Nothing. I’m picking completely on arbitrary factors. Considerations like mascot fierceness, uniform colors, interesting school names, best tattoo’s, and ‘who has the taller player’ are now my deciding factors. Basically, if Lady Gaga were a basketball team she’d be my NCAA champion.

Will I fail again this year? Yes.

Will I have more fun?
I’ll pretend to.

So to give you a taste of what my brackets look like here are my final 4:


Ohio State: One word: Brutus. He’s got spunk, he’s got class, he can break dance with a giant head. He’s every fans dream.

New Mexico: Think. When was the last time something awesome happened there? Exactly. Keep thinking and keep your fingers crossed.

Florida State: Seems like a nice place to keep the elderly and maybe win some basketball. Let’s spice it up a bit for Grandma & her guy:


If competition is a healthy element to your NCAA bracket choosing than I recommend putting effort into your picks. If you didn’t follow the season or just plan don’t care; try my system. It works for restaurants, outfits, and major life decisions.

That’s all for today, Cookie’s Corner tomorrow – if the power outage in her town didn’t short-circuit her column.

P.s… Here’s my website. Check it out if you get a minute. Thanks.


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