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Final Four? Ask a 9 month old

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If I lose this year, I'm quitting FOREVER. I will swear off brackets. Every March from here on out, as long as I live, will go bracket-less for me. No more office pools. No more online challenges. No more brackets.

I have to beat ONE person this year.

Last year I lost to my wife. My basketball illiterate wife. That's actually a little bit of an unfair statement. She KNOWS the game and understands the rules. She just doesn't watch any games. Her logic behind picking teams in her NCAA bracket is based on her favorite colors, mascots and school names. (For example, she chose Baylor over Duke in the Sweet 16 because "Bears are better than Devils".)

But I can understand how she could beat me. She beat me last year (in fact, she WON the office pool last year) because I picked a bunch of upsets. Chalk is probably the way to go.

But this year, I don't mind if my wife beats me again. What's another March disappointment now that I've been through it once? No, no. I don't care if I take home the silver medal to her. What would bother me is if I get the bronze.

My nine month old daughter filled out a bracket today. Sure, I helped her a little bit. I didn't make any selections for her. I just coaxed her along in the picking process.

Ava, who was wearing a South Florida Bulls one-sie at the time, had two choices: A) a goldfish cracker, representing the higher seeded team in any given matchup, and B) a banana treat, representing the lower seeded team.

It's a little bit more randomized than simply flipping a coin, which our sport producer Joe McCann did. After 60+ coin flips, his 50/50 champion is Georgetown over Florida. I think Ava's selections could prove to be more reliable than Joe's. No offense, McCann.

I should point out that I didn't stack the deck in any way for Ava. She likes goldfish crackers and banana treats EQUALLY. So, no foul play here.

I think she did a good job. She "picked" a few surprises. Southern Miss over Syracuse? Long Beach State over Louisville? Detroit over Kansas? You never know.

Her first Final Four ever: Baylor, Missouri, Gonzaga and Georgetown. She picks Mizzou over Georgetown. Our own Charlie Hannema (Mizzou grad) would love that.

I would say that there is no way that comes to be. But, I was wrong last year. She's probably right.

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