Anatomy of an upset

Originally Published: January 19, 2004
By By Pete Tieman
Bracketology Research Analyst
The great thing about the NCAA basketball tournament is that it gives thoroughly overmatched underdogs a chance. What other sport kicks off its championship event by making the premier teams play little-known long shots? It's like the Yankees starting their World Series run by taking on the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League.

It's ... well ... madness. But what's even crazier is that once in a while one of these scrappy little underdogs rears up and bites a big, bad powerhouse right where it counts.

There's only one thing sweeter than watching some no-name pipsqueak school knock off a fat and happy favorite -- and that's being the only person in your office pool to predict the upset. Nothing demonstrates your college hoops aptitude more decisively than predicting a 15th-seeded nobody like Coppin State (which, last time I checked, isn't actually a state) to upend No. 2 seed South Carolina. Winning the office pool is nothing; that's reserved for the kind of people who fill in their bracket by which teams have the cooler mascots.