Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My kind of March Madness

Last year I discovered that March Madness is fun. My favorite part was watching BYU advance to the Sweet 16 (though I have blocked the last five minutes of that game from my mind to prevent chronic depression), but I began to see why males (predominantly) get so obsessed with their brackets and skip out on work to watch game after game. This tournament is as much about the players as it is the fans; everyone gets to participate. And regardless of what the experts say, the unthinkable happens all the time, adding fire to the craze.

I haven't filled out a bracket before because my knowledge of college basketball is still pretty limited. My bracketology would go something like this: every team that plays BYU is toast, any team I've heard of before outside of Utah (all four of them) will win (unless they play BYU), and I'll pick the rest of the teams based on their school colors or some vague rumor that has managed to make it down the lines to me.

Exciting upsets aside, I doubt the tournament will favor my bracket in the slightest. But it's fun to dream anyway.

But my newfound interest in March Madness took a standstill when I came across Mugglenet's Harry Potter themed March Madness.

I realize that "elite" basketball fans would be pained to see me slaughter their precious March tradition in such a way, but nothing gets me excited like Harry Potter does. I can't help it.

So naturally, as a self-proclaimed Harry Potter expert, I've spent random chunks of my day evaluating the most plausible outcomes of each "match," a.k.a., duel. I tried to approach each duel objectively, but it was painfully difficult at times, and I'll admit I favored the good guys over the bad guys. We can't have Voldemort winning, now can we? And at times I felt like a vile betrayer for crossing out  my favorite characters, but you have to make sacrifices sometimes.

Turn on your geek radar, because I'm going to break down the more interesting parts of this tournament for you.

2nd round considerations
  • By far the most unfair matchups are Harry vs. Professor Sprout and Dumbledore vs. Lavender Brown. Professor Sprout, as head of Hufflepuff House, would have stood her ground against many other characters, but she doesn't stand a chance against Harry. Dumbledore could beat Lavender with his eyes closed and his hands and feet tied together. While mortally injured. While singing the National Anthem.
  • I picked Percy over Molly Weasley for one reason: Mrs. Weasley would never duel, and defeat, her own son. Percy, while less far less capable than his mother, would have no problems proving to his mom that he could beat her.
  • I debated over Bellatrix vs. Nearly Headless Nick for a while. At first I thought Nearly Headless Nick had the advantage because he can't die, but then, he can't really do anything to Bellatrix either, except, like, make her cold. And if a Basilisk can petrify Nick, then Bellatrix can certainly find a way to harm him.
  • I almost picked Dudley over Collin because Dudley could beat Collin to a pulp in seconds, but all Collin has to do is pull out his "stick" and Dudley will cower in fear.
  • Petunia is the only Muggle to win a duel because she could knock Crabbe out with one of her expensive vases before Crabbe had time to figure out which end of his wand to point at Petunia.
  • McGonagall is noble enough to even out the playing field with Crookshanks and duel him as a cat. But she would still win.
1st round
  • Most unfair matchups: Bellatrix vs. Collin, Sirius vs. Hedwig, and Dumbledore vs. Petunia. I should have left Collin to Dudley. Sniff, sniff.
  • Narcissa Malfoy will let Draco win.
  • I admire Ginny's spirit, but she's got a ways to go before she can take on Tonks.
  • Pompous Percy could never make it past Neville.
  • Bill will beat Umbridge because he's learned extra tricks from "lesser" creatures like goblins.
  • Sorry Mad-Eye, but Voldemort has you beat.
  • And as awesome as Kingsley is, Snape has extra weapons.
  • Hermione loves some good competition, which is why she would beat her father-in-law.
  • Xenophilius Lovegood is, I'm sure, a powerful wizard in his own way, but McGonagall would only have to say, "Look! A crumpled-horn snorkack!" and Xeno would be gone.
Sweet 16
  • Hermione would have no problem beating her brother-in-law, George, either.
  • Sorry Fred; I just don't see you beating the leader of the D.A.
  • I am pleased to report that Snape will beat Voldemort. Voldemort is powerful, but Snape is trickier. And more awesome.
Elite 8
  • Unfortunately, Bellatrix will beat Lupin to advance to the Final 4. Aurgh.
  • The Sirius-Snape showdown would be epic. However, I pick Sirius to win because (1) he was clearly more talented than Snape while in school, and (2) I don't think Snape would be able to lock down his emotions enough to fight with a cool head.
  • I also picked Hermione to beat Dumbledore, undoubtedly the biggest upset of the tournament. With his injured hand Dumbledore has a distinct disadvantage, but his opponent would still have to take him completely by surprise to defeat him. I think Hermione is clever enough to find a way to surprise Dumbledore.
Final 4
  • Our Final 4 matchups would be as follows: Harry vs. Bellatrix and Sirius vs. Hermione.
  • Bellatrix can't beat our Harry Potter, and Sirius himself said that Hermione was the brightest witch of her age, so the final showdown will take place between . . . Harry and Hermione.
  • Who will become the best witch/wizard of 2012? I feel slightly guilty about this, but I pick Hermione. Hermione taught Harry half of what he knows, and Harry himself would probably admit that Hermione is the favored winner, especially when such a big competition is at stake.
Yay Hermione! I'm happy with how this turned out. I fully expected Harry to win this one because, duh, but Hermione proved victorious.

Is anyone else as nerdy as me? I'm curious what others' final picks would be.


  1. Ha ha! Awesome. I think you will feel a little less nerdy when you hear that I just filled out a bracket for a "Modern Fabric" March Madness. If that isn't nerdy, nothing is.
    I think I'm off to fill out a Harry Potter bracket now...

  2. Excellent. Who do YOU think should win?

  3. This is AWESOME - I would seriously be intrigued to watch a Snape/Hermione match-up though, because I always thought Snape was one of the most educated and intelligent wizards.

    Also - fun fact. My friend told me her sister has had really REALLY good bracket success every march madness. Her method? Which mascot she thinks is best.

  4. I should have done that--it would have been more fun than just randomly selecting teams. Oh well.

    A Snape/Hermione match-up--now that would be a duel worth seeing.