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The finer things in life: My kids filling out their brackets before going off to school

There’s a very easy way to test your patience first thing in the morning. Just have your 8-year-old and 4-year-old boys pick their March Madness brackets an hour before leaving for school when they’re much more interested in YouTube gamer videos and Super Mario Bros.

The oldest ended up with Iowa vs. Ohio State and the youngest has Ohio vs. Ohio State in the Finals. Both have Ohio State winning the national championship. I have no idea where they got that idea from.

The goal this year is to get them introduced to the Madness, learn how you really need to watch the last five minutes of each game and start to hate the full TV timeouts with 30-seconds remaining and Winthrop (or some other 12-seed) needing a bucket to win. I lost this time with my boys in 2020. That’s not going to happen again. We’re going to print brackets, put them on the basement door and keep track of who’s winning in this household. There will be tears when the 4-year-old doesn’t have many Sweet 16 teams remaining, but that’s going to build character in of him. Next year, he’ll pick fewer random animals and start concentrating on seeds and which teams are led by senior guards.

I’ve tried to stay out of my kids’ lives as far as watching sports. When I was a kid, that was all I could think of. These two are off in their own worlds, and it’s perfectly fine with me. The oldest has been asking for a basketball hoop, so it’s entirely possible that we’re heading into a childhood shift. If it happens, it happens.

The good news is that in 2021, they have the chance to fill out a bracket and share in their dad’s passion. Now it’s time to have some fun.

• The NCAA CANNOT hit us with these 10:19 to 10:30 tip-offs and leave us with holes in our TV viewing over the next two nights like they did Thursday night. How am I supposed to stay awake during those holes? Never again.

• UCLA’s guards combined for 50 points against Michigan State. It’s a guards tournament, never forget that. Next up for the Bruins: BYU. Watch out. These play-in teams get the juices flowing and typically win their way into the second round.

• All eyes will be on Georgia Tech/Loyola-Chicago. I wrote about it this week. Sister Jean is back, and her boys have a chance to win their way into facing Illinois with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. That’s a huge story for Jim Nantz. He’s calling today’s game at 4:10 ET on TBS.

• Winthrop-Villanova is scheduled to tip at 9:57 ET. Hope you like tourney action after midnight because there’s no way that one is tipping before 10:45.

The good news is that it’s Friday night, and you can rest next Tuesday. Welcome back, March Madness. We missed you so much.

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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