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Top 10 excuses for not having U.Va. win your March Madness bracket

I mean, there’s money on the line here

<p>Ben Rosenthal is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily.</p>

Ben Rosenthal is a Top 10 Writer for The Cavalier Daily.

1. “I don’t like to mix business with pleasure.”

This is just about the cleanest excuse you can put on the table. Say you will root for U.Va., but that you want to hedge your bets a bit in the event of an early knockout. Clarify that if U.Va. and your money team go head-to-head, you will pull for U.Va. with utter devotion. Pleasure comes first, and business comes second. Most people will accept this justification, and while they may make fun of you behind your back for lacking a spine, you deserve to live with the fact that they’re right. 

2. “My financial advisor told me to back Illinois.”

If sarcasm is your love language and realism isn’t an issue, toss out this little quip. If you feel obligated to follow the honor code, you can take the extra step of actually hiring a financial advisor and getting their advice on the college basketball landscape. The caveat to that is, unless you’re gambling in some high-stakes league, however much you’d be paying said advisor is probably more than the $50 pot you’ve set up with your high school friends.

3. “Oops, must’ve clicked the wrong button. Can’t change it, darn!”

Another safe option is blaming a combination of technology and chunky fingers. When somebody points out to you that you have U.Va. losing in the third round, pretend that this is the first you’ve heard of that. Pull up your bracket and — brace yourself — put on the best acting performance of your lifetime. “What? I did? But how! Did I misclick? I must have. Because there’s no way — I’m the biggest fan. Oh, it’s locked? I can’t edit it? No! Noooooooooooo!”

4. “I’m going deep undercover as a Duke fan.”

“In order to beat the enemy, you must become the enemy.” Winston Churchill said that — as far as anyone would know. Nobody would call you out on it if you attributed that quote to him. And he might have said it. But I digress. In order to understand rival teams such as Duke, Virginia Tech and the other miscreants of the earth, we must send a few agents undercover — such as I did in 2019 — to document and process their evil ways. Fun fact — I put Duke as the winning team back in 2019 — the year we actually won. I lost my bracket and got deservingly bullied. 

5. “One of the team managers cut me in line at the Arby’s drive-thru.”

Maybe it is a personal vendetta. Perhaps one player or affiliate of the U.Va men’s basketball program is your sworn enemy. Because I do not want to get accused of stirring the pot, I have never actually been cut by a team manager while in the Arby’s line. But if I had been, it would be a valid excuse not to root for the entire team, right? You just can’t get between a man and his Arby’s. We all know that.

6.  “I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on the boys.”

A wholesome excuse. “I just don’t want Sam out there on the free-throw line, worrying about my little old bank account. I don’t want to put that evil on him.” There’s already so much pressure on student athletes, after all. Why add more? In fact, maybe it would be selfish to place a bet on U.Va. I know that if somebody put a bet on me, I would almost certainly let them down. 

7. “Dude, have you watched a game this semester?”

The cold, hard reality is that the Cavaliers have seen better days. And don’t get me wrong — we have certainly seen worse. 18-6, first in the ACC and Jay Huff’s amazing, jealousy-inducing facial hair all point to a successful season. But March Madness is tough, and we have had a few games where, quite frankly, we haven’t looked quite up to snuff. So, if you’re brave enough to possibly get slapped, just go with some honesty.

8. “Look, I’m broke and want $5.”

If the above line wasn’t quite low enough for you, add in the fact that you’re motivated by capitalist greed. Admit that you are a dirty, disloyal coward who — when push comes to shove — will sell their soul to chase the money, regardless of the source. Even if it means looking the Cavalier in their big, beady, beautiful eyes and telling them you just don’t believe.

9. Throw out any sort of basketball statistic

If you’ve made it this far through the article without realizing that I don’t know anything about U.Va. basketball, here’s me letting you down easy. I’m the epitome of a casual fan — I know the names of seven or eight of the players, I know my dad thinks we suck this year, and that’s about it. But if you have any sort of concrete, statistical evidence, be my guest. Nerd. While you will never impress me personally with your knowledge of Kody Stattmann’s free-throw percentage, you are welcome to try. 

10. “Gambling is illegal. You’ve got the wrong guy.”

If all else fails, just feign ignorance. “Sports? Betting? Nope, can’t do that. Not trying to get behind bars. No, I’m not @BenRosenthal44.” If you commit hard enough to this obvious lie, your friends will probably stop talking to you about March Madness, and you can put your money on Kansas in peace. The only downside? I’ll be right here to call Honor on you.

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