Managers across NCAA play their own tournament

Everyone has heard of March Madness. It might as well be part of the American Dream. Every office does a pool. Just about everyone fills out a bracket. Some people pick teams based on weeks of research and watching games, others by whoever has the coolest jersey color. Even my grandmother knows what it is, and even after coming to nearly every one of my high-school basketball games, she can’t remember how many points a free throw is worth. The point is, it’s everywhere. And it should be. It’s one of the greatest tournaments ever assembled, every year.

Me, this year

Fewer people have heard of the Manager Final Four.

This year, the inaugural Manager Games Final Four will take place Friday night in Houston–right before the real Final Four. Managers from Michigan State, Iowa State, Tennessee and Kansas will square off hours before Oklahoma, Villanova, Syracuse and North Carolina do the same in the Real Games.

Ever since teams started traveling with multiple managers–the Spartans have nine–they’ve played impromptu games, sometimes at midnight before the real teams faced off. This tradition has been going on for a long time, but this year, two Michigan State managers and an ex-Spartan manager organized a Final Four.

The idea started when the Michigan State managers decided to keep track of all the scores for a season. Before long, other teams were sending their managers scores to them, and it seemed to grow itself. Jay Bilas even showed up to a few games and tweeted out manager scouting reports. It’s more than anyone could’ve imagined.

It’s an incredible experience for guys who started out just trying to get their competitive fix.

Consider this an open letter to Lipscomb: hire more managers so we can do this.

Would you watch the manager games if they were televised?

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