Bracket busted? Favorite team long ago ousted? Feeling squeamish about all those amateur college kids making money for everybody but themselves? Or maybe you’re in the camp, shouted down at this time of year and bullied into silence, that views sports fandom as wasted time and evidence of a feeble imagination.
Well, relief is in sight, as Saturday’s Final Four games will yield two winners, who will meet in the championship on Monday night. That will be followed by some breathless office chatter on Tuesday morning, and then the culture will steam full on toward its next collective obsession—which you may chose to embrace or deride as you see fit.
Until then, if you don’t want to be completely shut out of the maddest weekend of March Madness (the final game is played in April, but never mind that), you may want to consult the following rooting guide, which pits four literary alums from each of the remaining schools against each other in a largely arbitrary, fully non-sporting, winner-take-nothing competition. These writers vary in style, stature, and fame, but they have all made appearances in the pages of The New Yorker.
If nothing else, this should give some of you out there a few unique talking points for the next few days. You will risk an odd stare or two, but you’ll be sure to spot a fellow traveller at a bar or viewing party this weekend if somebody nods enthusiastically when you mention, for example, that you’re rooting for Ohio State because Cynthia Ozick got her master’s there.